Delegates look beyond ethnicity in choosing aspirants – Obiri Boahen

The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says he disagrees with Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah’s claim that it will not be advisable for the party to choose an Akan as their next presidential candidate.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday, Nana Obiri Boahen said the party delegates who vote for the candidates focus more on the aspirant’s capabilities, competence, knowledgeability and ability to lead the party to secure a win in the elections.

“The delegates will determine who be the leader. I don’t think that using the aspirants’ ethnic background, chains of degree and academic pedigree will be the criteria, certainly not.”

“The most important thing for us is to select a leader who has the wherewithal to lead us to break the eight, irrespective of where the leader would come from, popularity in society and chain of degrees.”

Mr Obiri Boahen stated that since 1992 when the NPP started hosting its congress, the delegates have continuously selected candidates they believe can lead the party to success and will continue to do so.

This comes after the Suame MP Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu came under criticisms for saying he does not think the NPP should go for another Akan when selecting a candidate for the 2024 elections.

His comment led to some mixed reactions with some saying it was not right for him to say so, especially since the party is yet to choose someone.

However, others especially in the north part of the country who spoke to JoyNews said that they support the Minority Leader’s statement.

“I think the Majority Leader’s comment is in the right direction. The Danquah, the Busia and then the Dombo tradition, we have seen the Danquah, we’ve tasted the Busia, it is now the turn for the Dombo tradition.

“The Dombo represent the Northern Region. We in the Northern region are very happy that leaders in the party are now beginning to see the light,” one party supporter said.

Others said they support the idea of Vice President Dr Mahmudu Bawumia leading the party in 2024 thus, Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s comment could not have come at a better time.

“We haven’t had a Northern brother. We are not going to do tribal politics but that is the actual fact of it. We are also having the hope that one day, our brother, uncle and son can also lead NPP party.

“This is his time because has been picked three times, though he has come to the party and met so many people, we are also seeing that he has also fought so much for the party that he deserves to lead it.”

Other NPP activists in the North said they also believe it will cost the party if they do not select a non-Akan to lead it especially since some will feel like they have been used.

But, Obiri Boahen stated that the party cannot and will not rule out the contributions of the Northerners, Ewes, Gas and other ethnic groups that have contributed to its success thus it is not right to make such pronouncements.

“I mean it (NPP) is a broad-based political party. So we should exercise some amount of restraint, but certain that we will break the (eight-year) jinx.”

Obiri Boahen also urged others to deist from painting Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu black adding that he only shared his view to which he is entitled.

“I disagree with those who are running him down, casting insinuations and trying to vilify him. But I believe that that is not the position of the NPP as a party.”


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