General secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has urged the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s vice-presidential candidate, Mahamudu Bawumia, to apologise for comments he made that the Flagstaff House was not religiously balanced.
Speaking on Accra-based Okay FM, Mr Nketiah refused to condemn Dr Bawumia over the comments, but urged the former Bank of Ghana deputy governor to admit that he erred.
The NDC general secretary, however, commended the National Peace Council for condemning the remarks, which have been deemed divisive.
Reverend professor Emmanuel Asante, chairman of the council had described the comments as unfortunate, stressing that someone of Bawumia’s caliber should not have stooped so low to make such remarks.
Rev. prof. Asante pointed out that Ghana’s constitution did not make provisions for making appointments on the basis of religion, calling on politicians to focus on improving the quality of their campaign rather than dividing the people along tribal and religious lines.
Addressing supporters of the party in the Sissala East district of the Upper West Region over the weekend, Dr Bawumia had 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.
The comments have sparked outrage, with many condemning Dr Bawumia.