The leadership of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the election of Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as the party’s flagbearer is indicative of the nationalistic character of the NPP.
“Today is a great day for the NPP. The party has made history today. That is, it is the first time a candidate from the northern part of the country has been elected as flagbearer,” Mr. Justin Frimpong Kodua, the general secretary, noted.
Alhaji Dr. Bawumia is the fourth flagbearer to be elected by the party since its establishment under the Fourth Republican Constitution.
The NPP is a centre-right and liberal-conservative political party in Ghana.
It has been one of the two dominant parties in the country’s multi-party democracy, with its leading rival being the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Since 1992, the Party has had the late Professor Albert Adu-Boahen, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, and the current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, leading it at various stages.
Mr. Frimpong Kodua, addressing a handing-over ceremony after the party’s presidential primaries in Accra, said the NPP had demonstrated a sense of inclusiveness.
The Vice President was given the mandate to lead the party in the 2024 general election, following his victory in Saturday’s presidential primaries.
He polled 61.43 percent of the total valid votes cast in an election that had more than 200, 000 delegates participating.
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong placed second with 37.41 percent; Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso and Minister of Food and Agriculture, polled 0.76 percent to place third; and Mr. Francis Addai-Nimoh took the fourth position with 0.41 percent.
The historic handing-over ceremony was symbolic as it marked the official declaration of the vice president as the presidential candidate-elect for next year’s polls.
It also saw the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in line with the NPP’s tradition, officially handing over the mantle of leadership to the flagbearer-elect, an event that came with its own nostalgia and pageantry.
The vice president’s election is expected to catapult the party into making history in next year’s election.
‘Breaking the eight’ has become a mantra for the NPP as it seeks to defy the odds surrounding the inability of any of Ghana’s main political parties to go beyond eight years in governance over the last three decades.
Mr. Stephen Ntim, the NPP National Chairman, described the vice president’s election as a historic feat.
“We have shown the formidable nature of the Party,” he stated, and he underscored the need for all and sundry to rally solidly behind the elected flagbearer.
Prof. Mike Ocquaye, who chaired the Presidential Election Committee, said the primaries marked an exciting journey in the annals of the NPP.
He congratulated all contestants, saying “There is no winner or vanquished”.
“The NPP is the winner of the entire process.”
He advised the flagbearer-elect to show magnanimity by embracing all the losing candidates for a resounding victory in the 2024 election.