Hon. Dery: CHILL!
Permit me to express my opinion, on the running mate issue in the NPP. I have heard a number of names being put forward as possible running mates to Nana Akufo-Addo. However, one name that sends chills down my spine is that of the MP for Lawra/Nandom, Hon. Ambrose Derry.
The Deputy Minority Leader is a fine politician who aptly demonstrated his political capabilities when he unseated Hon. Benjamin Kunbuor in the 2008 elections. However I am of the opinion that anybody who pushes for the selection of Hon. Derry as Nana’s running mate will be doing the great Osono Party a lot of disservice, borne either out of political ignorance, or political mischief.
Hon. Ambrose Derry won the Lawra Nandom seat with 14742 votes representing 47.6% of the valid votes cast with Hon. Kunbuor getting 13783 votes representing 44%. By calculation, Hon. Derry surpassed Hon. Kunbuor by 959 votes, a narrow margin of 3.1%.
The common school of thought is that it is only because Bede Ziedeng of Dr. Obed Asamoah’s DFP entered the race, that Hon. Ambrose Derry was able to win the seat. Currently the DFP has gone back to the NDC, suggesting that the Bede factor that served as a catalyst for Hon. Derry to win the seat is no more available. Indeed it will not be far fetched to state that Hon. Ambrose Derry will encounter a tough fight in the 2012 parliamentary election as Bede, all things being equal will be lending his support to whomever stands on the ticket of the NDC. Being that the winning votes that split Ambrose Derry and Benjamin Kunbuor was less than a thousand, and in the light of the fact that the then former NDC Loyalist Ziedeng polled 1428, it stands to reason that the outcome of the Lawra Nandom parliamentary seat can go anyway.
Hon. Benjamin Kunbuor served as MP for Lawra/Nandom from 2000 to 2008 when he was unseated by Ho. Ambrose Derry. Hon. Derry annexed the seat at a time when he was serving as Upper East Regional Minister, a factor which played no small role in this sweet victory. When in 2004, Hon. Derry contested the Nandom seat, he lost by a margin of 8757 votes, a margin that was significantly wiped away, because of the factors supra.
The NPP is going into the 2012 election as a Party in Opposition. Mr. Derry will most likely be contesting the current government appointee in charge of internal security. This will be a very bad time for the NPP to change Mr. Ambrose Derry as its Parliamentary candidate for Lawra/Nandom.
Mr. Ambrose Derry has endeared himself to his constituents. He has shown them what he is capable of doing as their representative in Parliament, and has facilitated the execution of a number of development projects in his constituency. His people know him; they are happy that he is their MP and as an astute politician, he is versed in the political terrain of Lawra/Nandom.
Certainly, this is not the time for the NPP to even habour the thought of presenting a new face as its representative for Lawra/Nandom. That will be tantamount to giving the seat back to the NDC on a silver platter, and I am sure Hon. Derry knows that. At a time when the NPP needs all the politically strategic brain in their fold to unseat the bent-on-rigging NDC, abandoning his constituency to lobby for another position in the Party, knowing very well the damage it will cause in his constituency, is definitely not consistent with Hon. Ambrose Derry’s political acumen; and I do not think mischief is at play here.
By the way Hon. Ambrose Derry like Nana Akufo-Addo, is a lawyer, so what economic acumen will he be bringing to bear on the Executive? We all know that the Vice-President of Ghana is the head of the Economic Management Team. If the way then Vice President Mills and current Vice Mahama are playing “chacha” with our economy is anything to go by, then surely, I and I believe all well meaning Ghanaians will welcome an economic genius like Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia as chairman of the Economic Management Team.
The religion matter can not be wished away. Hon Ambrose Derry, like Nana Akufo-Addo is a member of the Christian faith whilst Dr. Bawumiah is a member of the Muslim faith. The NPP since its formation has always ensured religious balance in selecting its flagbearer and running mate. This has been the case from the time of Professor Adu-Boahen to President J. A. Kufuor, and by Jove, Nana Addo will do same. The NPP and for that matter Nana Addo will not select another Christian as running mate and this automatically disqualifies Hon. Ambrose Derry.
I know Hon. Ambrose Derry is no coward. He is not running away from a keen competition in the constituency to hide behind Nana Addo. These are the times we need him most. We need him to apply his political dexterity to consolidate the Lawra/Nandom seat for the NPP; we need him to use his political astuteness to win over more votes for Nana Addo and the NPP; but most importantly, we need him to use this opportunity, when so much attention is on him, to openly declare his intention to concentrate on consolidating the Lawra/Nandom seat for the NPP, and send Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor and Professor Mills to political retirement.
Hon. Ambrose Derry should lend his voice to the call on Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to select Dr. Mahamadu Bawumiah as his running mate. The young gentleman has been marketed all over the country and beyond and brings with him, dedication to hard work and a rich international economic knowledge; something we most certainly desire in our vice-president and chairman of the Economic Management Team. Along this path, Hon. Ambrose Derry couldn’t have served the NPP better; and I bet you, Nana Addo will be pleased with him.
By: Alhassan Ibrahim