April 24, 2024

It is without a doubt that national executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will have tough work in supervising its presidential primary as, already, aspirants have started taking aim at one another.

Jabs over the past week among leading candidates have highlighted what analysts have predicted to be the most crucial decision for the party and its future.

But one thing is certain – the race for who leads the party into the 2024 polls will go down right to the wire.

The campaigns are taking shape, and so have the salvos.

Amid the competitiveness of the primary, it remains a potent battle that could eventually leave the NPP scared in the wake of its quest to ‘Breaking the Eight’.

Should the party focus on the internal primary or look beyond it as a larger contest with the National Democratic Congress (NDC)?

If the latter is anything to consider, how can the NPP – at this critical time – preserve its unity and eschew acrimony as the flagbearer race heats up?

This short article was birthed by events and issues that characterised the campaign messages of two leading contenders – Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen over the past week.

While addressing party delegates in the Ashanti region, Dr. Bawumia minced no words in calling out his fellow contender and the man who believes ‘Aduru Ne So’.

‘Aduru Wo So’ is an Akan expression which translates ‘It is your time’ and often borne in reference to Alan Kyerematen, who had contested the NPP’s presidential primaries since 2007.

But Dr. Bawumia – in his campaign address – stated that he was there for the party when it mattered most in 2013 during the election petition.

He told delegates those claiming it is their time were nowhere to be found when he mounted the dock as the star witness for the party in that eight-month trial.

“When I sacrificed to stay in the dock at the Supreme Court; when they were finding excuses to defend the party at the court, no one said ‘it is my time’. Now, they are saying,” Dr. Bawumia said.

In a less frontal rebuttal, Alan Kyerematen, who has ended his campaign tour of the Greater Accra region, said he would not destroy anyone’s record for his.

According to the former Minister of Trade and Industry, “I am already firm and resolute and I can speak for myself.”

He added; “I will never address any party gathering and attempt to ruin someone’s reputation to demonstrate what I can do; I won’t break someone to build a foundation for my campaign.”

“I won’t go around attacking anyone due to the upcoming flagbearer elections. I do not need to destroy somebody’s record to create my own record,” he emphasised.

But spokesperson for his campaign, however, was not charitable.

Yaw Buaben Asamoa said the Vice President has contributed nothing to the party.

“I am surprised that the Vice President himself is actually wading into this ‘Aduru Wo So’ business. He [Dr. Bawumia] came into the party without contributing a pesewa to the formation of the party [and] that’s significant because it mattered that in the beginning, men were there to contribute.”

“I challenge him to show a receipt, saying that he contributed anything to this party before he was brought in. ‘Aduru Wo So’ is a very potent process in our party in the sense that the party delegates look at long service to the party and political maturity gained from that service. It is a very big part of the decision that they take,” Buaben Asamoa said.

“Now if you say that somebody says Aduru Me So and you refuse to agree that when it mattered most you were there to save the party. When it mattered most was when the party was created; when it mattered most was when we were coming out of military rule and we had to confront a military and authoritarian regime under President Rawlings, then Chairman Rawlings,” he added.

This has since featured in political discussions, with many asking the NPP to do more in ensuring peace and unity.

The campaign for the party’s flagbearer primary is heating up, with the results of the vetting expected to be released on Friday, July 21.

If more than five out of the 10 aspirants vetted make itonto the vetting list, there will be a special congress on August 26, 2023.

For now, there are no signs of a slow down with many watchers predicting a lot more of such vigorous and aggressive campaigns ahead of the November poll.



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