The Dombo Argument for Dr. Bawumia is Highly Untenable: The Alhaji is unfit to wear S. D. Dombo’s Smock

Before I proceed to bring to the fore the real facts surrounding the Dombo argument, let me doff my hat and salute the late Simon Diedong Dombo for his astounding loyalty and selfless leadership. May his self-sacrificing soul rest in peace. And, may our political tradition be gifted with more of his kind!

As the NPP 2023 presidential primary approaches, many arguments for and against the various potential candidates are being sashayed across the political space. Whereas some of the arguments are very cogent, others are not so cogent. Besides, a few of them, per their nature, can best be likened to a “borrowed oversized coat”. The more you try to let them fit the persons for whom they are made, the more they look odd and ridiculous on them. One of such arguments I want us to interrogate is the Dombo argument which is currently being made for Dr. Alhaji Bawumia.

*The Dombo Argument*

Those making the Dombo argument for Dr. Bawumia usually present it like this: the NPP is Busia-Danquah-Dombo tradition. They contend that we have had Mr. J. A. Kufuor from the political loin of Busia to become the President; the current President, Nana Akufo-Addo, came from the ancestral loin of Danquah. So, this is the time for someone from Dombo’s loin to lead the party to become the next President.

Fair as it may sound, to all those who are making this kind of Dombo argument for Dr. Bawumia, I sincerely and respectfully wish to say that it is unfitting to link the Alhaji to the late Simon Diedong Dombo the same way Kufuor and Nana Addo are linked to Busia and Danquah respectively, without allowing the real facts to speak for themselves. If we can stick to the facts, we would be doing the party a great service.

A lot of the young and vibrant supporters and members of our party are yet to study and abreast themselves with the history of the party. They have real zeal and passion, but through no fault of theirs, sometimes, their knowledge is somehow restricted to the very recent history of the party. It is therefore incumbent on those of us who know certain historical facts about the party to bring them to the fore, so as to help our party people to learn valuable lessons from history. Among other things, history is meant to guide and inform our decisions. So, we should all be interested about our party’s history.

Moreover, we don’t have to rush the Dombo argument ahead of the right time. There is no wisdom in doing the right thing at the wrong time. I have no doubt that at the right time, a true political descendant of Dombo with the requisite political leadership qualities and market appeal would emerge to lead the party as a presidential candidate. Truth be told, when the right time comes, the Dombo argument would be a very fantastic argument to make, considering the kind of sacrifices S. D. Dombo made for our great political tradition. But, quite frankly, making the Dombo argument now for the Alhaji makes it highly untenable and even laughable.

You see, unlike Ex-President Kufuor and President Nana Addo, who had direct and positive political and historical connections with Busia and Danquah prior to 1992, the Alhaji didn’t and doesn’t have any form of positive connection with S. D. Dombo. The Ex-President is linked to Busia because he served as a Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in Busia’s Government. Beyond politics, the two had no relationship whatsoever, as Busia was a Bono and Kufuor, an Ashanti. In the case of Nana Addo, Danquah’s blood runs through his veins, as he directly comes from the same family as Danquah.

*Establishing connection with Dombo*

However, when it comes to Dr. Bawumia and S. D. Dombo, the only connection that can be established between them is the one traceable to his late father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia (May his soul rest in peace), which unfortunately, happens to be very malodourous. Political history would teach you that if there is one name that should not be associated with Dombo the same way Kufuor and Nana Addo are associated with Busia and Danquah respectively, it is the Vice-President’s name.

His late father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, was the first to betray S. D. Dombo and the other leaders of the Northern People’s Party and, for that matter, our political tradition and crossed carpet to CPP in 1958 for political appointment as the Northern Regional Minister. O yes, he did that to our political tradition! His disloyalty, negatively affected the political fortunes of Dombo and other leaders of the Northern People’s Party.

As a result, he cannot be put on the same political pedestal as Kufuor and Nana Addo in the making of the Dombo argument. We shouldn’t make that historical and political error and distortion. We should let the Alhaji be measured on the basis of his own political stature relative to his contribution to the party since 1992.

*Standardized Yardstick*

In any case, if nothing changes, he would be contesting against the likes of Alan Kyerematen who is one of the few living founding member of the party and Joe Ghartey, who has served the party with distinction since 1992. Therefore, it is only fair and right to ask that he is measured with a higher standard yardstick. It is highly unreasonable to argue that because someone is from a particular part of the country, the person should be elected as the party’s presidential candidate on the basis of someone else’s contributions, in this case, S. D. Dombo’s.

