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Opinions of Monday, 17 March 2014

Columnist: Adam, Taufic

Afoko as chairman, Bawumia as vice president


We the northerners take pride in our leaders. No matter how “bad” the leadership of John Mahama is, I still adore him as a pride of the north, even though my passion and love is for the Elephant family.
There are all kinds of thoughts about the NPP been an Akan Party and the NDC, an aglo Party.

But within my own Party the NPP, we do have a system (not constitutional though) of seeking and maintaining regional and tribal representation across all spheres of our leadership structure.

This practice I believe, has contributed to the strong bond and cohesion existing in the party today.

A critical look at the current national Executive structure of the Party will confirm this practice of a convention in the party.
Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey as national chairman is a Ga from the Greater Accra Region, The Three Vice Chairpersons Fred Oware, Sheikh T. B Damba and Mrs. Sophia Horner-Sam are from the Central, Northern and Western Regions respectively
General Secretary, Owusu Afriyie (alias Sir John) is from Asante Region, whiles the national Organiser Alhaji Moctar Bamba hails from the Brong- Ahafo.
The elected youth Organiser who later resigned to contest a parliamentary seat in his home town, Anthony Abayifa Karbo is from Upper West Region and the National Nasara Coordinator Sulemana Abubakar, a typical Zongo boy of northern descent.
National Women Organiser Otiko Afisah Djaba and her deputy Tina Mensah also hail from the Northern and Western Regions of the Country respectively with the National treasury Esther Dzifa Ofori coming from the Volta Region.
At the Presidential level, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo is a prominent royal of the Eastern Region whiles his two time running mate Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia is also a proud son of the North.
This leadership arrangement looks fairly balanced and representative enough to give the party a national look.
As we go into this year’s national executive elections next month, one technicality raises its head and this if not well managed, can threaten the stability and Unity of the party.
It looks most likely that Akuffo Addo will for the third time, become the Presidential Candidate of the NPP and given the acceptance and popularity enjoyed by Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia, its most unlikely that he will be relegated to the background, thus given us another Nana Addo- Bawumia ticket for 2016.
My people from the north according to a background research will throw out the love of the three “northern” regions behind Mahmoud Bawumia, to see him succeed as the next vice President alongside the most probable candidate- Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo as President come January 2017.
This in my opinion, brings the party to the cross roads and presents a dangerous challenge for us if we go to the national congress and elect another northerner in the person of Paul Afoko as the next Chairman.
Let me hasten to say that I am not in any way against the personality of Mr. Afoko, neither am I seeking to undermine his candidature but I have a feeling that we need to maintain the age old convention and tradition of ensuring regional and tribal balance in the leadership structure of the national party.
Unfortunately for the NPP, the event of selecting a national chairman comes first (April) before a decision on Bawumia as the running mate could be made. It therefore means that if a “mistake” is made to elect Afoko, then the choice of Bawumia as a running mate to the Presidential Candidate could be an almost impossible task, since supporters from other Akan and Ga regions would not want to see such unfair representation.
I therefore wish to humbly suggest that we do not elect a northerner to chair the party when it’s almost certain that another northerner, Dr. Bawumia will be at the Presidency.
If this is supposed to be an Akan Party as we are made to believe, then we the northerners cannot take absolute control, as some are seeking to do.
So the biggest question is, whom do we sacrifice to gain tribal and regional balance in the national leadership structure, Afoko or Bawumia?
My wish and I believe that of many others in the party; will be to reject Paul Afoko at the April Congress.

Taufic Adam