Ex-President Kufuor Wades In:
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, has said that National Executive members of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), who are clamouring for the party’s twice-defeated flagbearer to run for a third time, are drowning men, clinging onto straw to save their own “dwindling” political fortunes.
“Those making statements, really, are tying their political apron strings to that of Nana Akufo-Addo”, Frank Agyekum, who speaks on behalf of ex-President John Kufuor, told Radio’s news analysis programme ‘The Analyst’, last Saturday.
“Perhaps some of them have seen that their fortunes are dwindling”, he surmised, adding that: “The only way they can make it, is to hold on to Nana Akufo-Addo and make it appear that they are more Nana than anybody else”.
Frank Agyekum insisted “That is what is happening. That is what I believe is happening”.
A fierce debate is currently storming, within the party over its future Presidential Candidate, after the General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, told XYZ News that Nana Akufo-Addo, will definitely run for the 2016 elections.
He has found good company in other prominent party members, including Ashanti Regional Chairman, Frederick Fredua Anto, and founding-member Dr. Kwame Amoako-Tuffuor, Ishmael Ashittey, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Dankwah Smith (Butey), the Central Regional Chairman, among other personalities
They argued that Nana Akufo-Addo, has been better marketed than any of the prospective aspirants for the flagbearer slot and thus, the former Attorney General stood a better chance of winning the presidency, if allowed to go for the third consecutive time.
Some of the other names speculated for the flagbearer slot include, two-time aspirant Alan Kyeremanten, who is widely perceived as the next in succession; former General Secretary and Legislator, Dan Kweku Botwe; ex-Campaign Director for Nana Akufo-Addo, Boakye Agyarko; Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2012 running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; ex-Information Minister, Oboshie Sai-Cofie; ex-Trades Minister, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, and ex-Ambassador to U.S, Isaac Osei.
Sir John’s behaviour, has already attracted flak from one of the hopefuls, Dr. Apraku, who, in an interview with XYZ Breakfast Show last Friday, September 6, 2013, condemned the General Secretary’s open “bias” for Nana Akufo-Addo.
“This is not the time that we should be dividing ourselves, this is the time that anything that we say should help unite the party,” he counselled and added that: “…There are other alternative views for this party”.
According to him: “It cannot be the case that the General Secretary or any other executive from any part of the party, [who] is involved in setting down [processes for various elections in the party], should have preconceived views. And not just that, but go ahead and tell people what ought to be. That does not inspire confidence in the work that these individuals will be charged to do, and I think it’s most unfortunate”.
Kweku Baako, Managing Editor of The New Crusading Guide and sympathizer of the NPP, has also joined in the wide condemnation of the leadership of the party, blaming them for the crisis in the party. He described those making the call for the retention of Nana Addo as “self-serving, opportunistic and pre-mature ejaculation.”
Meanwhile, a former NPP General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, is calling on the National Chairman of NPP, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, to call the party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (Sir John) to order.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem, Ohene Ntow stated that the current back and forth, about whether Nana Addo should or should not be the party’s flag bearer in 2016 is a leadership problem, because Sir John started by declaring his support for Nana Addo.
Mr. Ohene Ntow said, Sir John’s position as General Secretary meant that other interested candidates would not submit their nomination forms to him, so it is not proper for him to be seen as supporting a particular candidate.
“Sir John is the General Secretary of our party, and when he goes off line it becomes the duty of the National Chairman to call him to order, and I would expect Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to do just that,” he said.
Ohene Ntow thinks the party Chairman, also needs to call all the other leading members declaring their support for Nana Addo to order, because the information they are putting out is strategic information, which needs to be kept under wraps until the appropriate time.
“These are matters we need to discuss behind closed doors for now – but we are exposing ourselves to the opponent too early,” he said. “I’m therefore appealing to party Chairman to deal with this matter immediately, before it creates division in the party.”
According to Ohene Ntow, what is more important for the party now is to find answers to why they lost the 2008 and 2012 elections, and the Supreme Court case, and that would help them chart their path toward victory in 2016.
Meanwhile, another former General Secretary of the NPP and Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere, Dan Kwaku Botwe, said all the party leaders and its communicators must “shut up”, stop the media war over Nana Addo’s political future, and solve their problem internally.
He said, the back and forth about who leads the party in 2016 is not necessary, adding that what is more necessary is finding the cause of the party’s loss in two consecutive elections, losing the court case in spite of the evidence they took to court.
Dan Botwe said, there are party structures and constitutional provisions about how a presidential candidate is elected, and that needs to be followed.
“There is no doubt that Nana Addo has established himself as a credible and viable candidate, but I hope those throwing his name up are not suggesting that we should set aside the elaborate Constitutional provisions in favor of one person,” he said.
Director of Communications of NPP, Nana Akomea has said that the call for who leads the NPP in the 2016 Presidential polls is too premature.
According to him, the party must first restructure its plans ahead of the 2016 polls, as well as hold a nationwide vote to elect new Executive Members to steer the affairs of the party.
He noted that, the NPP’s 2012 Presidential candidate, Nana Addo has not publicly declared his intentions to lead the party in the next election. Adding that; “even if he (Nana Addo) wants to contest, some bigwigs in the party are likely to contest him in the primaries”.
Nana Akomea, however, cautioned party supporters and leadership of the party to stop discussing about who leads the party.
“If one comes out to boldly declare his or her support for Nana Addo, those who support Alan Kyeremateng will also start talking as well, this will not help the party (NPP),” he advised.
Speaking on Adom FM, Nana Akomea called on its party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey to cease discussions as to who leads the party in 2016.
“I have not heard the National Chairman on this issue. I want him (Jake Obetsebi Lamptey) to stamp his authority to tell the leaders that, this is not the time”.