The former Member of Parliament for Ayensuano, Samuel Ayeh-Paye has been cited for promoting religious division in his capacity as the Eastern Regional Campaign Coordinator for New Patriotic Party flagbearer hopeful, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
According to a report by Dailyguidenetwork.com, the former MP is being accused of telling delegates of the party not to vote for Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as flagbearer because he is a Muslim.
The report alleges that the former MP, in various engagements with some members of the party, informed them that some Christian leaders have indicated their resolve to urge their congregants to vote against the vice president if he is put forth as the party’s flagbearer in the 2024 election.
The former MP is said to have engaged social media and phone conversations with some party members regarding the issue which has since attracted fierce criticism from the camp of the vice president.
But in his own defence, Mr Ayeh-Paye has denied the allegations saying ‘’I have never said anywhere that we should not vote for Dr. Bawumia because he is a Muslim. Those with evidence should prove it’’.
According to the former MP, he did engage some party members in a chat via WhatsApp where he indicated that Dr Bawumia will lead the NPP into opposition if he is elected as the flagbearer since Ghana is a Christian-dominated country.
He noted that his conclusion is based on his assessment of the chances of the NPP with the vice president as the party’s flagbearer.
‘’I am the Eastern Regional Coordinator for Alan and have toured the whole region, everywhere you will go, they say they want Alan because he is a Christian and the churches say they will vote for him. I don’t have any problem against Bawumia or a campaign against him but the assessment on the grounds which I have always been speaking on it.
‘’It’s a fact that, if they vote for him [Bawumia], he will send NPP into opposition, which himself [Bawumia] knows that’s why he is always moving to churches to rebuild that Christian and Islamic union. They just want to disgrace me hence using this against me. I am ready to speak my mind any day and any time. The truth is that the NDC will use that against NPP since John Mahama is a Christian and they will vote against NPP,’’ he stated.
Mr Aye-Paye, according to the Dailyguide report, engaged in a WhatsApp chat with a lady identified as Wendy Akuffo where he emphasised the importance of religion in the upcoming elections.
‘’I was in Parliament for twelve years and I did very well during my stay. I am not the first person to lose my seat as an MP. Many many former MPs who had lost their seats to the NDC are also campaigning for Dr. Bawumia as I am also doing it for Alan’’.
‘’For your information, l am a proud Regional Campaign Director for Alan 2024 for Eastern Region and the delegates in Ayensuano are very much aware of it so this twist propaganda can’t change anything. I know where this is coming from I was your fan and a friend and I know you can do this. I have started meeting delegates to campaign for Alan. Religion is one of the focal points of this campaign since contestants are of various religious backgrounds,’’ the MP is quoted to have said in one of his chats with one lady.
The NPP later this year is expected to elect a flagbearer.
Mr Kyerematen on Tuesday, January 10, 2022, announced his intent to contest for the NPP flagbearer after he resigned from his position as the minister for trade and industry a few days back.
His resignation has been joined by that of the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto who is also expected to announce his bid in the next few days.
The two join the likes of Assin North MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, former NPP General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong and former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko who have all announced their intent to contest as the party’s flagbearer.
While Vice President Bawumia is yet to officially announce his bid, he is deemed one of the lead contenders in the race to elect a flagbearer of the NPP.