The Fallacy Of ‘It Is My Turn’ In NPP Presidential Primaries… Why Dr. Bawumia Is The Rightful Candidate To Lead The Party To Victory In 2024 (Part 1)


As the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gears up for its upcoming presidential primaries, the race to become the party’s flagbearer is heating up. Among the main contenders are Alan Kyeremanteng, Kennedy Agyapong, and Dr. Bawumia, all highly qualified and respected members of the party.

However, one of them is campaigning with the mantra, “Aduro wo so!” which translates to “It is your turn!” implying that he deserves to be the next candidate simply because of his long-standing history with the party.

In other words, he is next in line. But is this the best criterion to determine who should lead the party in the next elections?

In this article, I will argue that the idea of “it is your turn” as touted by Chief Alan is a fallacy and that Dr. Bawumia is the rightful candidate to lead the NPP to victory in the upcoming elections based on the sacred history of our party dating back to the pre-independence era till the formation of the New Patriotic Party in 1992.

The idea of “it is my turn” in politics is not a new phenomenon. It has been a recurring theme throughout history, as leaders and political parties have often relied on the concept of seniority to choose their candidates.

However, as the historian and political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, argued in his seminal work, “The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century,” the success of democratic transitions depends on the ability of political parties to select candidates based on their qualifications and vision for the future, rather than their seniority or length of service.

In the context of the NPP, this means that the party should focus on selecting a candidate who can inspire and unite the party, articulate a clear vision for the future, and connect with the aspirations of the Ghanaian people.

In this regard, Dr. Bawumia stands out as the most qualified candidate, with his impressive track record of public service and his vision for a prosperous and inclusive Ghana.

While Dr. Bawumia’s vision for the NPP’s future is undoubtedly impressive, his claim to the party’s flagbearer position is not solely based on his own merits. Rather, it is also rooted as fate will have it in the historical traditions of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political ideology.

The recognition of the trio Danquah-Dombo-Busia as our founding fathers has been established, taught and imbibed within the NPP. Each of these stalwarts paid their dues.

Danquah was instrumental in the creation of our first political party, the UGCC, and served as Nkrumah’s Opposition Leader in 1951 after the UGCC suffered a crushing defeat to the CPP in the Gold Coast legislative election. It is important to remember that Prof. Busia, who also served as a Legislative Assembly member, was one of the 37 candidates chosen by the territorial councils, having received his nomination from the Asanteman Council.

We are appropriately introduced to Dr. Busia and Chief S. D. Dombo’s rise through the intriguing events of the Gold Coast Legislative Elections of 1954 and 1956. With stalwarts like Dr. Danquah, Paa Willie, Obetsebi Lamptey, and Akufo-Addo losing their seats in the Akim Abuakwa Central, Akim Abuakwa West, Accra Central, and Akuapim South constituencies, respectively, the Ghana Congress Party, an offshoot of the UGCC, only had Dr. Busia elected as a member.

We shamefully won just one of the 104 seats up for election in 1954, in Wenchi East, represented by Dr. Busia. However, another man had been successful in uniting the North into a single political party, the Northern Peoples Party, which went on to win 12 seats up north. That great man was Chief S. D. Dombo, the leader of the then NPP.

The CPP, led by Nkrumah, had won 71 seats in 1954. It logically followed that Chief S. D. Dombo would serve as the opposition leader. He freely handed that position over to Dr. Busia.

The selfless act by Chief S. D. Dombo in ceding the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, despite his Northern Peoples Party having more seats in Parliament during the 1954 and 1956 legislative elections, can be described as a display of humility, magnanimity, and statesmanship.

By placing the interests of the country above his ambitions, Chief Dombo demonstrated a rare commitment to the democratic ideals of fairness, justice, and inclusivity. He recognized that a strong opposition was crucial for holding the ruling party accountable and ensuring that the government remained responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Chief Dombo’s actions set a positive precedent for other political leaders to emulate and contributed to the strengthening of the democratic foundations of our party in Ghana.

His selflessness and willingness to work with others towards a common goal remain an inspiration to this day.

Where am I headed with all of this history, you might be asking yourself at this point. Hold on just a second, the main point of my message is about to break.

The magnanimous act of Chief S. D. Dombo in ceding the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia during the 1954 and 1956 legislative assemblies paved the way for Busia to establish himself as a respected and influential political leader.

As a result of Dombo’s selflessness, Busia was able to emerge as a natural leader in the 1969 Ghanaian parliamentary election, leading the Progress Party, which had been formed by the amalgamation of the NPP and the NLM through the efforts of the industrious Baffour Osei Akoto. The Progress Party won 105 out of the 140 seats, and Busia became the Prime Minister of Ghana. This outcome would not have been possible without the foundational role played by Dombo.

It should be noted that while Chief S. D. Dombo’s selfless act of ceding the opposition leader’s role to Dr. Busia was instrumental in establishing Busia as a respected political leader, Busia was also a highly capable and qualified individual in his own right.

Busia was widely recognized for his intellectual prowess, his commitment to democratic ideals, and his deep knowledge of Ghanaian history and culture.

He was a respected academic, having taught at universities in Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and was known for his work in promoting African cultural identity and national unity.

Busia’s visionary leadership and commitment to democratic ideals were instrumental in his rise to power and the success of the Progress Party. Regarding Baffour Osei Akoto, I think it is because of the crucial role he played that his son, the former agriculture minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto, feels motivated to run for president. But I’ll talk about that in a later section of this essay.

It is worth noting that the ‘NPP’ did not come into power again until after 32 years or so, in 2001, after a convincing victory in the runoff elections.

It is also interesting to observe that the man who led the NPP to that victory, former President Kufuor, had served in Dr. Busia’s government in 1969 when he was just about 29 years old as deputy foreign affairs minister. It is possible that had Chief Dombo not ceded the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, former President Kufuor may not have had the opportunity to serve under Busia nor the would-be Progress Party leader in 1969.

Dr. Busia was not only a respected political leader but also a mentor to many, including Kufuor. As Kufuor’s political godfather, Dr. Busia helped him gain admission to Oxford in his earlier years and guided his political career.

This mentorship and guidance may have played a significant role in Kufuor’s rise to power and the NPP’s victory in the 2000 elections having beaten Prof. Adu Boahene (a Danquaist) in the 1996 Presidential primary and Nana Akufo-Addo another Danquaist in the 1998 Presidential primaries.

Indeed, it is fascinating to see how one act of magnanimity by Chief Dombo over 70 years ago has had a ripple effect on the Ghanaian political landscape, culminating in the rise of figures like former President Kufuor and Alan Kyeremanteng.

It is worth noting that former President Kufuor, who was mentored by Dr. Busia, played a crucial role in bringing Alan Kyeremanteng to the forefront of Ghanaian politics even though Chief Alan’s involvement with the party can be traced to the formative years of the NPP party in 1992.

Kufuor’s alleged support for Kyeremanteng, even against the more experienced party members like Nana Akufo-Addo, demonstrates the formers convictions and length he was ready to go into maintaining another Busiaist in the line of succession.

Therefore, we can conclude that had Chief Dombo not ceded the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, the political landscape in Ghana may have been different today, and figures like former President Kufuor and Alan Kyeremanteng may not have risen to their current positions of prominence. It is a testament to the power of selflessness and leadership that one act – just one act, can have far-reaching consequences.


Writer: Gideon Kwasi Annor, NPP Member