Paul Afoko, Alan, Anane and Kwabena Agyapong To Rebrand NPP
By Gifty Arthur and Cecil Mensah
The rivalry that characterizes election of National Executives in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has begun in earnest, with the two blocs namely; ex-President John Agyekum Kufour and Nana Akufo-Addo, trying to outwit each other for the soul of the party, ahead of the March, 2014 National Delegates Conference.
The party split around the ghosts of J.B Danquah and Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia with ex-President Kufuor and Akufo-Addo, leading each side of the divided party.
So far, Mr. Paul Afoko, a confidant of the ex-President Kufour, has declared his intension to wrestle the ailing National Chairmanship position from Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, who is sometimes incapable of carrying out his duties. Mr. Afoko, was to see the party reorganized and rebranded to be more attractive to voters.
Former Press Secretary to ex-President Kufour, Kwabena Agyapong, and an engineer by profession has also declared his willingness to contest Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, otherwise known as Sir John as the party’s General Secretary.
Fred Oware, the Vice Chairperson and onetime Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bui Power Authority and owner of Accra-based radio station Choice FM, is also interested in the NPP National Chairmanship position. He was initially considered as a Kufour boy, but claims are that he has fallen out of favour with the Airport West Residence of the ex-President, because of his uncertain dealings with Jake and the Akyem Mafia.
Meanwhile, another Kufuor confidant, interested in presidential slot is Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, an ex-Minister for Health in the Kufuor administration. He insinuated yesterday that his party’s General Secretary is at liberty to resign from his current post and speak for the twice defeated presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nhyiaeso in the Ashanti Region, contends that the party’s chief scribe, Mr Afriyie, compromised his position immediately when he declared that Nana Akufo-Addo would lead the party in 2016, even if he is in a wheelchair.
Dr. Anane was speaking to media reports that he has stated elsewhere that he is been inundated with calls from supporters within the NPP to run as the flagbearer in 2016 election.
According to the former MP, the likes of Sir John cannot organize an election for the party, where the members will have confidence in.
Dr. Anane’s comments comes in the wake of many calls from leading members of the party, including the ex-MP for Mfantsiman West Constituency, Stephen Asamoah Boateng that the current leadership of the NPP, could not be trusted to hold credible elections, since they have taken stance ahead of the yet to be held congress to elect a flagbearer.
Touching on news that he may join the NPP race for the selection of presidential candidate because of the many calls by party members, the former Minister of Roads though could not emphatically tell Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem host, Captain Smart that he will contest, but said that serving as a president is an “honour”.
To him what the party needs to focus on now, is how to re-organize it grassroots to make it more attractive to voters.
The Herald’s has been informed that the latter has intensified his lobbying skills by commissioning some young men to enable him get the nod.
Dr. Anane, who is an ally of another presidential hopeful, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng, has said that the grassroots of the party are fronting for him to lead the largest opposition party, to wrestle the party from the claws of the Akyem cabal, led by Nana Addo.
The Herald can also confirm that Dr. Anane was the heir apparent to ex-President Kufour until the Akyem Mafia had to leak some issues about his infidelity to the media to scuttle Kufuor’s plan.
The issue of his infidelity was picked-up by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), headed then by Madam Anna Bossman for investigations. He was later acquitted from the acts of conflict of interest.
Dr. Anane who came under fire in the early days of the ex-President John Agyekum Kufour‘s administration over his amorous relationship with an American lady, Alexandria O’Brian at a Human Immune Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) conference abroad. From that relationship came Nicholas Anane.
He had to resign his post as Road Minister to battle CHRAJ over the issue and he was later re-instated as Minister of Roads when CHRAJ finally ruled on the issue.
Aside Dr. Anane, Alan, Mr. Joe Ghartey, now Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Essikado Ketan Constituency in the Western Region, Dan Kweku Botwe, MP for Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region and Isaac Osei, MP for Subin Constituency in the Ashanti Region and onetime CEO of COCOBOD.
Even though Dan Botwe has been assigned a more formidable role in Parliament, the information within the party is that he is still enjoying some high points in the party, because of his onetime role as a General Secretary of the party.
The rest are; Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku Campaign Manager for Nana Addo in 2008 and onetime Minister for Trade and Industry in the ex-President Kufour’s administration, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, a lecturer at the Ghana Medical School (GMS) and a former Director at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital’s (KBTH) Cardiothoracic Centre.
Meanwhile a former Information Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Stephen Asamoah Boateng is against a Thank-You Tour organised by the national leadership of the New Patriotic Party to show appreciation for the support it received during the hearing of the 2012 presidential election petition.
He said he can read between the lines enough to know that some party Executives are hiding behind the supposed tour to campaign for themselves ahead of a general election of new party executives.
A series of ‘Thank You meetings’ which has been put together by the party to thank its core supporters in all ten regions of the country for their various roles during the 2012 electioneering campaign, and an ensuing legal challenge to overturn the announcement by the Electoral Commission (EC) that the party lost the 2012 December polls. The challenge at the Supreme Court was known as the Presidential Election Petition.
Asamoah Boateng, has on various platforms, including Joy News, said that the party’s ultimate objective is to win election and therefore needs to focus attention on contributing to electoral reforms to ensure that the system is more credible.
He said the party also needs to engage smaller parties, such as the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Peoples Party (GCPP) and Peoples National Convention (PNC).
He noted that there has been excessive politicking in the country since the 2012 December polls and that it is important for the opposition to give government some space to conduct the business of the country.
He said “thank you tour at this stage, when we have spent eight months in court is not the way to go”
In reaction, National Chairman of the party, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey said he was “staggered” by the view held by the defeated NPP MP for Mfanstiman West Constituency.
He said the party was “fully engaged” in making proposals for reforms and that there are committees looking into these matters.
Nonetheless, it was his duty as a National Chairman to make sure that “lots of things happen within the NPP and part of that is to go out there and stir them [party supporters] up to know the battle has not ended”.