Politics

Aftermath Of NPP Presidential Elections:Gabby Otchere- Darko writes

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I congratulate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for his historic victory as the 2024 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party. It is a victory that has enhanced the confidence of the NPP and has gotten Ghanaians in general to begin believing that, indeed, we have a real contest ahead of us in December 2024. That 2024 is far from being a done deal for any of the two main political parties.

I congratulate the other candidates, especially Kennedy Agyapong, for the race and, most of all, for their strong show of loyalty to the NPP. It was most beautiful to see the maturity and unity on display on the declaration stage last night. That is the NPP!

Dr Bawumia won a free, fair and transparent internal contest which had the highest number of voters in the party’s history. It was also the highest percentage victory for any first time flagbearer contestant. He is the first sitting Vice President to be democratically elected as a presidential candidate in Ghana’s history. He won a clear majority yesterday of 61.43% with a decent margin of 27% between himself and his closest rival, Kennedy Agyapong, whose own performance, again as a first timer, was remarkable by any standard.

It has been sixteen years of Akufo-Addo’s leadership. Now that the baton has been handed over to his successor, Bawumia, one can say that there is an obvious generational shift in the NPP and we all look forward to the new leader and his new team with a tantalising combination of both fresh and tried and tested ideas to take the party and country to the next level.

One beautiful aspect of this second attempt by the NPP to ‘break the 8’ is that, this time around, the candidate who won in the primary of November 4, 2023 was clearly the preferred choice of both the top and the grassroots of the ruling party. So the task of uniting all wings of the party for the main battle ahead should be much easier.

For myself, it has been an amazing couple of decades of experience supporting Akufo-Addo and his ambition since 1998. It took a lot of sacrifice, and hard work and smart work, too.

I know that the team around Bawumia, the new candidate, will offer him the highest kind of commitment, sacrifice, loyalty and strategic support. They must know the value of team work and ensure a smooth synergy between Party and Candidate. They have an excellent material in Bawumia and much is expected of them as much is expected of him by Ghanaians.

I, for one, relish the contest between HE Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and HE John Dramani Mahama. I can’t wait! I foresee 2024 as giving Ghanaians arguably the most exciting presidential race ever. It will be a massive contest between the two personalities and their respective visions and programmes for Ghana post-2024. Indeed, both them are in a break-the-8 race of their own. One of them will be hoping to break the 8 (to achieve the first three straight victories of any single party in Ghana’s history) and the other candidate will rather be seeking to avoid breaking the 8 (meaning, the third straight successive defeat of any single presidential candidate in Ghana’s history).

For Candidate Bawumia, he needs three things to work for him: (1) the convenience of economic stability and recovery, which allows him to set his message of economic prosperity on top of the current economic recovery (2) an NPP united, energised and very ready across the country for the tough and yet doable task of breaking the 8, and lastly, (3) that he owns and articulate a vision that resonates with voters which, in particular, the youth of Ghana can believe in and vote for its achievement.

*Yesterday, the show of empathy from Candidate Bawumia with the economic challenges the people are going through was strong and sincere. Thankfully for him, the shoots of recovery are already appearing and if this continues it will vindicate his message and give greater credibility to his manifesto promises.*

2024 is a contest between two fine gentlemen. Both have been Vice Presidents. One was given the chance to deliver as President.

Bawumia’s job, when all is said and done, is to be able to convince the majority of Ghanaians to give him, too, the chance to deliver.

For his part, he can show evidence that even as Vice President, playing but a supporting role, he was able to own a vision, run with it and deliver on it, as we have seen on digitalisation.

His message of inclusivity is powerful. His uncompromising belief that no achievement is impossible for Ghana is a solid testimony of his courage and leadership credentials.

Vice President Bawumia earned for himself the nickname: “Good To See You!” We shall leave the details for another time. Except to stress that throughout his first 16 years in politics he has earned for himself an unblemished track record of being a leader of impeccable integrity.

I wish him, his campaign team and the NPP a successful contest in 2024 and I pray that it will be a healthy and constructive campaign from all sides fought on the most important issue before voters on December 7, 2024: who best to move Ghana forward.

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