Former Kumasi Mayor and flagbearer aspirant of the National Democratic Congress Kojo Bonsu has rejected claims that he is relying on his Ashanti roots to gain influence in the party.
Former President Rawlings in a comment on Mr. Bonsu’s presidential bid praised his Ashanti background noting it was healthy for the party’s image.
“Not only is he a leading, active, prominent member of the party, but the very fact that he’s an Ashanti for me is quite refreshing. Some of our narrow-minded colleagues from the past did not handle the Ashanti factor well enough. The Akan speaking areas of Ashanti provided a very dynamic presence during the revolution days,” Rawlings said.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Thursday, the business magnate said he is running the race on his own merit and not his ethnic affiliation.
“I’m not playing the card of being from Ashanti or an Ashanti, I’m here because of the democracy in the party and so the delegates will decide. Rawlings has made his statement and that’s him,” he stressed.
The former Mayor also denied rumors that he has fallen out with former President Mahama.
“I have great respect for John Mahama, I have chalked successes with him. But the issue is about democracy in the party and the future of the party. Because if Mahama is not there then who leads the party, so it’s not about him or anyone”.
On whether he was angling to be running mate to Mr. Mahama, he said: “I don’t think so , running mate is the prerogative of the flagbearer, so if John Mahama does not think Kojo is cut to be his running mate; what are you talking about”.
Bonsu also denied suggestions that he is on bad terms with the Ashanti monarch Otumfuo.
“Otumfuo is my first cousin, we have a very good relationship, we are brothers as we Asantes call it. I worship the stool, so, the greatest respect goes to Otumfuo and Manhyia. It isn’t true that I have problems with Otumfuo or Manhyia. [Otumfuo] is somebody that I respect and worship, so, it’s not true. Yes, I had problems with some of his sub-chiefs but Otumfuo was not involved in this matter.”