A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy has condemned what he perceives as the practice where Presidential candidates emotionally blackmail people in their home regions for support.
Citing President John Mahama's recent statements in the Northern Region, Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy said such actions could have serious repercussions.
The President, on a recent visit to the people of the Northern Region, called on the residents to choose between him and the NPP’s Vice Presidential candidate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
According to Dr. Arthur Kennedy however, his [President Mahama] actions underlines “the fear that I have always had about what the presidency does to basically decent people. President Mills talked about ‘Adze wo fia oy3’ (It is better to support your own), and Nana Addo made the infamous remark about ‘all die be die’ and references to Akans and the President now goes to say ‘I am a Northerner looking for President; my younger brother Bawumia is looking for Vice President’ and he says there is a world of difference between the two.”
He continued by saying, “in effect, he is appealing to ethnic sentiments. If you strip what he said to the bare outline, and I think this has dangerous implications for the whole country.”
The former NPP flagbearer hopeful maintained that the practice, should it persist, could deepen ethnic rifts.
“Based on the President’s example, should other people also say that Southerners should also look at whether they can get a Vice President for Amissah-Arthur or get a President in Nana Addo? That will be dangerous and I hope that nobody does that,” he explained.
He described the President’s remarks as disappointing and “he is a better person than that and I hope that he can reflect on that and realize that he is taking bad advice and apologize to the country. He is better person than that.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo, Mustapha Hamid has said that the NDC’s Presidential candidate has no moral right to make such an appeal to the people of Northern Ghana.
He explained saying, “there was a Northerner, Edward Mahama in 1996; did President Mahama vote for Dr. Edward Mahama? If he thought about that, he would have supported all the series of Northerners that have been on the ballot way before he thought of entering politics.”
“He has been Vice President and now President; he should forget about saying that he was to help the entire North. Even Gonja land, he couldn't even lobby to get even one Gonja appointment even for Deputy Ministership. What is his locus? What does he have?” he asked.