As Family and Friends Campaign Team Outdoored At Sunyani
The 2016 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Saturday, openly rejected an advice ex-President, John Agyekum Kufuor, offered to all party members to cease the internal wrangling and unite to win political power for Ghanaians in 2016.
Nana Akufo Addo, who spoke immediately after his former boss at the NPP’s extraordinary conference in Sunyani, charged “I reject outright, the malicious refrain that have been put about, that there are people within the NPP that I cannot work with…my training and practice as a lawyer and politician, thrives on divergent opinion”.
The NPP leader, who used the day to outdoor his bosom friend, Peter Mac Manu, as Campaign Manager, and his cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta, as the man to receive and distribute campaign cash -a classic case of cronyism and nepotism – went on to say; “I have worked with people whose politics I do not like. When I was in parliament I worked with different people, different committees and we produced works that we were all proud of.”
Nana Akufo-Addo further stated, “I do not expect my point of view to be unchallenged, but I do not accept the party members who will do anything to jeopardise the goal we have set for ourselves.”
The campaign team, is a clear repetition of the people used to execute the 2008 and 2012 campaign, except that, some of the roles have changed. For instance, Boakye Agyarko, who led the team in 2012, is now a mere member. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who led in 2008, is not part of it, obviously due to his ill-health.
Ken Ofori-Atta of the Data Bank Group, is playing the same role for Nana Addo for the third time. The affable Dan Botwe, whom many had expected to lead, is only a team member. He is not liked by Nana Addo’s cousins. They see him as ambitious and disrespectful towards Nana Addo.
Internal wrangling in the NPP, has led to the suspension of its National Chairman, General Secretary, and Second vice Chair, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, Sammy Crabbe, Nana Yaw Osei, and about 24 Constituency Chairmen among others.
Destruction of properties, injuries and deaths, have also been recorded as a result of the internal conflict.
Ex-President Kufuor, had said he believed the NPP, would be unable to wrestle power from the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) if there are divisions within the party.
“We must not fail Ghana and we will not fail Ghana only when we understand that democracy is a rallying of all forces, some may be good, some may be bad, but this side of election, we have to be careful it does not seem like we are picking and choosing,” the former president said.
“We need every vote and my appeal is to all of you here, is to hold together. We must not see enemies through our ranks. We tend to suspect each other too much. We are sacrificing to go and take the power that is beckoning us and with that we will transform Ghana,” he continued.
But the former President, counselled the party to involve all party members to ensure a resounding victory in 2016, despite the development.
“The NPP must yearn to bring on board all those who are willing to come on board. That is how a democracy works. All regional chairmen of the party, must see themselves as servants and I trust our candidate can win. We should be looking at 54 and 55 percent for our flagbearer. Whatever differences we share let it be internal, outwardly we must show that we are together. We need everybody. If we can come together, we can see victory way before the election. “We tend to suspect ourselves too much. We must sacrifice to capture the power that is beckoning us. We need everybody. From here let’s stop all that and move on,” he said.
However, the 2016 NPP flagbearer, said much as he was saddened by the recent suspensions of Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, and Sammy Crabbe, that the decision demonstrated that the rule of law works in the party.
He further charged the party to have the same goal to win the 2016 elections.
“I expect all members of the NPP to have the same goal. I expect our party to win the 2016 elections decisively, our Parliamentary candidates to win the majority seats in Parliament and our flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo, to become the President of Ghana.”
Essentially, the event was planned to shake up the party’s rank and file following the violence that has been recorded in recent times. Indeed, it was a day of speeches and Mahama government bashing by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, and John Buadu, the acting General Secretary, who is also the substantive National Organizer.