Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, a presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has asked delegates to discard the notion that the party was tribalistic and vote massively for him to ‘Break the 8’ in 2024.
He said he was the only person the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) feared to see on the presidential ballot and appealed to delegates to unite behind ‘Team Bawumia’ by voting massively for him at the party’s congress in November.
“I am the third person from the North to contest the presidential primary of the party and the support is across the sixteen regions with everyone supporting Dr Bawumia, because I have what it takes to win the 2024 elections,” he said.
“We in the NPP are trying to do something that has never happened. We are breaking the Eight. When the party opened the nomination, I picked the form so I could break the eight for the New Patriotic Party,” he said.
Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, who was addressing party delegates in Tumu ahead of the November 4 elections, said having won all 16 regions in the Super Delegates Congress, there was reason why he should be voted for, to lead the party.
“If you look at our party and the antecedents and how we have been maligned, our opponents tell people that we vote on tribal lines.
On November 4, 2023, we shall send a signal to show them we are not a tribalistic party by sending a message that we are a national party,” Dr Bawumia said.
“History tells us that the party doesn’t engage in tribal politics when we are electing leaders, as we are made up of different political groupings from different parts of the country.
The National Liberation Movement from Ashanti, the Northern Peoples Party from the North, the Anlo Youth Congress, the Ga People, and the Muslim Association Party came together to form the United Party, which is now the NPP and that’s our antecedents,” he explained.
The Vice President stressed that in the 1954 elections, the Northern Peoples Party won 12 seats with Busia’s party winning just one seat.
This, he said, made the Northern People’s Party the largest opposition party yet it ceded the leadership to Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, making him the opposition leader and “it tells you one thing that the Northern People’s Party was not choosing leadership on tribal lines”.
He said in recent history, the first Northern candidate who contested in NPP was Alhaji Malik Alhassan Yakubu, who contested former President John A. Kufuor but the people of the North voted for J.A. Kufuor as the party wanted the one who could win elections.
“That showed that the North did not vote for Alhaji Malik Alhassan Yakubu and that showed the North was not tribalistic,” he stressed.
In the era of Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama of blessed memory, he stood against the current President Akuffo Addo, which also showed how the North voted for Nana Akuffo Addo, further proving why the party does not consistently vote on a tribal basis,” Dr Bawumia said.
He said the story of the Ashanti was the same as the North, as they do not vote on tribal lines, explaining further that when Adu Boahen contested, the Ashanti region voted for him from the Eastern region and not for Kufuor who hails from the Ashanti.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that among those contesting now, he was the most experienced since he had gone for presidential elections four times and had been well marketed.
“I know the crowd and the ground, the party has marketed me across the country, and I know how to beat my opponent,” he told the delegates.
Dr Bawumia pledged to give each constituency ten appointments and each region twenty appointments towards resolving the problem of the disunity between government and party.
He said he would make the appointed persons especially those in state institutions to become Godfathers and God Mothers of the constituency whilst establishing a database of the needs of the party members.