The five Northern Regions, many students of Ghanaian politics can easily posit is all for Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for the taking. They may not be wrong though. After all, he’s a son of the Northern territory of Ghana. His father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia was major stakeholder in Northern politics since the First Republic.
With often accusations that people of northern extraction do not get the requisite respect from people from other parts of the country, anytime anyone from that territory decides to run for office as high as the presidency, him/she is accorded full support from the entirety of the Northern Regions. This may not be the case though, in the case of Bawumia even if perceptibly, that should have been the uncharted order.
What seems like a rejection of Dr. Bawumia by the five regions is indeed a disturbing preposition for the Vice President, who is also the choice or candidate of the current Ghanaian ruling class. The plummeting fortune of Dr. Bawumia is not just that conjectural slant to suit a certain parochial interests. It’s real according to NGO, Youth For Action, Ghana, which conducted almost a year research from August 2022 to as recent as March 2023 on the chances of the Vice President in the five Northern Regions.
Their research showed just a 26.5 percent approval rate for the Vice President among NPP delegates. From the research, two ministers of state—Ambrose Derry and Dominic Nitiwul are the main causal agents of Bawumia’s plummeting popularity in the Northern territories. Ambrose Derry, who is the MP for Jirapa is the Minister of Interior, while Nitiwul is the Minister of Defence.
According to the research, Ambrose Derry for instance, has nothing concrete to offer the youths of the Northern Regions, especially his own Upper West Region where unemployment amongst the youth is sky-rocketing by the day. It’s claimed in the report that his presence alone on the Bawumia team is so repugnant that there is external aggression of their hatred on the Vice President and his dream of annexing the NPP's presidential ticket.
Those who are aware of the unpopular popularity of the Vice President in Upper West were not surprised about the low turn-out of patrons or supporters when Dr. Bawumia visited Wa, the Upper West regional capital last week. Shockingly, most market women went round their businesses without a blink at Bawumia’s entourage. This was in contrast with the visits of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the two other front-runners in the NPP race.
In the case of Nitiwul, the findings established that he has also neglected most youths of his Bimbila constituency. Even within the NPP, majority of the foot-soldiers who campaigned for him to win in the by-election and all of the other elections he has won have deserted him. He gatecrashed the Ghanaian parliament as extra-time member, when he replaced Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas through a by-election. The NDC’s Dr. Muhammed Ibn Chambas, was appointed by former President Kufuor to the ECOWAS Commission and later to the African Union.
Nitiwul has also been accused of concentrating most developments of the Bimbila constituency at Bimbila, the home town of the Interior Minister. In effect, he is accused of promoting ethnicity in the Bimbila constituency and its surroundings. From Bawumia’s end in the Upper East Region, the Vice President is also facing the flak of his people for his inability to help resolve the Bawku conflict which is at the beehive of the Kusasis and the Mamprusis, the Vice President’s tribesmen.
However, what seems to be the biggest problem of the Vice President is his previous description of former President John Dramani Mahama as incompetent. Most people of Northern extraction, are playing back to him his accusations and are asking him to juxtapose it with his handling of the country’s economy today and ask himself, if he is not worse off than the former President.
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