10 June 2022
By Alhajj Suleman
As a person of northern extraction who hails from Tumu in the Upper West region of Ghana, I should ordinarily be seen jumping at any opportunity to support, as they say, my countrymen who may want to contest for positions in the NPP. I cannot however, do this for my brother Salaam Mustafa who’s vying for the position of national youth organiser, for reasons I shall expand soon.
First of all, it’s important for readers to know who Salaam Mustafa is in order for you to appreciate my arguments. Abdul Salaam is a presidential staffer who specifically works at the office of the Vice President, H.E. Dr Alhajj Mahamadu Bawumia. There’s no gainsaying that he has benefited tremendously from the largesse that come with his current position. Not many hardworking party youth have benefited from the government like Salaam Mustafa has. I’m happy for him on that score.
Salaam Mustafa, like any party members, has the right to put himself up to be elected to any position in the party.
This is a right I will defend. But, if I may ask, in line with the good old adage, is everything that’s allowed, necessarily expediently beneficial? Obviously no, many, if not all, would immediately answer. In this respect, I find the decision by Salaam Mustafa to contest for the position of national youth organiser as politically incorrect. His move, will in the least, be a spokes in the wheel of his boss, Dr. Bawumia.
There are some party members who think that Dr. Bawumia should be allowed to lead the party simply because he’s a northerner.
This is a contention I find problematic because ours is a party that believes in the rule of law and democratic ideals such as free and transparent elections. Many good party stalwarts like Hon Francis Addai-Nimoh, Hon Alan Kyeremanteng, etc are all entitled to contest same way as Dr. Bawumia is. Be it as it may, those who are cooking this idea would be better off if they advised Dr. Bawumia’s aide, Salaam Mustafa to step aside from his ambition if he truly wants to see his boss succeed.
My reason is simple. Salaam Mustafa, who’s riding on the glory of Dr. Bawumia to contest for youth organiser, may end up causing aparthy for his boss, as his move may create an impression in the minds of many party people of a move by the Vice President to capture the soul of the party with his cronies.
His move will give vent to those who think the Veep is only comfortable working with people of a certain cultural extraction. Especially when there’re thoughts out there that the Veep is bankrolling Salaam Mustafa’s campaign.
Assuming the veep succeeds in becoming a flagbearer, which I see as a daunting, task if not impossible, task, he would need a more diversified party machinery to look appealing to people from different parts of Ghana. I’m not sure with Salaam Mustafa in there, if the veep can achieve that appeal. Further, there’s nothing in respect of the northern votes that Salaam Mustafa could possibly add to the Veep’s fortunes since the Veep himself is enough to achieve such votes if any. So considering that Salaam Mustafa cannot add anything from the south nor the north, his addition to the party, in the unlikely event that the veep becomes the flagbearer, would be a liability.
Many delegates may be forced, in the face of these stark realities, to jettison one of the two. And since Dr. Bawumia is interested in the ultimate, he should immediately realise that his boy is likely to cost him his ambition if he turns away from these weighty issues.
Therefore, it’s up to Salaam Mustafa to choose between his own ambition to become a youth organiser and the ambition of his boss to become a flagbearer or his boss may have to advise him accordingly.