The running mate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has stressed the need for peace and unity amongst the Moslem communities in the country, in order to help push the NPP government's agenda of eradicating poverty and achieving a middle-income economic status.
Dr.Bawumia noted that such peace and unity were necessary since it would guarantee the stability of the nation's democracy and eliminate all forms of threats that tend to impact negatively on the socio-economic development of the country.
The NPP running mate made this call when he paid a courtesy call on the Chiefs and Elders of the Zongo communities in Kumasi. Dr.Bawumia, who is in the Ashanti Region on a five day campaign tour, to canvass support for the ruling party, said the time had come for the Chiefs and People of the Zongo communities to actively engage politicians on their developmental policies geared towards improving the relatively deprived Zongo communities.
He observed that even though the present government had significantly improved the situation over the past seven-years of its administration, the Zongo communities were generally lacking behind in terms of development, and said there was the need for all hands to be on deck to help address the imbalance in order to bridge the developmental gap.
Dr.Bawumia noted that the government of the New Patriotic Party had brought a number of social policies, aimed at cushioning the poor and the vulnerable in the country, in the area of education and health, such as the Capitation grant, School feeding programme, free basic education and the National Health Insurance Scheme, through their prudent economic management.
Describing the NPP government's policies as a non-discriminatory one, Dr.Bawumia pledged that the flag bearer of the party for the 2008 elections would be seeking to consolidate the county's economic gains under President Kufuor through a non-partisan approach to developmental issues, stressing that the nation's economic success or otherwise would depend largely on whether the NPP wins this year' election or not. He therefore urged the Zongo communities to change their voting pattern and instead rally behind the ruling party in order to ensure a resounding victory.
Amongst the places the NPP running mate visited in the first day of his tour included the palace of the Chief of Zongo, where he was officially introduced to the Chief, Sarkin Alhaji Ibrahim Dansuru and his Elders, the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Alhaji Imran Musah, before addressing separate rallies in the Asawase and Bantama constituencies.
Prayers were said for the NPP running mate and his entourage, who included the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon E.A Owusu Ansah, the National Youth Organizer of the party, John Boadu, the former National Vice Chairman of the party, Mr. Stephen Ntim, the Metro Chief Executive, Mad. Patricia Appiagyei and the Asawase NPP Parliamentary candidate, Dr.Mohammed Kadiri.
An opinion leader in the Zongo and the Chief Executive Officer of the King Faisal Football Club, Alhaji Grunsah, who is also a member of the running mate's campaign team, urged voters in the Asawase constituency to consider the numerous achievements of the NPP in the past seven years and vote massively for the party. Alhaji Grunsah observed that after showing commitment and loyalty by voting massively for them, the NDC failed to reward the Zongo communities when in power and therefore has nothing good to offer them again. He predicted a total victory for the New Patriotic Party in the constituency, come December 2008.