The decision to elect Dr Bawumia as the flagbearer of the NPP is a decision I consider the best ever in the history of the Party. This decision will go a long way to change the fortunes of the Party for good. Dr. Bawumia’s election has put to rest the propaganda that the NPP is an Akan Party and does not give flagbearer opportunities to minority tribes in the Party.
Dr. Bawumia will be seeking to make history by leading the NPP to a third (3) successive victory, with the mantra, “Break the 8.” The question that begs is can the NPP break the 8 on the backdrop of the achievements of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo NPP-led Government, if so, what will be the strategy to break the 8?
Again, this year’s election has its own precedence. It will be the first time that the two major political parties in Ghana, the NPP and the NDC will be represented by two candidates of Northern extractions, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Mr. John Dramani Mahama, respectively. For this reason, both political parties will be seeking to choose suitable candidates as running mates with the aim of maximizing their votes in the Akan Regions. This process is called, Ticket Balancing. Ticket Balancing is the process where political parties’ elect candidates and running mates based on their geo-political zones, Southern and Northern of Ghana to meet nationwide acceptance and reflect the regional and ethnic diversity of the country.
For the NPP, choosing a running mate from the Ashanti Region is a given, considering that it is the Region that gives the Party the most votes. However, the running mate must be an Asante who exudes confidence, personality, charisma, and has the qualities and knowledge beyond average mind, and perfectly balance that of Dr. Bawumia. In this critical moment of the NPP’s transition, there is none other than Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, AKA Napo.
As a Member of Parliament for the Manhyia South constituency, Napo’s Manhyia connection and royalty to the Asante Kingdom has placed him above his colleagues alike. The icing on the cake is that his influence and outlook in Ghana transcends beyond the social milieu of the NPP and Ashanti Region. His benevolence has impacted thousands of people nationwide. Napo is a gentle moral character who has an eye for perfection, he is an action-oriented leader with exceptional records. He is the guy to rely on to get things done. His achievements as Minister for both Education and Energy speak for itself. It was therefore not a surprise when he led the implementation of the Free Senior High School, FSHS Policy in record time which led to a quantum leap of student enrollment from 800,000 in 2016 to about 2 million by the end of 2023. To top it all, he has been credited for ending Dumsor, the darkness that bedeviled Ghana under the leadership of former President John Mahama. I can go on and on…. with the remarkable achievements of this noble man, however, I will end here, in the interest of time. Nevertheless, as a scholar who leverages political knowledge and systems to advance political debates, I want to reemphasize that in this time and season, the man to kill the apathy in the Ashanti Region and beyond and bring out the votes for the NPP to win election 2024 is Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh. He perfectly balances the ticket as a running mate to Dr. Bawumia. Hence the NPP should look no further than Nana Poku of Manhyia.
John Anamganya Apasipanga
Vice President, University of Ghana, TESCON, 2018-2019.