By Gifty Arthur
President Nana Akufo-Addo, would have to start searching for new and trusted associates, as a number of his appointees who work with him directly at the presidency, are about to abandon him to chase their parliamentary ambitions, giving the impression they don’t believe he will be retained at the 2020 polls.
The President’s trusted and known appointees,who had worked with him during his days as opposition leader, are lacing their boots, getting ready to unseat a good number of experienced Members of Parliament (MP) on the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Majority side, as the party’s parliamentary primaries gather momentum.
Names like Samuel Abu Jinapor and Francis Asenso-Boakye; both deputy chiefs of staff, have not hidden their interests in contesting the upcoming primaries.
The two gentlemen, are known to be very close to President Akufo-Addo and in the event that their dream of becoming MPs is realized, they will leave a huge vacuum around him.
Even Eugene Arhin, the current Communications Director at the Presidency, is also vying for the Awutu Senya West seat in the Central Region. It is currently occupied by a Deputy Communication Minister, George Andah.
While Mr Jinapor, the young lawyer, is working to contest the orphan Damongo Constituency seat in the newly created Savannah Region, currently occupied by the National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) Adam Mutawakilu, Mr Asenso-Boakye, on his part, has announced his interest in the Bantam seat, which is currently occupied by Daniel Okyem Aboagye aka “Am I chop chop”.
Mr Aboagye, who is the government’s Spokesperson on Finance, is a first time legislator, who will be hoping to hold on to the seat for the time being. However, it appears he may not have it easy, as Mr Asenso-Boakye, is coming at top speed with the Jubilee House, giving him full support and financial muscle.
Last June, Mr Asenso-Boakye, was spotted in the Spanish capital Madrid with the President watching Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool Champions League finals, wearing a personalized T-shirt with the inscription Bantaman!
He is seen as returnee who is just liked by President Akufo-Addo, who had met him during one of his numerous trips abroad, and did not work much for the NPP’s 2016 victory.
Many years before his meeting with President Akufo-Addo abroad, the young Mr Asenso-Boakye, had been introduced to him by the late Akenten Appiah-Menka, a Ghanaian lawyer, politician and businessman. He was a Godfather of Mr Asenso-Boakye, till his demise.
In the case of Sammy Jinapor, his activeness in the Damongo Constituency, has led to clashes with the sitting MP and the NDC in the early days of the Akufo-Addo government.
Sammy, whose elder brother John Jinapor, is a first time Parliamentarian on the ticket of the NDC, is on record to have made his presence felt after he made some donations in the Constituency and supported in other endevours, including burial equipment.
It is not clear, if there are others in the NPP, who want to contest with Sammy Jinapor, but it is anticipated that barring any last minute development, he is tipped to win that contest against anyone in the NPP, who dares to challenge him.
The two deputy chiefs of staff are yet to fully clear themselves over allegations leveled against them by their party man cum musician, Kwame Asare Obeng aka A-Plus, in an audio tape involving them and the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police, Maame Tiwa Addo Dankwah, bothering on corruption at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. It is not clear, if the allegation, will be used against the two gentlemen.
The President, it appears is not going to lose only close associates, but a lot more appointees, who work directly under his office and report to him per The Herald’s checks.
At the Medium And Small Loan Centre (MASLOC), the boss, Stephen Amoah and one of his deputies, Hajia Habibata Shanni Mahama Zakaraia, are very much interested in their respective constituencies.
While, Mr Amoah aka Sticker, will be testing his popularity against the sitting MP, Kennedy Kankam, in the Nyhiaso Constituency in the NPP’s stronghold, Ashanti Region, his deputy, will be battling it out with Farouk Mahama, the late vice president’s son at Yendi in the Northern Region.
There is also another member of the government, who is stationed at the Jubilee House called Alexander L. Martey. He will be seeking to contest in the Ningo-Prampram Constituency of the Greater Accra Region. That seat is occupied by NDC’s Samuel N. George.
Then, there is the National Service boss, Mustapha Yussif, who will be contesting the Yagaba Kubori constituency in the Northern Region.
Meanwhile, it is not clear how this time, the NPP primaries is going to pan out, but if what ensued in the last primaries in 2015, is anything to go by, then sitting MPs, would have to watch out for the President’s appointees or his boys.
Recall how in that primaries, people close to the now President and his associates, schemed to snatch various seats from sitting MPs, because of their links with the presidential candidate at the time. Fine politicians mostly in the Ashanti Region, who were perceived to be loyal to former President Kufour, had their seats taken.
Mention can be made of Subin’s Isaac Osei, who is now the boss of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), who painfully lost that seat to Eugene Antwi, who is now a Deputy Minister for Works and Housing.
A Former sports presenter, Kwadwo Baah Agyeman of Ashanti Akyem North, was also whipped by Andy Appiah Kubi, so was medical practitioner and former Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Anane of Nyhiaso by Andy Kankam.
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board, Mark Okyere Baafi, this paper is reliably informed, will be contesting the New Juaben South seat, currently occupied by a very heavyweight in Parliament, Mike AssibeyYeboah.
The MP, is also the chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament. Mr Baafi, who is the former Constituency Vice Chairman of the NPP, has publicly shown interest in the seat, as he has in the past donated certain items and done other works in the constituency.
It is the second time he will be locking horns with Mr Yeboah, who defeated him in NPP primaries in 2015.
The party, has already issued guidelines for the primaries. Picking of nomination form is between July 20 –August 3 2019. Vetting is August 10-15, while election is September 2, 2019.
More to come!