Who says Akans and Christians don’t have a soft spot for moslem presidential candidates?

NPP Flag 610x375 New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag

Tue, 25 Apr 2023 Source: Kwaku Badu

I have been compelled to wade into the ongoing needless religion and ethnicity gimmicks surrounding the impending NPP’s flagberership race.

It is preposterous and incoherent for any person or group of persons to venture to assert somewhat impetuously that religion and ethnicity are only the determining factors in winning elections in Ghana.

I have had the opportunity to listen and read the views of some opinion formers who are asserting somewhat ridiculously that Christians, and more so, Akans, are unlikely to support a Moslem presidential candidate.

I do not want to accept such an isolated thinker’s view as it appears extremely dangerous and out of touch with reality on the ground.

If that were to be the case, why did the same Akans and Christians refuse to support their own and rather throw their support previously behind the ‘Northerner’ Dr. Hilla Limann of blessed memory in 1979?

If indeed religion and ethnicity are the determining factors in deciding elections in Ghana, what then made the majority of Akans and Christians help John Dramani Mahama, a northerner, and someone with moslem connections, to win power in 2012 over and indigenous Akan, and a known Christian, Nana Akufo-Addo?

Let us also remind the religion and ethnicity exponents that Jerry John Rawlings of blessed memory was a bona fide Ewe but received unfailing support from Akans.

More so, if Akans and Christians are indeed not keen on a Moslem leader, why did the same people throw their support behind Akufo-Addo for choosing a Moslem running mate in four consecutive general elections?

With all due respect, this write-up is not intended to support any potential candidate, far from it.

But I have rather been pushed to chip in to confute the misconception being created by the so-called spokespersons of the alleged intolerant Akans and Christians.

It is also worth mentioning that no less a person than former President John Dramani Mahama has been expressing ethnocentric sentiments on his travels across the length and breadth of the country.

If you would recall, a few years ago, a number of prominent Ghanaians and civil society groups, including the then Chairman of Peace Council, Professor Emmanuel Asante and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) admonished President John Dramani Mahama to refrain from making comments deemed ethnocentric against the NPP and its 2016 running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Former President Mahama while campaigning at Lawra in the Upper West Region during the 2016 electioneering campaign, was quoted as saying: “The NPP will not allow Dr. Bawumia to be their flagbearer because the party is largely not in support of northerners taking up such positions” (cityfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 21/11/2016).

Ex-President Mahama continued: “Sometimes I feel sad when I see some of our northern brothers running and also doing this. They will use you and dump you. “Let anything happen today and let our brother Bawumia say he is standing for president in NPP. They will never give it to him I can assure you”.

The fact that the politicians and their teeming supporters are desperately seeking power does not in any way give them an audacity to engage in tribal incitements as means to score cheap political advantage.

We must not lose sight of the fact that most wars, crimes and genocides which were perpetrated against humanity were arguably expedited through the use of hate speech aimed at securing popular support for illegal and violent action.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that electoral tensions before, during and after elections had culminated in conflicts in countries such as Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, amongst others.

Suffice it to stress that the conflicts in those countries did not happen overnight; the perpetrators started the process gradually. They wanted to win power at all costs.

In ending, I would entreat all discerning political party followers to desist from ethnocentric gimmicks and instead sell the sterling qualities of their preferred candidate.

May God Bless our homeland Ghana!

Columnist: Kwaku Badu