A former aspiring parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ejura-Sekyedumasi Constituency, Sheikh M. Mahmoud, has stated that the choice of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as the presidential running mate has added more bite to the campaign strides of the party within the short period of his selection.
He said the impact was felt mostly within the Muslim communities and the Zongos and therefore commended Nana Akufo-Addo for his choice of Dr Bawumia as his running mate.
Interacting with journalists at Sekyedumase where he and his cousin Mallam Touffique, an NPP stalwart in the Yeji area, joined their team of researchers for the 2008 elections, Sheikh Mahmoud who described Dr Bawumia as "my brother", said the selection of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank to partner Nana Akufo-Addo vindicated a statement he (Sheikh) made in the Daily Graphic of May 28, 2007.
In that statement, Sheikh Mahmoud said the NPP would go for a Muslim and Zongo man as the presidential running mate.
The Islamic scholar observed that the choice of Dr Bawumia was testimony of the party's respect for ethnic and religious balance.
He was confident that the pair of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia was strong enough to finish the election in round one.
Sheikh Mahmoud stated that over the years, the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition had remained faithful to the Muslim community and the Zongos, and added that Dr Bawumia's choice was further testimony of this unique character of the great political tradition.
He was of the conviction that this time round the NPP would reap majority votes in the three northern regions.
He also said in the Zongos of Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern regions, preliminary reports reaching him from his teams on the ground, revealed massive support for the party since Dr Bawumia's selection.
"Muslims are now convinced that it is only Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition represented by the NPP that has high recognition for the Islamic religion", he said.
The Islamic scholar then added: "In the name of Allah, the Gracious and Merciful, Nana Addo would win one touch".
He took a swipe at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for using Muslims to look for political power only to dump them later.
The Sheikh said the NDC had painted itself as a party that was in love with Muslims and the Zongos but on the balance sheet that was not the case.
For his part, Mallam Touffique took on the NDC General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, over a statement he made suggesting that
religion and ethnic balance were immaterial in the choice of presidential running mates.
Mallam Touffique indicated that the statement was a manifestation of the NDC's discrimination against Muslims.
He challenged Muslims to do away with acts that had the tendency to tarnish the image of the peaceful religion.
He also said Nana Akufo-Addo’s choice of Dr Bawumia as his running mate proved that he, like the current President, is a listening leader.