Chairman of the National Peace Council says recent comments by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia that suggested there is no religious balance at the Presidency are unnecessary and unfortunate.
Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante says Dr Bawumia’s comments do not even paint a true picture of what pertains in Ghana’s political terrain.
“We all know that in this country we don’t elect people to power on the basis of their religious affiliation. It is possible for somebody who doesn’t even claim to be religious to be elected to power. Therefore for anybody to think that we must elect people on the basis of people’s religious affiliations, that person must be way off,” said the former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church.
While addressing party supporters last week at a village in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region, Dr. Bawumia, vice presidential candidate of the NPP, said the Flagstaff House – the seat of Ghana’s Presidency – does not reflect the people of Ghana in terms of religion.
“In this country, we are living peacefully and nicely Muslims and Christians. So we believe in the NPP that Christians and Muslims should work together and that is why whenever we pick a president as a Christian, we pick a Muslim as a vice.
“And when we come and pick a Muslim as a president, we will pick a Christian as a vice. So if, Insha Allah, Nana Akufo-Addo becomes president, he will swear with the Bible and enter the Flagstaff House and I will swear with the Qur’an and enter the flagstaff House,” said Nana Akufo-Addo’s running mate.
Since his comments, Dr Bawumia has come under fierce criticism for making a potentially religious inflammatory comment.
Prof Rev Asante told Joy News he least expected Dr Bawumia to make such a comment.
“I respect Dr Bawumia and for a man of his calibre to have made that statement, I conisder that to be very, very unfortunate,” he said.
Not too long ago, former Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor, reportedly told NDC supporters that the NPP will jail Ewes in the current government if the opposition party comes to power in the November elections – a claim that has been wildly condemned as ethnocentric.
Rev Prof Asante warns that the insistence by politicians to play ethnic and religious cards in a bid to make another party look bad ahead of the November polls is gradually deepening division in the country.