Though former second deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye and New Patriotic Party’s 2016 flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, are both old politicians, the former was denied a possible running mate slot in 2012 simply because of his age, Minority Leader, Hon Kyei Mensah Bonsu has disclosed.
Indeed, and strikingly, Nana Akufo-Addo was given birth to six days before Prof Mike Oquaye was born, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, could not fathom why at his advanced age of 67 in 2011, the party would have the intension of letting him partner Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2012 presidential elections.
Advancing arguments in furtherance of the NPP’s search for the former Abuakwa South legislator’s running mate for the last presidential elections, the Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu opined that but for Prof Oquaye’s age he could have been considered for the running mate slot.
Veering into the typical NPP tribal politics, the Suame Member of Parliament said no Ga in the NPP was fit to partner Nana Akufo-Addo for the 2012 elections, and possibly becomes the vice-president of Ghana.
Although the Minority Leader said Prof Oquaye could have been considered for the running mate job, he considered him too old then for that post. The former Dome Kwabenya MP was 67 in 2011, and indeed was of the same age as Nana Akufo-Addo.
By the logic of Hon Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, if Prof Oquaye at 67 years in 2011 was too old to be chasing a vice presidential dream, then, Nana Akufo-Addo who did not only contested the 2012 election at 68 years, but is also leading the NPP into the 2016 elections at an advance age of 72 plus must be also too old for the assignment.
Given the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo is still chasing his childhood dream of becoming the president of Ghana at the age of 72, the Minority Leader has closed the door to Prof Oquaye. Many have said that his statement was intended to denigrate Gas as not fitting to lead the NPP.
Critics of Osei Mensah Bonsu say his comments were ethnically poisonous and constituted an attack on Gas as well as expose the NPP as an ethnic party with little regard for other ethnic groups apart from the Akyem and Ashante strands of Akans.
This observation, many say, has been confirmed by statements of bigwigs of the NPP which sought to consider other Akans and non-Akans as inferior.
Indeed, former Attorney General and NPP parliamentary candidate for Krowor, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, confessed to this when he said non-Akans in NPP are like outcasts.
Many big shots of the elephant fraternity have been caught either overtly or covertly acting or making utterances that amount to looking down of other tribes. These unfortunate pronouncements became prevalent in the run-up to the 2012 when President John Mahama succeeded late Prof Mills as NDC’s candidate for the 2012 elections.
The NPP’s flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, was once caught on tape making tribal comments in his infamous “yean Akanfor” and “all-die-be-die” outburst.
Having paved the way for his party followers, NPP MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Adjapong in 2012, also called for the extinction of Gas and Ewes. As if the insult on non-Akans was not enough, Ursula Owusu, NPP MP for Ablekuma West also stated on live radio that but for free education, northerners in government then, including President John Mahama, would have been rearing cattle.
The recent attack on non-Akans was given a further boost by former Minister of Finance and later Education, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who has been captured on a leaked tape bemoaning why Akan-speaking people, whose regions he said are rich with natural resources, are not the ones at the helm of managing the nation’s resources.
Speaking at a Regional Council meeting of the party in Koforidua last month, the Nana Akufo-Addo apostle said “…You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources…“You can’t say this openly.”
“We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources allows another person without those resources the chance [to rule over them]. “It’s never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around,” he added.
In Osafo Marfo’s estimation, “86.5 percent of resources in Ghana come from five akan regions of Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central. This is where 86 percent of the resources of Ghana come from… And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 percent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not.”
Source: The Al-Hajj
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