Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the front-runner in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership race, has accused his rivals of waging a smear campaign against him as loss looms large over them.
He said that as they battle to win over delegates to their side and as the party prepares to create history by voting him as flagbearer and winning a third consecutive presidential term (i.e., breaking the eight), his opponents have turned to attacking him personally and circulating false information about him, he said.
The Vice President gave three instances of these lies and refuted them, stating that it was crucial to prevent the lies from taking hold.
He bemoaned that his rivals are out to discredit him and sow discord inside the party, referring to their’strategy’ as a “if you miss the ball, don’t miss the man” approach.
Speaking to NPP delegates on Tuesday as part of his tour of the Northern, Dr. Bawumia denied buying a pickup truck and 100,000 Ghana Cedis for each of the party’s constituency chairman in advance of the Super Delegates Conference.
As well as debunking assertions that he intended to ensure that all NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) remain in office without challenge, he also disputed plans to bar polling station executives and electoral area coordinators from participating in future presidential primaries.
“They say I have given all constituency chairmen 275 constituency chairmen, a hundred thousand Ghana Cedis and a pick up. Have you seen any pick up here for your chairman? This is just a ridiculous lie. Then they say I will not allow, in the future, polling station executives and electoral area coordinators to vote in presidential elections. I mean how can this happen? It’s not possible for me to stop polling station executive and electoral area coordinators from voting. This was a National Conference decision. And I was very supportive of expanding the electoral college to allow polling station executives and electoral area coordinators to vote. And by the grace of God they will continue to vote…That lie must be put to rest.
The third lie that I have heard this morning is that I want to say that all sitting MPs should go unopposed; that nobody should contest a sitting MP. How can I say that? The party constitution cannot even allow that. This party is stronger when we have democracy working. And so I will never say any sitting MP must go unopposed. There must be consensus in any constituency. And so that lie should be ‘left alone,”” he explained.
Although the Vice President avoided naming anyone, Kennedy Agyapong, one of his strongest rivals in the campaign, seems to be the target. The charge of vote buying against Mr. Agyapong is being made by him.
To choose a flagbearer for the 2024 presidential elections, the NPP has planned November 4, 2023. Dr. Bawumia is anticipated to win the race after winning the Super Delegates Conference election with ease.