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Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Ambrose Dery
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The search for a running mate for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, appears to have narrowed down to two individuals even as various interest groups lobbying from different levels intensify their game plan.

The banker, who partnered the NPP flag-bearer in the 2008 polls, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Ambrose Dery, Deputy Minority Leader, are said to be two persons shortlisted for the privileged position, information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates.

The choice of a running mate in the largest opposition party was held at bay for a while when the subject reared its head with a vengeance, soon after the election of the flag-bearer, with a warning from party leaders for members to stay off the subject.

Hon. Dery, the Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, is coming from the Upper West Region with a strong base in the Upper East, while Dr Bawumia is from the Northern region.

The floodgates for the scramble for the position were opened last week when a section of the media broached it once more, including it on the party’s agenda even as the party flag-bearer continues with his Upper Region listening tour.

The Muslim/Northern requirement has remained unwavering as an NPP criterion for the choice of a running mate.

With the shortlist, it remains to be seen which of the two persons will win the heart of whoever is the final determinant of whose name should be put out in the public domain as running mate.

Dr. Bawumia is a Muslim but his party colleague, Hon. Dery, belongs to the other great faith of Christianity, with a strong support from the minority in parliament.

A previous list had the names of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Alhaji Nurudeen Jawula, Lepowura, and Alhaji Haruna Alhassan, deputy Managing Director of Metro TV.

Alhaji Nurudeen Jawula, Lepowura, one-time Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, and Alhaji Haruna Alhassan of Metro TV, are two contenders of the coveted position whose names have been blinking for some time now on the political screen.

A revised situation report suggested subsequently that the flag-bearer could be preparing to announce a name outside the trio as lobbying gathered momentum for the position.

Whatever is the case, the lull is over and Nana Akufo Addo must contend with the unnerving task of choosing a running mate for the 2012 elections, having had the subject confined to the backburners for a while.

Although the prerogative of the flag-bearer, the inputs of other influential members of the party play a part in the final choice of a running mate.

The astute banker, Dr. Bawumia, has made his mark on the local banking landscape, rising to the enviable position of a deputy governor of Bank of Ghana.

At the time that he was chosen, many wondered whether he could endure the rather rough life of a typical politician.

He appeared to have weathered the storm, appearing on platforms and talking politics.

Alhaji Nurudeen Jawula, a retired civil servant of high repute who rose to the position of Chief Director, has a peculiar political advantage.

As a typical northern chief, he belongs to both the Zongo community and the Northern Region’s Gonjaland.

There is a marked difference between the persons from the Northern parts of the country and their counterparts in the Zongo communities, descendants of migrants from neighbouring countries.

Although they are bound by a common religion, members of the Zongo communities strewn across the country, by and large, speak Hausa, unlike the Northerners who speak an assortment of languages such as Dagbani, Mampursi, Gonja, Sisala, Gruni and others.

Alhaji Jawula’s mother hails from an Accra Zongo community and his father, Northern Ghana, belonging to the North and the Zongo community.

The same can be said about Alhaji Haruna Alhassan whose name remained at the top of the chart of favourites until the possibility that a surprise could be pulled by the flag bearer emerged.

The late Professor Albert Adu Boahen was partnered by Roland Issifu Alhassan while former President John Agyekum Kufuor had Alhaji Aliu Mahama partnering him.

With the short-list now, the Islam factor, if maintained, could see Dr. Bawumia towering over Hon Ambrose Dery.
Source: Daily Guide Ghana

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