NANA PICKS VEEP
With the National Democratic Congress (NDC) running mate issue put to rest and attention now shifted to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ghana's envoy to Serbia has asked that a Muslim from Northern Ghana be chosen to partner Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the ruling party.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE from his Belgrade base last week, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe premised his position on 'the NPP's antecedence, which is northern'.
However four persons are being considered in the scheme of affairs to partner the NPP flagbearer, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
They are President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas; Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Rashid Bawa; Works and Housing Minister, Boniface Abubakar Saddique; and Lepowura Nurudeen Jawula, Chief Director at the Health Ministry.
The pendulum however appears to swing strongly towards the ECOWAS President, Dr Chambas, who supposedly picked membership card of the ruling NPP soon after landing the ECOWAS top job.
He is said to be a member of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency of the party in the Greater Accra Region, where he has his private residence.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in an exclusive interview, Dr. Tamakloe said the NPP's forebear is the Northern People's Party (NPP), whose membership included prominent Ghanaians like the late S.D. Dombo, Jato Kaleo, Alhaji Yakubu Tali (Tolon Naa), B.K. Adama and Moro Salifu.
Turning to the immediate past history of the party, he pointed at personalities he described as stalwarts who hailed from the Northern Region such as Alhaji Ishaku, Alhaji Yaya Idi, Di Yaka, R.I. Alhassan and the late Alhaji Salifu COP.
Such an umbilical cord linking the northern regions and southern part of the NPP should be maintained, he said.
“It is important that we keep very active and alive this umbilical and historical cord between the North and the South of our party,” he stated.
Confident that the NPP's presidential candidate would not ignore this factor when taking a decision on who forms the union with him, he added, “It is important that the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, takes a careful look at this historic fact, which I believe he will not ignore.”
Such a running mate, he said, must definitely be a party man, relatively young, hardworking, tried, tested in government and very progressive.
Continuing with the qualities an NPP running mate must have, Nyaho Tamakloe said, “He must be someone who is well-known and liked by both the youth and elderly across the country.
“An NPP running mate must not be a controversial person and should not draw the party into controversy.
“He must certainly be a Moslem,” he capped it all.
Meanwhile, the Communications Director of the Akufo-Addo Campaign Team, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy has hinted that the announcement of a running mate will be made in August, four months to the elections, after consultations with party executives.
He said Nana Akufo-Addo would pick his running mate based on the person's mass appeal, electability and compatibility.
He intimated that Nana Akufo-Addo would take into consideration gender when he selects his running mate, but he would only pick a woman if he has to; not merely on the basis of gender, but because such a woman is qualified on merit.
He was however quick to add that the selection of an NPP running mate would not be associated with the kind of acrimony that characterized the NDC's selection.
Dr. Kennedy convened a congratulatory message from Nana Addo to John Mahama over his nomination as the running mate to Prof. Atta Mills.
Responding to a question with regard to the NDC's choice of a running mate, Dr. Kennedy affirmed that the NPP is not in anyway intimidated by the choice of Mahama for the position, giving the assurance that NPP looks forward to a peaceful campaign in the lead-up to the 2008 elections.
By A.R. Gomda & Sheilla Sackey