Even more significantly, J. A. Kufuor didn’t ride on the back of Busia’s historical contributions, neither did Nana Akuffo Addo ride on that of Danquah. Both men were measured on the strength of their own merit and contributions. For me, measuring potential candidates on the basis of their own merit and contributions, in addition to the almighty marketability factor, should be the party’s kingmakers’ standardized yardstick for anyone who wants to lead the party. Just consider what Kufuor and Nana Addo had to endure for the sake of our political tradition before becoming presidential candidates for the party and you would appreciate the point I am making here.

Furthermore, in the year 1999, when Mr. Kufuor chose the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama (May his gentle soul rest in peace) as his running mate, the Alhaji was already a leading member of the party who had contributed immensely to the party at the time. The same cannot be said about the current Alhaji. The first time he ever did party politics was when he was chosen to become Nana Addo’s running mate in 2007. If the Dombo argument could not be made for the late Alhaji who was part of our political tradition from day one, why should it be made for the current Alhaji? Political hypocrisy?

Again, it is worth mentioning that when the 4th Republic began in 1992, the Alhaji was old enough to join a political party of his choice. Yet, he was not interested in becoming a member of the political tradition S. D. Dombo had risked all his life defending and promoting passionately. Perhaps he didn’t want to offend his dad who was a leading member of the NDC till his demise. In fact, some of us, at a tender age, had to battle it out with our parents when we were warned not to send anything NPP to the house. We were ready for anything for the sake of the party.

Besides, not even an appointment as gargantuan as Deputy Governor at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), could make Dr. Bawumia join the NPP. When President Kufuor appointed him as a Deputy Governor of the BoG in 2006, through the intervention of his best friend, Prof. Ken Attafuah, the Alhaji was still not interested in becoming a member of the Busia-Danquah-Dombo tradition. He only became a member in 2007 when he was offered the kind of opportunity and privilege no one would turn down – a running mate on a Silver Platter.

So, on what basis are his supporters trumpeting about his loyalty from the roof top. That he stood in the box at the Supreme Court in 2013 as a key witness to defend the party? But, hold on for a minute, who would have been the Vice-President if the NPP had won that case? Him of course! Let’s be honest here! Any person with that kind of interest in the case would have done what he did or even more. Therefore, it is highly unreasonable to use that as a justifiable rod to measure his loyalty and rather question the loyalty of a founding member who has been with the party through thick and thin from day one. Has the Queen changed the definition of loyalty?

*Sixteen years is enough*

I sincerely share in the view of most of the party members that his accumulated sixteen years as running mate and eight years at the presidency is enough. When we objectively weigh his gains and sacrifices since joining the party in 2007, it is obvious no one in our political tradition has ever been as fortunate as him. Let’s be sincere to ourselves. He was made a running mate when he had not contributed a pesewa to help finance the party. In actual fact, he had not even contributed a drop of sweat to the party at the time. I mean the kind of sweat people contribute by way of participating in the party’s electioneering activities or demonstrations.

Interestingly, the Dombo argument for the Alhaji was subtly started by the NDC. Yes, it was the NDC that started it. And, we should be extremely careful not to allow ourselves to be fooled to swallow this bait of theirs. Not quite long ago, Hon. Mahama Ayariga of the NDC publicly said the NPP would be politically doomed if they fail to elect Bawumia as their presidential candidate for the 2024 election. Come to think of it, why do the NDC want the NPP to present Dr. Bawumia as their presidential candidate?

And, guess who also joined the NDC’S harmonious chorus, Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr. and the likes of Mr. Allotey Jacobs. Need I say anything about the Ayariga, Pratt and Allotey advice? I have nothing to say except a prayer. My prayer is that the nauseating echoes of their chorus should wake many level-headed patriot from their slumber to the realities of the looming danger. From where I sit, I see a certain group of people in the party naively or selfishly toying with political power.

A wise African politician once said “A political party that doesn’t respect its own constitution, history and tradition, is not worth dying for.” We have a constitution, history and tradition to guide us as a political party, so let’s respect them.

I cannot conclude without saluting a very good friend of mine, Abdul Majeed, a native of Salaga and a mathematics teacher of Salaga SHS. My brother, your loyalty, faithfulness and dedication to the NPP is unparalleled. You are a true party man! I doff my hat for your good works my brother! Let’s stay the course and remain hopeful.

God Bless Us All!

I remain,

Haruna Nuako
Yaa Asantewa Rd., Amakom
Kumasi

harunanuako@gmail.com

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