The decision of who should be vice president to President John Dramani Mahama is tearing apart the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at its very center of power, with a hostile resistance coming from the Volta Region against any nominee from the Central Region.
DAILY GUIDE has picked strong signals that party bigwigs from the Volta Region are inciting various groups to kick against the selection of a vice president from the Central Region, which was considered a Fante agenda suspected to have been fueled by Ato Ahwoi and his ‚ÄėFante Confederacy.‚Äô
Two separate credible sources from the presidency, though did not provide evidence, have told DAILY GUIDE that the Ahwois are pushing their brother, Kwesi Ahwoi, the Agriculture Minister, to become ¬†John Mahama‚Äôs vice and subsequently his running mate for the 2012 elections.
Dreaded former security capo Kojo Tsikata is also reported to be pushing strongly for Dr Kwesi Botchwey, a former minister of Finance who also hails from Agona Asafo in the Central Region, to become the number two man for John Mahama.
Kojo Tsikata and the Ahwois are two major power blocs in the corridors of power and whichever nominee they stand behind surely has a strong backing.
Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, general secretary of the party, is also pushing Goosie Tanoh, formerly of the NDC breakaway National Reform Party (NRP).
Though each of the nominees would make a perfect vice president, it is uncertain if they could work under John Mahama and take instructions from him, considering their pedigree.
‚ÄúThe Fantes in particular have had their lion‚Äôs share in NDC and we think this is the time for the Ewes, who continue to play meritorious roles in making NDC a formidable force to reckon with‚Ä¶we will support anyone you will choose as running-mate if he is a Voltarian, else, we will advise ourselves,‚ÄĚ one of such anti-Fante groups, Concerned Members, a group within the NDC in the Volta Region, noted in a statement issued on Friday.
The statement, signed by spokesperson of the group, D.T Darko, said if Volta Region was given the running-mate slot, it would definitely offer the NDC a leverage that would beat its opponents to the game.
He explained that they had nothing against Fantes as a people but they would certainly oppose a vice president nominee from the Central Region.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that this group was being backed by several NDC parliamentarians and a number of them in the NDC national leadership who believed that the Fantes within the corridors of power were hijacking the party.
‚ÄúSince the 2012 election is crucial, the NDC needs a running mate who is a Voltarian, very loyal, committed and courageous to stand up to all forms of intimidation in the 2012 electioneering campaign. The person must be someone who has been in the trenches with the rank and file of the party, committed to the ideals and cause of the NDC, down to earth and accepted by the rank and file,‚ÄĚ the statement added.
Names of vice president nominees that have so far popped up from the Central Region, apart from Kwesi Ahwoi who hails from Agona in the Central Region and Sefwi in the Western Region, include Trade Minister Hannah Tetteh, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former Minister of Communications and later Education, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Goosie Obuadum Tanoh, Mike Allen Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and MP for Effutu, Winneba and P.V. Obeng of National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
Meanwhile, the only two names from the Volta Region that have popped up as vice presidential nominees are Clement Kofi Humado, Member of Parliament for Anlo and Minister for Youth and Sports, and the former parliamentarian for La Dadekotopoin and current chief executive of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah, who has both Volta and Ga blood running in his veins.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo