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29.04.2008 General News

Groups make case for the ultimate partner for Nana AddoA GA-GONJA JUGGERNAUT... From RTU, GFA to LOC plus decades of public service

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

It started as a lame push for the office, but in the last several days, the name of MND Jawula has ricocheted across the boughs like an arrow, leapfrogging right onto the centre of considerations for Vice Presidential role to partner Nana Addo.

Though there appears to be a lull into the almost merciless beauty pageant to catch Nana Addo's fancy, party operatives have had to wade into the matter, advising punters to hold their horses, Jawula's supporters have insisted that they can make a case for the Lepowura, since he possesses the best all round capabilities that will make Nana's work of clinching the Presidency, a breeze.

First, is his ethnic background, a Gonja just like Professor Mills' running mate John Drahmani Mahama, 49, and an accomplished communications major.

'Matched against Jawula, Jawula's influence among the Gonja's and the rest of the Northern region will explode when Ghanaians learn that Jawula is stepping in the ring, and for good reason.'

The man who prides himself with his street creed, Jawula like Boniface Siddique, one of the names that has cropped up in the Vice Presidential race, he is also a Zongo thorough-bred and a descendant of Jakpa Warrior, known in Zongo folklore.

Suddenly, the talk is about the Lepowura Alhaji MND Jawula, with his Zongo appeal and grasp of grass root governance issues.

In the pending December polls, the sprawling urban ghetos promise to provide an exciting stage for the real political slugfest and this explains Nana's tireless efforts to establish a Zongo presence for himself and the NPP.

And with other names like Hajia Alima Mahama and the son of NDC's Mumuni Bawumiah- the deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana on Nana Addo's mind, and bam! the name and credentials of the Kpembe royal of Gonjaland, Mohammed Nuru Deen Jawula.

Claiming to counter whatever John Mahama also brings to the NDC ticket, a coalition of Gonja students, royals and lobbyists this week intensified their efforts to lure one of their own into the line for the NPP running mate slot.

They flaunted Jawula's ethnic equation of a Ga mother and Gonja father and his Cowlane and Accra New Town upbringing before party chieftains, who are close to the flag bearer's campaign team.

Party insiders said the move did not find favour with hardliners who questioned Jawula's party credentials and loyalty, but was hailed by others who insisted on "who can get the job done?"

A career civil servant roasted to the marrow in the skills of administration and governance, Jawula's politics had indeed remained largely submerged in the grit of public service, from Gabanga to Wale Wale and from Yendi to Damongo where he served as District Executive in the 1970s and 1980s. And from the ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Railways and Harbours and now Health, he has seen it all as Director and Chief Director.
In addition, he plunged deep into mainstream football administration.

From the boat of Real Tamale United, he jumped onto the Ghana Football Association board in 1994 and became its vice chairman in 1995. Later he became the chairman of the Football Association in 1999 and onto the Standing Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) with its entire network.

Those working to recruit him would first have to win over those who have Nana's ears.

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