The Northern Regional branch of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is on fire over the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu's 'non-Akan' flagbearer comment.
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, recently said in an interview with JoyNews that: “Inwardly, I know I have the competence to lead the party but is it wise that after two Akans – former President Kufuor and current President Akufo-Addo” – the NPP “presents a flag bearer candidate with different ethnicity. I think it is not good for a party, which has been accused by some as being overly Akanistic in nature. But not everybody would agree with me and that is the beauty of democracy”.
Following his comment, a group calling itself the Concerned Northern Grassroots of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) called for his (Mr Mensah-Bonsu's) resignation.
At a press conference on Thursday, 8 April 2021, the Concerned Northern Grassroots of NPP said: “This, we find very worrying because all sophisticated politicians, party members and citizens know very well that a lot of variables play in a dynamic political marketing context to determine the most favourable candidate to win an election”.
But a few gentlemen purporting to represent all the polling station executives in the Northern Region have jumped to the defense of the Majority Leader, endorsing his call for a 'non-Akan'Flagbearer for the NPP.
At a counter-press conference, they declared their support for what the Majority Leader said.
The New Patriotic Party in the Region appears to be in chaos. It seems clearly the call for a 'non-Akan' 'Flagbearer has generated divisions in the North.
All presidential candidate aspirants of the NPP seem to have equal opportunity to win fair share of northern votes and not Dr. Bawumia alone.
The ensuing chaos has forced the Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mohammed A. Baaatima Samba, to serve a stern warning.
In a statement dated April 9, 2021, Chairman Samba described the chaos within the NPP in the Northern Region as "ugly phenomenon."
According to the statement, "the ugly phenomenon, if not nibbed in the bud, has the tendency of disturbing party peace and cohesion and drawing back on the performance of H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo."
The statement signed by Chairman Samba, a Mamprusi brother of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is seeking to do damage control as the reactions from the groups clearly show that northerners want Bawumia to be elected as NPP's Flagbearer based on merit and not rather on 'tribalism.'
The Vice President it is becoming apparent is not in control of the North and this move by his Mamprusi brother seeks to protect him.
The statement also sought to bring under control the sharp divisions in the region over who should be the next Flagbearer of the NPP after Mr Akufo-Addo whose tenure will end on January 7, 2024.
"Henceforth, all party people are to respect the directive to suspend all activities related to the conduct of the presidential primaries until such a time that the greenlight is given for people to do so," the statement which sought to 'gag' party supporters from showing their disapproval or otherwise of Dr Bawumia, read.
Below is full statement: