The only pollster in Ghana and the managing editor of the Dispatch, Ben Ephson, has proposed this beautiful argument on why John Dramani Mahama, who is sure to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) into the 2020election, should choose an Akan as his running mate.
“If Mahama wins as flagbearer of the NDC, it will not be advisable for him to choose a Voltarian or Ga as a running mate. He will have to take an Akan as a running mate for balance,” the managing editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr.
Ben Ephson’s argument on why the NDC’s Vice presidential slot is presumed by his permutations to be best if the person is an Akan, is because of the complex nature of the country’s political system, and should John Mahama heeds his advice, his victory in 2020 would become all the more obvious. Really?
This is the sort of argument that I would dismiss as a beautiful nonsense.
I have had some discussions with a lot of people, who think the argument is fairly compelling. But it certainly falls short of some critical benchmarks.
First of all, the Volta region has generally been described and rightly so, as the world bank of the NDC. The region, has since 1992, come out to vote for the party, regardless of who leads it.
It is a fact that, despite the show of support, the party has done little for the region. When the voters in the region, are not sufficiently energized, they may not have the enthusiasm to turn out to vote, as happened to the party in the 2015 election. Indeed to whom much is given, much is expected.
Secondly, I think what the John Mahama and the NDC need – if they want to consolidate their hold on the region- is not to disregard the calls to give the region its due.
In the just ended 9th National Delegates Congress, the front seat is without an Ewe or someone of Volta extraction. So it is imperative that, the region is giving the running mate slot.
There is what is called the power of proximity. Distancing the region from power is distancing the region from taking its rightful place in the scheme of things in the party and in the country.
There are great minds from the region, who when selected could complement the candidature of John Dramani Mahama. I do not intend to mention any name, as this article is not about an individual but the region
I would have expected the caliber of Ben Ephson to know that, the smaller tribes in the country make up the NDC. Most of the votes the NDC get in the predominantly Akan speaking regions, come from settlers, and not the indigenes.
The seat that the party has in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, which is occupied by Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka was won because the Constituency, is predominantly Muslim community.
The NDC, has done so much for the Central region than any other region in this country, but when the time came for the region to step up to the plate, they bailed out. The party cannot continue to bury its head in the sand and pretend that, by appeasing the Akans, as suggested by Ben Ephson, it will make any inroads in the regions.
The party cannot continue to bite the hand that feeds it.
Idealism is important in politics, but what is equally important is realism, no other argument can be more superior than having a running mate from the Volta region.
As president Mahama said “As for Kumasi, even if we construct roads tarred with gold, they will tell us that we did nothing.” This comment was taken out of context, but what he simply meant was that, no matter what the NDC does, the region, will still not vote for the party.
The NDC in opposition needs to consolidate its votes and the regions which does not change like a Chameleon.
Like Shakespeare said, there is a tide in the affairs of men. When an opportunity comes, seize it with both hands. It comes but once.
The Volta region, must cease this opportunity, since producing a future president is closer from a vice president’s position. In other words, distancing the region from the office of the Vice president is distancing it also from the office of the President of Ghana.
It is important for John Mahama to be told why he should not let go of his search for his Vice in the Volta region. There are half a dozen factors, why the region should not let go also, and I have stated some.
It is time the Volta region took care of itself and its people. The region has sacrificed enough and should demand reciprocal entitlements for its noble and patriotic labour, which has kept the NDC one.
Volta region, is not only made up of Ewes, they are other tribes, so it would be wrong and shortsighted on the part of anybody to think that, only Ewes in the region, have affinity to the party.
The party is at a cross road, the choice of a running mate, although we are all getting ahead of ourselves, must not be left to people, who do not wish the party well and have their own agenda to tinker with.
Every suggestion should be taken onboard, but most importantly the unity of the party and its chances of wrestling power in 2020, should be paramount.
No region deserves a running mate better than the Volta region. Ben Ephson, must just come again, because I am not convinced, he is more experienced not to see the crisis that lies ahead, should his suggestion, come to pass.
In politics, everyone has an interest, what is his?