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Politics of Thursday, 15 July 2004

Source: Graphic

Consider Iddrisu Mahama as running mate - Fuseini

An ardent National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist in the Ayawaso Central Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Fuseini Adams, has called on the flagbearer of the party to consider nominating Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama as his running mate for the December presidential election.

?In this year?s election, Prof Mills?s running mate must measure up to something substantially more than fine and smooth oratory to charm literate, middle-class voters. Alhaji Iddrisu stands tall among others, since he is tactful and has considerable experience in politics,? he said.

Adams, who said this in an interview at the Graphic office in Accra yesterday, said the effectiveness of Alhaji Iddrisu lay in his ability to interact with chiefs and opinion leaders, as well as wooing ordinary people to broaden the support base of the NDC.

He said since some party supporters were dissatisfied that Prof Mills?s political history could not be traced to the genesis of the (P)NDC, such sceptics would need to be appeased with a candidate like Alhaji Iddrisu who helped in laying the foundation stone of the two governments.

?The support base of Alhaji Iddrisu cuts across constituency, tribal and religious boundaries, and apart from former President, Jerry Rawlings, he stands tall as the alternative father figure who commands respect among a broad spectrum of party supporters,? Adams said.

He said being a staunch Catholic, Prof Mills needed a devout Muslim to ensure religious balance, stressing that the soft-spoken Alhaji Iddrisu, with his gift of persuasion was, is better suited to employ his huge experience to win the hearts and minds of voters.

?Then the northern factor! The party disregards it at its peril. So Prof Mills must be casting his eyes around for a running mate who draws support from the three northern regions, as well as the Zongo Muslim settlements.

No exuberant NDC MP of northern descent measures up to this billing. More than anyone else within the NDC, Alhaji Iddrisu of the Northern People?s Party fame is a father of the entire north,? Adams said.

Adams said Alhaji Iddrisu , who is a professional banker, had also developed the aptitude of easily assessing the economic situation of the nation and could, therefore, engage in an informed economic analysis with opponents of the party and explain issues well to the understanding and appreciation of the broad masses of the people, especially during the campaign period.

?He appears to be the running mate the NDC needs to enhance its chances this December,? he concluded.