The Herald, has picked up reports from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that some of its top guns from the Ashanti Region, have lined up, hoping to catch the eye of the Vice-President, Dr. Mahumudu Bawumia, as his running mate for the 2024 General Election, as the party struggles to pull off its Akan label.
The names available to this paper are the 65-year old Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the 62-year old First Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for the Bekwai Constituency, Joseph Osei-Owusu alias “Joe Wise”.
The rest two are; the 54-year old Minister for Energy and Member of Parliament for Manhyia South Constituency, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh alias “Napo” whose onetime deputy Minister at Education ministry, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, 58-year old and MP for the Bosomtwe Constituency, is also interested in the NPP running mate slot.
Perhaps, the most surprising name also making the rounds in the NPP as interested in the slot and amassed enough financial muscle to hold her own is that of Ursula Gifty Derma Owusu-Ekuful, the MP for Ablekuma West Constituency in Greater Accra Region and the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation.
The 57-year old Ursula, is from Akim Oda in the Eastern Region and has been a face of the party’s women activism and gender advocacy, but her politics, has never been bereft of vicious and vitriolic attacks on political opponents.
Reports from the NPP regional elections, have suggested that the Vice-President is ahead of many of the party’s contenders for the NPP flag bearer slot, and this is said to have intensified the lobbying, and the coming days will witness more of such moves.
Dr Bawumia himself, appears confident in his chances of leading the NPP, as media reports say, he is cruising ahead of Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen and the others, having gotten many of his supporters elected at the polling station, constituency and regional levels.
The Herald’s nosing around Dr Bawmuia, for his most preferred choice of a running mate among Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Joseph Osei-Owusu, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has not yielded anything meaningful.
They are said not to be for the Bawumia-Alan ticket being pushed by Nana Akomea, the former Member of Parliament for Okaikwei and currently the managing director of the Intercity State Transport Company (STC) and Samuel Atta Akyea, ex-Minister for Works and Housing, who is the current Member of Parliament of Akim Abuakwa South constituency
This paper has picked up that his campaign team is currently focused on the National Executive election which comes off just next month; July and has openly thrown its weight behind some big shots in the party, including John Buadu, the incumbent General Secretary.
The campaign team of Dr Bawumia, yesterday endorsed the candidature of the General Secretary of Buadu, when his Campaign Manager, Fred Oware, was prominently seen gracing the campaign launch.
Mr Oware was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bui Power Limited before taking up the position of Campaign Manager for the Vice President.
Other stalwarts of the party present at the Campaign launch were the former Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, Deputy Chief of Staff, Adumuah Bossman, Lord Commey, Director of Operations at the Office of the President, Kofi Apkalu, flag bearer of the Liberal Party of Ghana, Oboshie Sai-Coffie, Media Advisor to the President, Freddie Blay, outgoing National Chairman of the party, Mr Bernard Antwi Boasiako, Ashanti Regional Chairman, Divine Otoo Agorhum, Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Chairman Samba, Northern Regional Chairman and Kate Gyamfuah, National Women’s Organizer.
Others are; Nana Akomea, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of State Transport Company Limited, Dr Oko Boye, CEO of National Health Insurance Authority, Joe Ghartey, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado Constituency in the Western Region and flagbearer aspirant, MP for Amasaman Constituency, Afrifa Mensah, Vincent Essifuah, MP for Tafo, Dominic Aduah, CEO of GNPC Foundation, Farouk Aliu Mahama, MP for Yendi, and Deputy Majority Chief, Habib Iddrissu among others.
At the launch, John Boadu, announced that the party’s ideological institute to imbibe into supporters the ideologies of the party, will be inaugurated as soon as the party was done with the organization of the elections.
He said Prof Mike Oquaye, has been appointed as the governing council chairman, adding the infrastructure for the school is ready.
Aside Dr Bawumia, the MP for or Essikado Ketan, Joe Ghartey, Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto and Mr Boakye Agyarko, former Energy Minister, have announced their bid for the top slot in the NPP.
Businessman and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, recently also announced that he is going to contest.
More to come!