It is now confirmed that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will be facing the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama in the 2024 presidential election, which is expected to be a political showdown between the two heavy weights from northern Ghana.
Dr. Bawumia won the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primary on Saturday to face-off with former president Mahama who will be staging a comeback after losing 2016 and 2020 general elections.
He made history by becoming the first non-Akan to lead the NPP into a general election after being the running mate to President Akufo-Addo since 2008.
The 2024 election is expected to be a close contest as both Bawumia and Mahama are strong candidates with each of them having their strengths and weaknesses.
The outcome of the crucial election, according to political watchers, will likely depend on several factors, including the state of the economy, the candidates’ campaign strategies, achievements, their competences as well as the turnout of voters.
Mr. Mahama contested and won the 2012 presidential election but lost miserably in his second attempt in 2016 and again in 2020.
He was elected on May 14, 2023 as the NDC flagbearer for next year’s general election to face Vice President Bawumia who defeated three other candidates, including Kennedy Agyapong, the outspoken Assin Central MP; Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a former Minister for Food and Agriculture; and Francis Addai-Nimoh, a former MP for Mampong.
Certified results announced by Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, disclosed that Dr Bawumia polled 118,210 votes representing 61.47% while his closest contender Mr Agyapong polled 71,996 votes representing 37.41%.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto who placed a distant third polled 1,459 votes representing 0.76% while Addai-Nimoh garnered a meagre 731 representing 0.41%.
‘I have My Own Vision’
In a swift move to stamp his authority as the new leader of the governing NPP for election 2024, Vice President Bawumia stated emphatically that he has his own distinct vision to stimulate the development of the country.
He also reiterated that he will be his own man in pursuing an agenda that will propel Ghana towards progress and prosperity.
Vice President Bawumia wished for a Ghana that will stand as a beacon among nations, holding its rightful place on the global stage.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have my own vision and my own priorities. Given the opportunity by you and the people of Ghana to lead, I shall govern as my own man with guidance from God almighty.
“My vision is to build an inclusive food self-sufficient, data-driven and systems-based nation that will fully participate in the global digital revolution to resolve our problems and also usher in a golden age of benefits from our national resources,” Vice President Bawumia stated in his victory speech on Saturday, at the Accra Sports Stadium after his declaration as the winner of the NPP’s presidential primary.
He emphasised that he would bring forth his unique ideas and strategies to advance the nation should he emerge as President in the 2024 polls.
Dr Bawumia called on all to rally behind him in the pursuit of continued progress for the party and the nation.
He promised to meet with and consult all identifiable groups in the country as a way of capturing their needs in his plan of action for Ghana’s development.
“The positon I seek needs to be earned, and I intend to show every single voter, from the farmer to the financial head, that I am the right man for the job. I will listen to your concerns and answer your questions, because we are partners in this process and any worthwhile gain comes from a communal investment.
“We speak about breaking the 8, but it’s important to remember that that’s more than just a slogan. By breaking the 8 we break with a culture if complacency, we reject the tacit agreement that power is handed over every 8 years, thereby relinquishing responsibility for the growth if this nation.
“This 8-year cycle stands in the way of a long-term vision for Ghana, therefore breaking it is not about NPP bragging rights, it is about being able to successfully implement long term visions and policies under a consistent leadership. Breaking the 8 is not about partisanship but about patriotism, and knowing that Ghana deserves consistency, focus and follow-through, not political bickering and division.
“We will break the 8 in unity, and we will govern in unity, because regardless of the margin of our victory, we govern for and in the interest of 100% of Ghanaians. We have two tasks ahead of us: (1) to lead the New Patriotic Party to Victory in 2024; (2) to steward this nation from recovery to prosperity. Given the chance, I am determined to serve as a leader for a united Ghana, for all Ghanaians, regardless of background, circumstance, or socio-economic status.
“Ghana is a haven for peace and co-existence, and one of the many strengths of our nation is that we, while we may differ and debate, come together in unity for the good of Mother Ghana,” Vice President Bawumia stated.
Bawumia will 2024 polls-Akufo-Addo
Already, President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed his utmost confidence in Dr Bawumia to retain power for the NPP.
He said Dr Bawumia’s victory is a reward for his hard work to the party over the years.
Handing over the leadership the of party to Dr Bawumia at the Accra Sports Stadium, President Akufo-Addo said he is confident he can inflict a third successive defeat on the NDC’s John Mahama at the polls.
Dr. Bawumia, he observed, can unite the party with the support of all the contestants to ensure the NPP remains in power.
“Sixteen years of work in opposition and in government has been rewarded by the party with this leadership that has been confirmed upon him, and I am confident Dr Bawumia will be able to unite this party with the assistance of Kennedy Agyapong, Dr Afriyie Akoto and Addai-Nimoh, and all the other contestants and provide us the strong leadership to take on the NDC in 2024 and inflict a third successive defeat on John Dramani Mahama,” he said.
All the three defeated presidential aspirants, Kennedy Agyapong, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto and Francis Addai-Nimoh in their concession speeches, promised to support the Vice President for the NPP to win the 2024 general election.
Mr. Addai-Nimoh called on all members of the NPP to rally behind the new leadership of the party to retain power come December 2024.
He noted that the utmost aim of the party was to capture power hence any internal divisions might distract the party from the goal.
“I am committed to the course of the party and for history to be made in 2024 in breaking the eight, and for the party to stay in government for 12 years and for 16 years and beyond,” he stated.
On his part, Dr. Afriyie-Akoto pledged his full support to the NPP winning the upcoming presidential and parliamentary election.