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Scandal In NPP 4/4/2007
Key members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) are being scandalised over where their loyalty lies, as the campaign for the party flagbearership picks up. The loyalty of two leading Northern and Zongo politicians in the NPP to Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama’s presidential aspirations has come under the scrutiny of certain opinion leaders and concerned members of the Veep campaign team.

Tongues are wagging about the allegiance of Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique and Alhaji Rashid Bawa. Aggrieved supporters of the Vice President have accused the two personalities of disloyalty to their kinsman, claiming the two politicians are flirting with other presidential aspirants and lobbying to be made their running mates, though the vice president has made clear his interest in the number one position. This move is seen as an attempt to scuttle Alhaji Mahama’s presidential ambition.

The supporters believe Bawa and Saddique would do the party and the nation a lot of good if they drop those suspected ambitions and instead, declare their unflinching support for the vice president.

Known as “the Veep Boys”, the two were said to have been brought onboard the NPP train by the high influence of the Number Two Citizen, Aliu Mahama, when they won their respective parliamentary seats as Independent MPs and subsequently decamped from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) where they were prevented from standing on the party’s ticket in the 2000 elections. They have since earned the respect and admiration of President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, who is the Manpower, Employment and Youth Minister, represents Salaga in Parliament and is reportedly being pursued by one or two of the presidential aspirants to partner them. Although no formal deal has been reached with the high profile flagbearership hopefuls, speculations are rife that the two are the favourites of some.

Boniface, as the Salaga MP is fondly called by his constituents, has a political chip to his credit because of the unflinching support he wields in Salaga. He is being speculated to be on the side of Alan Kyerematen, the Trade and Industry Minister.

In a chat with Daily Guide, he denied any deal and rather acknowledged the role of the Vice President in bringing him this far in the NPP, stating that he would stand by the Number Two Citizen, come what may. Alhaji Rashid Bawa, Ghana’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, unlike Hon Boniface, was unable to annex the Akan constituency for the NPP in the 2004 elections. He is being seen to be too close to the Nana Akufo-Addo camp, to the discomfort of Veep’s campaign managers, his supporters in the Zongos and the North.

One of the Veep’s supporters who spoke to Daily Guide quizzed, “Why must Rashid deny the Vice President his support when it was this man who brought him to the NPP?”

Although not a ‘Veep Boy’, in the sense that he has always been an NPP man, Alhaji Mustapha Idris Ali, the Northern Regional Minister, has also been associated with the Nana Akufo-Addo camp, where he is being tipped to partner the Foreign Minister as running mate in the event of a victory for the Abuakwa South MP.

Meanwhile, the campaign machinery of the Vice President in the Zongos and Northern Regions is in full flight, with the team organizing people, especially delegates, for the task ahead.

D. Guide

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