From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale
To avoid a second successive defeat in his own Tamale backyard, the former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, is currently devising ‘strategies’ to ensure that the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Danqua Akufo-Addo, wins massively in the north, come the 2012 presidential elections.
The former Vice President, from his own resources, has spent almost two weeks in the three Northern regions meeting with traditional authorities, and most especially, NPP founding fathers, regional and constituency executives, as well as youth leaders, with the sole aim of re-uniting the various factions for the common purpose of campaigning for Nana Akufo-Addo.
Addressing senior journalists in Tamale, as part of activities marking the end of his two weeks tour of the northern sector, Alhaji Aliu Mahama said his interactions with party executives and the founding fathers revealed the deep-rooted hatred, mistrust and divisions that had emerged in the NPP in the North, with most of the executives refusing to exercise their mandated duties, because certain crop of executives did not support their candidates in the flagbearership race.
“Even at some point, I was receiving information that some executive members, who are supposed to defend our party or propagate our ideologies on radio, and at other important places, have always refused, because they did not belong to one faction or the other. But, when I summoned them to a meeting, most of them were bold enough to air their views, and after that they all pledged to go all out to fight for the victory of NPP and Nana Addo. And I know for sure that we will regain lost grounds in the north,” he said.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama pledged his readiness to support the National Executive Committee and the flagbearer of the NPP to resource all the constituency officers to effectively campaign for the party. He also touched on the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy crisis, which he noted, had affected the socio-economic development of the area.
The former Vice President blamed the situation on pettiness on the part of northerners who always allow their political and chieftaincy interests to weigh down the good fortunes of the north.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama challenged Dagombas in particular, to bury their chieftaincy differences and forge ahead in unity.
The former Vice President had a series of interactions with some prominent chiefs in the northern sector, reminding them of the good days of Kufuor’s administration, and appealed to the traditional leaders to always factor Nana Addo in their daily prayers and libations.