KENYAN President William Ruto is in West Africa to drum up support for his country opposition leader Raila Odinga’s bid for African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship.

President Ruto arrived in Ghana on Tuesday evening in what was officially announced as a State visit, and will later be crossing over to Guinea Bissau for an official visit.

His spokesman Hussein Mohamed said in a statement that the visit is to “strengthen diplomatic, trade cooperation and historical ties between the two countries and Kenya”.

But it’s an open secret that both Ruto and Raila his challenger turned friend, are touring the continent to marshal heads of state to support Raila for the AUC chairmanship early 2025.

The government of Kenya has announced its fully supporting the seasoned pilitician who challenged Ruto in the presidential elections in 2022, to take the AUC leadership. But Ghana vote for Baba (father) as Raila is commonly know in Kenya, is compounded by several issues.

Ghana is already on campaign mode ahead of the December 7, 2024 president elections that will usher in a complete transition with a new Head of State.

The country’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia who received Ruto in the capital Accra is fighting it out with former President John Mahama of National Democratic Congress (NDC) party and campaigns are on top gear.

Bawumia 60, was nominated by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) last year, to carry its flag in the presidential polls.

Incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo who has served as the 5th President of Ghana since 2017 has completed two terms and is constitutionally ineligible for a third term.

The country is therefore choosing between having its current vice president Bawumia as the next Head of State or reelecting Mahama 65, who served as the 4th President from July 2012 to January 2017.

Mahama was vice-president of Ghana from January 2009 to July 2012 when he rose to the top seat following the death of his boss President John Atta Mills. Mahama then lost to Nana Akufo-Addo who marked his 80th Birthday last week, and has bitterly vowed to recapture the seat.

President Ruto is therefore in Ghana as the country is preparing for a transition. In fact the winner of the polls will assume office in early January 2025. It’s the new president who will take part in the election of the AUC chairman shortly thereafter, in late January or February 2025.

President Nana Akufo and his vice Bawumia have been close political allies running together since 2008. They may have a common stand on the AUC chairmanship. Its John Mahama that Ruto and Raila must talk to as well as he equally stands a high chance of recapturing the seat.

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