The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has flatly denied ever issuing a birthday message to the ex-President, John Agyekum Kufuor, asking the now 77-year old man, to join him prosecute the 2016 election campaign.
The denial comes on the heels of what many have described as a desperate attempt by the twice defeated presidential hopeful to lure the ex-president to get onboard his campaign to lead the country at age 73. But the Press Secretary to Nana Addo, Eugene Arhin, on Tuesday, distanced itself from the purported massage.
Reports are rife that, ex-President Kufuor, is in pain and not on good terms with Nana Addo, following verbal abuses from the NPP flagbearer’s Hallelujah Chorus boys to him and other senior party members, including the embattled National Chairman, Paul Afoko, General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, and Sammy Crabbe, Second Vice Chairman, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, Kwadwo Mpiani, Kwame Pianim, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, among others.
Occasionally, the two try to dispel this reports through media statements, but close associates tell The Herald, things have gone worse, and they are doubtful if Mr. Kufuor, will be part of the Nana Akufo-Addo 2016 Campaign.
In a birthday message copied to the media this week, signed by Nana Addo, the former Justice and Attorney General Minister, paid glowing tribute to Mr. Kufuor, touting his achievements in the eight years he spent as president and the successes he chalked for the NPP as its only leader to have won two general elections.
“On this momentous occasion, I pay tribute to the former President’s life, legacy and the significant contributions he has made towards national development and our beloved party in particular”.
The birthday statement captioned “Happy birthday to my former boss”, Nana Addo, reminisced how ahead of the crucial 2000 general elections, ex-president Kufuor nicknamed “gentle giant” was able to marshal forces to unite the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition to wrestle power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the first time.
“In these turbulent times in our party as we go into a major election one could recall how the former President faced with a similar situation as Presidential Candidate prior to the 2000 General Elections was able to marshal forces and whip all feuding parties in line for the famous electoral victory”, it said.
The statement continued that, “it was still not late as appropriate bodies in the party have acted and are on course to deal ruthlessly with all unquestionable characters within the largest opposition group and called for Mr. Kufour’s unconditional support for the big task ahead next year#.
It said “however, the appropriate organs of the party have acted. I am, therefore, seizing the opportunity to humbly call for the unflinching support of the former President as we purge the party and flush out all miscreants who are impediments to our victory. We have no other option than to conduct ourselves in a disciplined manner that will protect and promote the integrity and unity of the party”
But the Press Secretary to Nana Addo, Eugene Arhin, on Tuesday issued a statement headlined, “Akufo-Addo denies fake birthday statement to President Kufuor”.
The statement vehemently refuted the birthday wish, suggesting Nana Addo, did not wish the ex-president a happy birthday, despite the huge publicity the message attracted.
Mr. Arhin, who quoted parts of the disputed statement to make his case, said “We would like to place on record that Nana Addo-Akufo, has not issued any statement to this effect, which is clearly an attempt by some mischievous elements to sow seeds of confusion amongst the membership of the party, and create disaffection for him”.
He clarified that in cases where the flagbearer has issued a statement for the media, it has always been through the NPP Communication Directorate email account, and subsequently published on the flagbearer’s social media account.
Meanwhile, some have said that the statement might have being issued by some party enthusiasts, who can’t wait to see the two gentlemen come together to unite the party for a common goal.
Few months ago, the wife of the ex-president, Theresa Kufuor celebrated her 80th birthday with a bash and was attended by all including, President John Mahama, except Nana Addo, who was in far away United States of America (USA) raising funds for his campaign next year.