Mahamudu Bawumia has been condemned by the National Peace Council for comments he made over the weekend to the effect that there was religious imbalance at the Flagstaff House and that a New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration would correct that when it won power in November.
Addressing supporters of the party in the Sissala East district of the Upper West Region over the weekend, Dr Bawumia urged them to vote for the NPP in the upcoming elections in order to bring religious balance to the presidency as, according to him, the seat of government does not adequately reflect one part of the two dominant religious groupings in the country.
“Another major issue that I want to bring to the attention of the people is that, if we look at the flagstaff house today, it does not reflect the people of Ghana in terms of religion.“We are in this country living peacefully and nicely - Christians and Muslims. So we believe in the NPP that Christians and Muslims should work together and that is why whenever we pick a flagbearer as a Christian, we pick a Muslim as a vice.
And when we come and pick a Muslim as a flagbearer, 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 and I will swear with the Quran and enter the flagstaff House,” he said.
Condemning the remarks in a statement released in Accra on Monday and signed by its chairman, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, the National Peace Council said it was unfortunate that a running mate of the caliber of Dr Bawumia would stoop low in inciting religious sentiments in a country where religious sects had peacefully coexisted.
The council denounced the comments "as unfortunate, irresponsible, unwarranted, and a recipe for chaos if allowed to go without condemnation".
"Elections are contested and won at the polling stations when Ghanaians are convinced with superior policy alternatives. The national constitution did not prescribe the religion to which the occupants of the seat of government must belong," it said.
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The council added that with the November elections approaching, politicians must be circumspect in their utterances, focus on the challenges facing this country and put forward how they intend to resolve them if given the mandate.