By Larry-Alans Dogbey
Credible information picked up by The Herald indicates that, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, on Monday, angrily threw out a draft manifesto compiled for the up-coming campaign for the December 2016, presidential and parliamentary elections.
The flagbearer, according to this paper’s sources within the party, called the prepared document “Useless Manifesto” and threw it away, registering his anger over the poor job executed by the NPP manifesto committee.
One party insider, who sat through the event said “Nana Addo acted in a fit of rage.” The same Nana Addo, had rejected an earlier one coordinated by his former campaign manager, Boakye Agyarko.
Those to work on the manifesto, had been put into sectors with Boakye Agyarko, made to coordinate them, but with the embarrassing rejection of the document, the ex-banker stayed away, and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to Akufo-Addo, taking over to redo the work, but that too was rejected on Monday.
It is unclear if a third team is going to be put in place by the NPP flagbearer under a new leadership requiring more time to come out with a satisfactory document to please the flagbearer.
Interestingly, it appears the acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, is unaware of the rejection of the draft manifesto, because a day after the meeting in Nana Addo’s residence, Freddie Blay, promised NPP members in the Upper East Region that, the party’s manifesto, would be released by close of August.
Mr. Blay, who according to leaked information is allegedly accusing the flagbearer of sidelining him in plans towards the 2016 campaign, was quoted by Accra-based Citi FM’s regional correspondent, as having given the deadline on which the manifesto will be released.
This comes at a time when the NPP and indeed, Nana Addo himself, have said that even though the party’s manifesto was ready, it won’t release it, because it does not want the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to steal it ideas.
In the US recently where he failed to attend an invitation sent him by Donald Trump and the Republican Party in Cleveland Ohio, Nana Addo, assured NPP loyalists that the 2016 manifesto was ready, and would soon be made public for the electorates to make an informed choice between it and the governing NDC.
But the shocking incident which occurred at the Nima Residence of the flagbearer, has left many party members, wondering when the party is going to set up another team to start a new manifesto.
The Herald, gathered it was as a result of the party’s inability to put it acts together that led to the Minority’s rejection of the November 7 date whipping it members to vote against it in Parliament so as to buy more time to put its house in order.
Mr. Blay, who obviously didn’t know what had happened in Accra, emphasized earlier claim that, the delay in launching the party’s manifesto was primarily to avoid other political parties, especially the NDC from plagiarizing its policies.
“The NDC takes everything we say and turn into theirs, because they lack ideas. Now we (NPP) don’t want them to have our policies, so that they will plagiarize whatever we come out with.”
Speaking in Bolgatanga, during a working visit, Mr. Blay, said the party has finished with its policies aimed at transforming the country, and to save Ghanaians from what he terms as economic hardship under President Mahama’s administration.
Even though Mr. Blay, did not state the exact date for the launch, he was optimistic the manifesto, will be out by the end of August.
“Within the next few weeks, indeed in a matter of days, positively within this month, the NPP will come out to launch our manifesto in terms of our policies; but definitely the delay is not because the NPP lacks ideas or a message; but we realize that people who don’t have a message, will steal our manifesto and we don’t want to give them that opportunity to steal it.”
Mr. Blay also said the NPP, would increase its parliamentary seats in the region due to the failure of the NDC government to fulfill its promise to improve the lives of people in the area.
He noted that, the sod cutting ceremony for road projects in the area, have been abandoned and nothing has been done to revamp the defunct Pwalugu tomato and Zuarungu meat factories.
He therefore appealed to residents of the Upper East Region to vote overwhelmingly for Nana Akufo-Addo to industrialize Ghana through NPP’s ‘One District One factory’ agenda to create jobs and improve Ghana’s exports and foreign exchange earnings for development.
He added that, an NPP government under Nana Addo, would reduce corruption and mismanagement of the economy and propel investments for the benefits for all Ghanaians.
Meanwhile, a lecturer at the political science department of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Dr. Ransford Gyampoh, has said that it is totally wrong for the NPP to say that it won’t bring out it manifesto because others may steal it ideas.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning show on Tuesday, Dr. Gyampoh, who is also a fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) said, the position by the NPP was completely wrong, because if their manifesto is released and the ideas are stolen, the voters will definitely know that it was they, the NPP, who first suggested them.