Deputy Finance Minister Rejects Bawumia
The yet-to-be-launched campaign of the Vice President, Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia, has been dealt a heavy blow, following a decision by a Deputy Minister of Finance to “cross carpet” to the John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen camp, ahead of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primaries slated for this November.
Madam Abena Osei Asare was perhaps the biggest shock of many, when she joined Mr. Kyerematen’s campaign team at the Obra Spot last Saturday, for the ‘Aduru wo so’ health walk, meant to whip up support for the former Minister of Trade and Industry.
But this did not come as any surprise to those who are keenly monitoring and following certain developments in the NPP flagbearer race, as The Anchor is reliably informed that a number of appointees of government are quietly in Alan’s camp and heavily supporting him.
However, due to the position they occupy as ministers, chief executive officers (CEOs), board chairmen and chairpersons, among others, many are unable to openly disclose the particular candidate they support, just to keep their jobs.
Insiders have told The Anchor that, in the coming days, many of these appointees will come out openly to show the camp they belong, amidst resignations.
Until now, not many had known the deputy minister was an ardent supporter of the former trade minister, who is preparing to contest the likes of Dr.Bawumia and a couple of other flagbearer hopefuls of the NPP, including the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Assin Central, Ken Agyapong.
Her participation in the walk is considered as interesting because of her role in government as a deputy minister, who many naturally had thought will support the ‘system candidate’ in the person of Dr.Bawumia.
Additionally, having worked at the finance ministry, under her boss, Ken Ofori-Atta, where Dr.Bawumia happens to be chairman of government’s economic management team, many had expected that Ms.Abena Asare, giving her background as a chartered accountant, would tilt her allegiance towards the Vice President’s camp.
But it looks like this can only remain a wishful thinking, as Ms. Osei Asare appears to have a different plan and agenda in the selection of who becomes the next flagbearer for the NPP.
As a Member of Parliament (MP) for Atiwa East in the Eastern Region, she has not only been in parliament for three successive terms since becoming a lawmaker in 2013, but she was also one of the few appointees, who were maintained as ministers by President Akufo-Addo in his second term.
Others who have declared their support for the former trade minister and joined the walk were MP for Mpraeso, Davis Ansah Opoku (OPK), who was MC on the day; MP for Bortianor Ngleshi Amanfrom, Sylvester Tetteh, and MP for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah.
Also present were a former general secretary of the NPP, Nana Ohene Ntow; former Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister Catherine Afeku; former MP for the Adenta constituency, Yaw Buaben Asamoa; Sammy Crabbe, Hopeson Adorye, Richard Nyamah and Fred Oware.
Meanwhile in a related development, The Anchor has gathered that many of such appointees of the President are in the pipeline waiting to come out to join the campaign.
According to the MP for the Ngleshie-Amanfro constituency, Sylvester Tetteh, there are many bigwigs, including MPs and old stalwarts of the party who are eager to join the train.
The MP, who has been appointed the Greater Accra Regional Campaign Manager of the Alan camp, said other bigwigs who matter in the region are also behind the team.
“Many more people you don’t see them talking, but if I look at the wealth of experience in Greater Accra, if you talk of the likes of Sammy Crabbe, the likes of Ayikoi Otoo, Nii Ayitey Boafo, Nii Adu Mantey, Gladys Asheley Nortey and many more people and those who really matter in Greater Accra NPP politics, they are lending their support to the Alan Kyerematen bid to become the flagbearer of our party,” he bragged.
The Ngleshie Amanfro MP said the decision to organise the walk in Accra did not come easy, but said it was hugely successful.
Speaking on Metro Television Good Morning Ghana programme on Tuesday May 2, Mr. Tetteh told host “Randy, let me tell you, in Greater Accra, 21 percent of the 39 eligible voters are the grassroots men working for Alan. Even before we start, of this 39,000, so to begin with, we already have a base and I knew the people I am in touch with, so when people are making the noise and all that.”
He added, “But the most significant thing is, I had a lot of calls from very senior members of this party and it is not Alan patting me on the shoulders or anybody close to the campaign, because they knew what we were doing and I was convinced. People who hitherto were not supporting us, who doubted it said if not for anything you brought life to this party.”
He also spoke of the sabotage and the frantic efforts to ensure that the walk never happened, saying “I was laughing because I knew the people I was talking to on the grounds, even without buses to convey them they walked to the grounds. I am particularly grateful to the team that I worked with within Greater Accra.”
The MP, who has not failed to express the intimidation tactics and threats he has suffered since declaring his support for Mr.Kyerematen thanked all who joined in the walk, encouraging them not to be despaired.
“So for me, we keep thanking God and we keep thanking the delegates and those who keep encouraging us, even though they can’t show face they are the people we thank them the most.
“Randy, if somebody is looking over your shoulders the text messages I have on my phone some Members of Parliament, constituency chairmen, regional executives I love it.
“Me, I get messages, even on my social media handles, you will be a one-term MP for going against this candidate, we will come after you. Yes, I get it, it’s public, some of them are public. I will share it as we go but these are surrogates, there are people behind them who don’t want to show their faces. So, they will threaten you, you will lose your primaries, you cannot get to Parliament again, you will not get anything from the system,” he said.
In the light of these threatening and intimidation moves, Mr. Tetteh said he is unfazed as he is still being given the needed support by appointees of the President.
This is not the first time the MP is talking about these intimidation tactics. In the past, he revealed attempts to ensure roads in his constituency were not going to be fixed because of his choice of candidate for the contest.
But he said things are moving well in his area, boasting “But there are people in this party who know my style and they are ministers, CEOs and the rest. They give me unlimited access. As I speak, Honourable Amoako Atta, he’s instructed a contractor to begin the construction of a road in my constituency. He doesn’t know who I am supporting? So if you are a chairman, regional executive or anybody, don’t be afraid.”
The next phase of the ‘Aduru wo so’ health walk is slated for Tamale in the Northern Region, after Kumasi and Accra.
Meanwhile, the Vice President has announced he will contest in the NPP flagbearer race.
According to Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia, he is prepared to lead the party to “break the eight.” He made this known to the Majority caucus in a meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
The NPP has scheduled its presidential primaries for November 2023. The nomination period for the primaries will begin on 26 May and end on 24 June, 2023.