Fiifi Kwetey explains “Muslims can’t be president” comment

I was unable to comment last week on the recent Wikileak disclosure that mentioned my name because I was on official assignment out of the country. I am now back and wish to set the records straight.

In 2007 I had an interaction with an official of the US embassy and the discussion focused on the NPP presidential primaries which were upcoming at the time.

In that interaction I reiterated a position which I had publicly stated more than once earlier that if Aliu Mahama were a Vice President under the NDC he would surely get the nod to become the presidential candidate of the NDC, the same way that Vice President Mills took the baton from President Rawlings as Candidate for the NDC in the year 2000, and the same way George Bush Snr took over from Ronald Reagan, Al Gore took over from Bill Clinton and Mbeki took over from Mandela among others.

I explained also that had Prof Mills won in 2004 with Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, that same trend would have continued with Lawyer Mumuni eventually moving into the role of Presidential candidate for the NDC.

Not So With The NPP. Why?

I stated very clearly in my interaction, that the reason why NPP would not follow that trend was because the party, unlike the NDC, had never had a natural commitment to the cause of our northern and Muslim people.

I stressed that it was widely known, that in 2000, the NPP only opted for Aliu Mahama as a ploy to getting votes from Northern and Muslim communities and not because the party genuinely believed that Aliu Mahama had the pedigree to take over from President Kufuor.

And I added very prophetically that the NPP would dump Aliu Mahama at their presidential congress because the only reason they picked him in the first place was to deceive our Northern and Muslim people through that display of regional and religious tokenism.

Religious tokenism, which NPP used in the case of Aliu was the basis of my declaration that if voting were to be done purely on religious basis then going by the 2000 Official Census, the majority Christians will always outvote our Muslim brethren.

My point there was not that a Muslim will never become a President but that it was critical not to encourage the NPP’s kind of deceitful religious and regional tokenism but to make choices of candidates not primarily out of the need to throw religious dust but on the basis of an all round political pedigree and transcendent political appeal- examples of which can be cited in the great choices of Martin Amidu and Mohammed Mumuni who in 2000 and 2004 were chosen as running mates by NDC primarily because of their solid track record.

It goes without saying that the same way the NDC had demonstrated in 2004 through the choice of Mohammed Mumuni that it had no problem with choosing a solid politician who also is a Muslim, and with John Mahama in 2008 whose family is virtually 100 percent Islamic, the NDC will in the future again have no hesitation opting for running mates with impeccable political pedigree who also happen to be very good Muslims.

This will be the case because the party abounds with very many of such great potential future leaders.

Source: Fiifi Kwetey

One comment

  1. I read this piece and I’m so thrilled that we have honest and outspoken men like Mr. Kwetey still in Africa. I love your convictions and courage. You are an inspiration to our our future generations.

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