I was selected because I am a Muslim – Dr Bawumia
Contrary to the widely held public opinion that Dr Bawumia, the twice defeated Vice Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party who popularise the terms "Pink sheet" at the supreme court was selected by Nana Akufo-Addo to partner him as his running mate based mainly on his competence, Dr Bawumia has stated that his selection has nothing to do with competence but rather, he was selected because he was a Muslim.
Readers will recall that Dr Bawunia became a household name during the election petition hearing in 2013 with is trade mark answers "You and I were not there" The NPP star witness, a former deputy governor at the Central Bank of Ghana, an economist was selected by Nana Akufo-Addo to partner him as the vice presidential candidate during the 2008 elections. After their defeat to the late Prof. Mills (May his soul rest in perfect peace) and President John Mahama in the 2008 general elections, Nana Akufo-Addo retained Dr Bawumia during the 2012 elections. The pair again suffered defeat in the hands of the NDC candidates – the current president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama and his vice – Kwesi Amissah-Arthur. Going into the 2016 elections, Dr Bawumia has again been retained by Nana Akufo-Addo as the vice presidential candidate even though some within the NPP such as PC Appiah Ofori have openly expressed their opposition to Nana Akufo-Addo's selection of Dr Bawumia.
Speaking at the Seven Sister Mosque in London where Bawumia and some of his entourage joined members to worship on Friday the 14th of November 2014, Dr Bawunia who was trying to encourage the worshipers to support the NPP and convince their families back home in Ghana to vote for the NPP said "let's look at what will benefit our people, I have been selected partly because I am a Muslim, so am selected because I am one of you. I am not representing myself but all of you", Muslims.
Dr Bawumia's comments have generated a lot of debate especially amongst concerned Ghanaians in the diaspora. Many believe religious politics has no basis and no place in Ghana politics and should not be encouraged. Many others are of the view that the NPP must learn and follow the examples of other political parties in Ghana if the comments made by Dr Bawumia are anything to go by.
Speaking on Osibisa current affairs show, callers into the programme strongly condemned Dr Bawumia's comments with some describing the comments as "a slap in the face of the integrity of Ghana's young but thriving democracy". Maxwell, a caller from Italy said that "Dr Bawumia's comments are divisive and dangerous to our democracy. The selection of candidates and by extension voting for them must be devoid of ethnic and religious considerations and must be based solely on competence and the ability to deliver for the good people of Ghana. I am very disappointed and have lost the respect I had for him."
Christine from London on her part said "if the sole basis and consideration that went into selecting Bawumia as the Vice Presidential candidate is his religious affiliations as he Bawumia has publicly stated, then it must be condemned by all and Akufo-Addo must be held responsible for sowing a seed of religious politics which could be dangerous for Ghana".
Patrick from Oxford on his part said "Akufo-Addo and Bawumia should go and look at what is happening in Congo, Christians and Muslims are on each other's throats, killing and slaughtering one another as if they are not the same people from the same country, any attempt to bring religion into politics in Ghana must be rejected by all. I expect Bawumia to redeem his credibility as an intellectual apologise publicly to the good people of Ghana. Such statement reduces the value of his candidature as a potential vice presidential candidate of our dear nation"