A flag bearer aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that he will give the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, a “showdown” in the December 2024 general election.
Dr Bawumia said this during a meeting with NPP delegates in the Nkwanta South Constituency in the Oti Region last Saturday ahead of the party’s presidential primary on November 4, 2023.
“If you listen to what the “Zongo” communities across the country, which are NDC strongholds, are saying, it is a very welcoming development.
The people in the “Zongos” are saying that they are not sure that the NPP will choose me, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as its presidential candidate,” he said.
“However, if they do, they (the Zongo people) will vote for me massively.
If you take a look at the Northern Regions and the “Zongos”, the two strongholds of the (NDC),they will fall to the NPP and if they fall, the NDC cannot win the elections,” he stated.
“If I contest, I will pull more votes for the NPP in the Volta Region as well, and that will mean that all the strongholds of the NDC will be shaken.
“This accounts for their fear of Dr Bawumia because they fully appreciate that if I am the candidate for the NPP, I will give the NDC a showdown,” Dr Bawumia added.
The Vice- President is currently touring all eight constituencies in the Oti Region. He will turn his attention to the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.
Dr Bawumia is in the race with three other aspirants; they are the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong; a former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; a former MP for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh, after the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, pulled out of the race.
Mr Kyerematen withdrew from the November 4 presidential primary of the NPP through a statement he issued on September 5, 2023, citing intimidation and various acts of violence unleashed on his supporters in the recent Super Delegates Conference.
The former Minister of Trade and Industry said: “After having carefully analysed the results of the said election, it is absolutely clear to me from events leading to, during and after the elections, that the Special Delegates Conference was strategically and tactically skewed in favour of one particular aspirant.”
Responding to the assertions of Dr Bawumia in an interview, the Director of Conflict Resolution of the NDC, Abraham Amaliba, said his party was not afraid of Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and was, therefore, not concerned if he became the flag bearer of the governing NPP.
He said the NDC would have been afraid if Alan Kyerematen had become the flag bearer of the NPP.
“Dr Bawumia is the last person that the NDC is afraid of. Indeed, we would have been afraid of Alan more than Bawumia…
Indeed, if Bawumia emerges the winner, our campaign will be much easier than if it were Alan Kyerematen,” Mr Amaliba said:
This sets the stage for a competitive and closely watched political contest in the lead-up to the 2024 general election in the country.