New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for the Suame constituency in the Ashanti Region, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has stated that the governing party elected the Vice President as its flagbearer for election 2024 because among the aspirants, he possess greater competence to handle the economy.
While acknowledging Dr Bawumia’s competitors in the race, the MP, who was speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Monday, said, Bawumia has not been elected because he’s a Muslim or a northerner. He’s been elected because at this time in the nation’s development, some of us believe that the critical thing to look at is who has the knowledge, competence, vision and experience to help us reposition the economy; someone who’s strong in financial management.”
It wasn’t as if none of them qualified to be the leader, but in terms of who had greater competence to handle the economy, we felt that it was Dr Bawumia, and that is why the overwhelming majority elected him to be the candidate” he noted.
Dr Bawumia polled 61% of the votes of the over 200,000 NPP delegates to beat three others, with his closest contender, Kennedy Agyapong, managing 37% of the votes to the admiration of critics who had written him off.
Although some have sought to belittle Dr Bawumia’s victory on the basis of the numbers, others believe that for a first-timer, Dr Bawumia performed creditably by winning with 61.4%, something that was not achieved by other NPP presidential aspirants in their first attempts.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has continually singled out the Vice President and criticized him for the struggles of the Ghanaian economy on the basis that he touted himself as an economic messiah while in opposition, and threw a lot of jibes at the NDC and its leader.
According to the NDC, the rising public debt caused by excessive borrowing, the struggles of the Ghanaian cedi against major international currencies, high inflation culminating into a high cost of living among others, have exposed the Vice President as inept, considering that he spoke harshly against lesser versions of these problems back in opposition.
The Vice President has also not been spared for the failures of the NPP government particularly because of his role as the head of the government’s economic management team.
But the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, believes the NPP took the best decision by electing the Vice President to lead the party and subsequently the country at such a time.
The Suame legislator believes the current state of the country requires someone like Dr Bawumia to offer the right leadership that will reposition the country for further progress and transformation.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the NPP has literally killed three birds with one stone with Dr Bawumia’s election.
“I think we’ve killed three birds with one stone. People say that the party is an Akan party including the former President [John Mahama] who was lamenting the fact that Bawumia was wasting his time with us and was pleading through his chiefs that he [Bawumia] joins his party. Now, that thing is gone.”
The fact that as a country we have not also ever elected a Muslim to be our presidential candidate, it opens up possibilities, and I think that’s very good on the part of not only the NPP but as a country because the constitution provides that there should not be any discrimination in electing people into public office. On the discrimination strands they mention regional balance, gender balance, ethnic balance and religious balance. In the directive principles of state policy, all these things are mentioned” he noted.
Nonetheless, he stated that Dr Bawumia was not elected based on ethnic, religious or geographical considerations, but based on his competence in economic and financial management.
In what looked like an attempt to stamp his authority as the new leader of the New Patriotic Party and its flagbearer for election 2024, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has already stated that he has his own distinct vision, and will be his own man in pursuing an agenda for propelling Ghana towards progress and prosperity.
I have my own vision and my own priorities. Given the opportunity by you and the people of Ghana to lead, I shall govern as my own man with guidance from God almighty. My vision is to build an inclusive food self-sufficient, data-driven and systems-based nation that will fully participate in the global digital revolution to resolve our problems and also usher in a golden age of benefits from our national resources,” he said.