Barely 48 hours after the election of a New Patriotic Party(NPP) flagbearer, jostling for Running Mate 2024 has started.
After the November 4, 2023, NPP Primaries, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia obtained 118,210 votes representing 61.47%, beating his main contender Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, a Member of Parliament for Assin Central who obtained 71,996 votes representing 37.41%.
The issue of Running Mate has emerged with Chief of Staff Frema Opare said to be fighting everyone to secure the coveted position.
Before the primaries, Kennedy Agyapong accused Bawumia of using the “running mate promise” to secure wide support by assuring different people he would give them the slot.
So far, more than 11 names have emerged with almost all of them hailing from the Ashanti Region.
Onyinah the surprise name
Sources told MyNewsGh.com Apostle Professor Kwadwo Nimfour Opoku Onyinah, the famous Ghanaian theologian, a televangelist, who served as The Church of Pentecost Chairman from 2008 to 2018 is under strong consideration.
The Church leader is said to have been instrumental in Dr. Bawumia’s popularity among the Christian Clergy and his selection will complement Bawumia within the Christian community.
Advocates for Onyinah also say he hails from the Ashanti Region which is key to the 2024 election for NPP to break the 8.
He was born in Aduman in the Ashanti Region to Opanin Kwame Onyinah and Maame Rebecca Akosua Addai of Aduman.
As per Akan tradition,he was named after his grand-uncle, a popular chief of Dwumakyi village called Opanin Nimfour. He grew up with the name
Onyinah founded the Pentecost International Worship Centre, a ministry of The Church of Pentecost in 1993. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree in theological studies from the University of Birmingham (2002) and a master of theology in applied theology from Regents Theological College. He is the last of the Apostles who walked with the founder of The Church of Pentecost, Pastor James McKeown. Onyinah joined the ministry of The Church of Pentecost in 1976 and has served in various positions, including rector of Pentecost University College, an executive council member and the first International Missions Director of the church. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the Pentecost Theological Seminary. Onyinah served as a member of National Peace Council in Ghana, the president of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council from 2011 to 2019, chairman of the Ghana Evangelism Committee from 2010 to date.
Old name NAPO
Even before the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announced his run, many NPP members picked Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh as his potential running mate. But it will not be an easy ride for him after the primaries.
Some of his backers to become Running Mate is Kennedy Agyapong, who has become a key kingmaker after the just-ended Primaries.
While he has strong support from Manhyia Palace and the party grassroots, his critics say he has a penchant for loose talk.
Born on 23 May 1968 in Ashanti New Town, a suburb of Kumasi, and hails from Pakyi No. 2 in the Ashanti Region, Opoku Prempeh popularly known as NAPO started his basic education at KNUST Primary and continued to Prempeh College in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana, for his middle school education.
A member of the Ashanti Royal family, he studied Human Biology and Medicine at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and completed his MB CHB in 1994 before continuing with post-graduate studies in MSc. Clinical Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences in 1998 and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he studied Leadership and Government.
In 2002, he pursued postgraduate training in surgery in the UK (MRCS). He has been a Minister of Education In Akufo-Addo’s first term. He is now Energy Minister.
Prior to entering parliament, Prempeh served as CEO of Keyedmap Security Services Limited from 2004 to 2009. He is also a medical doctor and served as a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2003.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is said to be quietly eyeing the opportunity without exposing himself. Oppong Nkrumah unsuccessfully lobbied to be made Deputy Minister of Finance to prepare his CV for the position but was swerved and maintained at the Information Ministry.
Oppong Nkrumah was born in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. His parents are Kwame Oppong Nkrumah and Felicia Oppong Nkrumah.
His mother was a teacher and his father was initially a teacher before becoming a banker. He hails from Akim Anyinase.
Nkrumah had his basic school education at St. Bernadette Soubirous School in Dansoman, continued to Pope John Senior High School in Koforidua for his senior high education and later studied at the University of Cape Coast, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. In 2012 he graduated with an MBA in Marketing from the University of Ghana, Legon. In 2014 he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) at the GIMPA Faculty of Law after two years of studies. In 2016 he was called to the Bar as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
Those opposed to his running mate ambition say at age 41, he should wait his turn as he has age on his side.
Joe Wise as VP
The Member of Parliament for Bekwai Joe Osei-Owusu 22 popularly known as Joe Wise has already announced it 1wQa1ahe won’t seek parliamentary re-election.
Some sources say he is one of the people Bawumia has a close relationship with. But his critics say he is a loose talker and temperamentally unfit for the running mate role
But already he is not returning to parliament. The 4-term MP says he believes he has done enough for his constituents and the party in Parliament hence a decision to bow out for a new face to take over as Member of Parliament for Bekwai.
“I’ll not contest again. I’m making way for a different face; I have done my part for Constituency and it is time for me to rest for another person to continue,” he told Oyerepa FM.
The former DVLA Boss after an unjustified painful defeat in 2008 NPP Bekwai Constituency Parliamentary Primaries, contested as an independent candidate in the Parliamentary election and won. He polled 34,700 votes to unseat the incumbent New Patriotic Party candidate, Mr Ignatius Kofi Poku Adusei, who had 8,560 votes out of over 43,260 total votes cast in the parliamentary election.
Other names that may come under consideration as potential running mates include Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communication, Adutwum Minister of Education and MP for Bosomtwe, Deputy Finance Minister and Ejisu MP John Kumah among others.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has reportedly told Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia he is not interested in the Running Mate slot.