The Deputy Minister of Finance, Fifi Kwetey, has vehemently debunked reports in the whistle blower site Wikileaks attributed to him as saying Ghanaians would not vote for a Muslim president.
Though admitting meeting a US diplomat in 2007 to share his thought on the New Patriotic Party’s presidential primary in 2007, he stated that he has never in anyway made statements belittling the capabilities of Muslims in the politics of Ghana.
In a statement, the Deputy Finance Minister recounted: “In that interaction I reiterated a position which I had publicly stated more than once earlier that if Aliu Mahama were a Vice President under the NDC he would surely get the nod to become the presidential candidate of the NDC, the same way that Vice President Mills took the baton from President Rawlings as Candidate for the NDC in the year 2000, and the same way George Bush Snr took over from Ronald Reagan, Al Gore took over from Bill Clinton and Mbeki took over from Mandela among others.”
Fifi Kwetey said he doubted the chances of the then Vice President Aliu Mahama of winning the presidential slot of the NPP because the party does not believe in successive leadership and his ability to retain the NPP in power.
“I stated very clearly in my interaction, that the reason why NPP would not follow that trend was because the party, unlike the NDC, had never had a natural commitment to the cause of our northern and Muslim people.
“I stressed that it was widely known, that in 2000, the NPP only opted for Aliu Mahama as a ploy to getting votes from Northern and Muslim communities and not because the party genuinely believed that Aliu Mahama had the pedigree to take over from President Kufuor.
“And I added very prophetically that the NPP would dump Aliu Mahama at their presidential congress because the only reason they picked him in the first place was to deceive our northern and Muslim people through that display of regional and religious tokenism."
He further stated: “Religious tokenism, which NPP used in the case of Aliu was the basis of my declaration that if voting were to be done purely on religious basis then going by the 2000 Official Census, the majority Christians will always outvote our Muslim brethren.”
According to Mr Kwetey, he in person has no reservation about a Muslim becoming the president of Ghana, but was cautioning about the “NPP's kind of deceitful religious and regional tokenism”, where a person is selected or elected not based, primarily, on their “solid track record”.