Barring any last-minute changes or surprises, one of these five personalities is likely to be named Vice Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party by April 2024, MyNewsGh.com has been told.
Of the 5 names, only two names appear to be “new names” based on the earlier list of names that was making the rounds.
Sources told MyNewsGh.com the process for the selection of a running mate for Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia started long before the Presidential Primaries based on adopted scenarios.
The two new names said to be part of the final 5 shortlist are Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the Chairman of Jospong Group and Dr. Ben. Asante, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas.
The three other names part of the alleged shortlist that are already known to MyNewsGh.com readers are Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, Prof Opoku Onyinah of the Church of Pentecost and Dr. Osei Yaw Adutwum, Minister of education.
Trusted sources in the government told this portal of the 5 names, the one with the least internal party clout is Prof. Onyinah. Source says he is likely to be dropped as there is no formal communication to him about the matter.
“But we are sure it has gotten to his (Onyinah’s) attention and his people will be looking at what is possible and what is not possible if he is on the ticket. But I can tell you with all confidence the party may not agree with his choice.” The source said.
“The actual competition is between Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the other three especially Dr. Ben Asante and Jospong” the source added.
“Almost everyone around Number 2 [Bawumia] apart from some few older people want Napo on the ticket. There are some few reservations some people are talking about quietly but even those people don’t want to openly speak for you to know what they think”.
The source told MyNewsGh.com Dr. Siaw Agyapong may emerge as a running mate “although it may be difficult to get him convinced to join active politics but I have heard his name with Napo on some big big tables that will shock you….” The source said.
Asked why Jospong, the source who has the ears of senior figures including President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said Jospong will be approached formally if the party settles on him as the best card to play.
“This Running mate crusades there are those who lobby for it and there are some people the candidate himself lobbies them to join him on the ticket if he thinks they will cover his weaknesses” the source added.
Highlighting Jospong’s advantage, the source said Jospong is a successful businessman and an elder of the church of Pentecost with resources and wide connections.
Insiders in NPP however say Jospong may likely support Napo to be the running mate and instead stay in the background. The two are said to be close.
Dr. Ben Asante of Ghana Gas is said to be pushed by very powerful forces in the party although he himself has not expressed open interest in the Running mate.
His backers say he lacks any controversy and will appeal to moderates but his critics say nobody knows him in Ghana despite claiming “artificial” awards to bolster his popularity in recent times.
He is considered the dark horse of the NPP running mate discussion within the party.