Just a day after President John Dramani Mahama took over the reins of power, interesting names have started popping up as likely contenders for the position of vice president, following the vacuum created by his elevation occasioned by the death of President Atta Mills.
President Mahama presided over an emergency cabinet meeting where he prayed for the repose of the soul of his former boss.
However, jostling for the coveted slot of vice president has intensified, as names being bandied about on the corridors of power include Paul Victor Obeng, a former presidential advisor and current chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
Others are Trade Minister Hannah Tetteh; Lands and Natural Resources Minister Mike Allen Hammah and Goosie Tanoh of the defunct National Reform Party (NRP) fame.
Apart from P.V. Obeng who comes from the Ashanti Region, the three others are from the Central Region and there are indications that the home region of the departed president may have the slot.
Mr Hammah who comes from Winneba appears to stand tall among all the names mentioned.
Strangely, former Communications Director for the late president’s campaign team, Seth Ohene Ofori said four days to the demise of President Mills, people had started jockeying for the position of vice president.That notwithstanding, “I think he would look at it carefully. He will pick someone who is very competent, someone who can partner him to ensure that Ghana moves forward without any disruption,” he told Joy FM yesterday.
“I know President John Mahama very very well. I think he will pick someone that Ghanaians will be happy (with); someone who will meet the aspirations of Ghanaians; someone who can deliver and make the ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ a reality,” he said.
Asked whether or not it was true that President Mills was at a point in time considering stepping down- a reason for which people could be jostling for a possible vice presidential slot- Mr Ofori said, “It’s difficult to give you a yes or no answer, very difficult.
“Politics, you know, is quite an interesting thing. Any development comes with its reaction and definitely people try to look at the future and see where they can position themselves,” he noted.
But sources in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have hinted that those being pushed by the ‘hawks’ in the party include P.V. Obeng and Agric Minister Kwesi Ahwoi (the youngest of the Ahwoi brothers). But moderates in the NDC are pushing the likes of Hannah Tetteh and Member of Parliament for Ellembele, Emmanuel Armah Buah.
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah’s name also popped up, but allegedly from a pastor and the Rawlings camp.
Another view gaining grounds in the party is not just the intention but the need to use the situation as an opportunity to extend an olive branch to the NDC founder and former President Rawlings by making his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings as the vice president to enable them to join the NDC 2012 campaign, which they have declined to be part of.
This is expected to meet a stiff opposition from the hawks in the party who feel the Rawlingses have already jumped ship with the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
The president is set to meet the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC today to fashion out ideas on who to settle on as a possible vice president.
An emergency cabinet meeting at the Osu Castle was graced by senior party officials including NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
President John Mahama, ministers and senior party officials were all clad in red and black and in a somber mood.
The president prayed that the adversity that had hit the country shall be turned into an opportunity for the masses of Ghanaians.
President Mahama cancelled his day’s activities, including a trip to Tamale.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/D-Guide
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