Despite Video Evidence
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, has done the unthinkable by desperately attempting to run away from his shadow ostensibly to hide his preference of Alan Kyerematen over Nana Akufo-Addo as flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The fast ageing ex-president, did this last Friday, when he described as “disingenuous and a measure full of mischief, a recent publication by the Al Hajj newspaper about comments he made to party faithfuls in the run-up to the New Patriotic Party’s primaries in 2007”.
A statement signed by his Spokesperson and Special Aide, Frank Agyekum said, “Former President Kufuor condemns the way and manner comments he made even years ago, have been re-hashed by the paper to make it appear as if it were a recent event, as well as give the impression, that he is opposed to Nana Akufo-Addo’s election as flagbearer”.
The statement was in reaction to a story by the Al Hajj newspaper from a short video footage captured in 2007, in which President Kufuor was desperately campaigning for Alan Kyerematen to be elected as his flagbearer of the then ruling NPP.
Present at the meeting were people believed to be delegates was Kwadwo Mpianim, who himself has shown his affinity for Mr. Kyerematen over Nana Addo, the present flagbearer.
Although President Kufuor, did not mention any name he insisted he had a choice of who the NPP Presidential candidate should be.
In the video, the then President Kufuor, noted that the NPP needed somebody who could hold the party and Ghana together after his rule, but not anybody who would divide the NPP.
He said, the party needed somebody who was attractive and appealing to the generality of Ghanaians. “True NPP people will vote for us, but then I don’t think we will make the 50 plus One vote to win a One Touch”, he said and warned that “anybody who is always full of tension and fighting….. We need to be careful about that”.
The then President said, the party needed a man of peace, experience and wisdom to keep the country united by gaining the respect of the military, police and chiefs. He described the test to get a good candidate for the NPP and by extension a good president for Ghana as a very difficult one.
On the video, the ex-President, insisted he only wanted a good man to succeed him when he retires in dignity and in a peace. He kept away from mentioning the name of his preferred candidate.
But Mr. Kufuor has since 2007, shown his bias for Mr. Kyeremanten by even rejecting his own blood brother and onetime Defense Minister, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor.
He repeated same in 2010 and 2014. Even Frank Agyekum; his aide who signed the statement has also shown his affection for Mr. Kyerematen over Nana Addo.
He also rejected as his successor his Vice-President, the Late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who had acted as President, while he was out of the country and opted rather for his then Trade Minister.
It is on record that President Kufuor, released the Presidential Jet to Mr. Kyerematen to go to Wa and address NPP delegates to the annoyance of the other flagbearer aspirants including, Hackaman Owusu-Agyeman, onetime Foreign Minister in his government.
All District Chief Executives (DCEs) ,were directed to support Mr. Kyerematen and those who showed defiance were removed from office. Indeed, people including ex-Road Transport Minister, Richard Anane, led Mr. Kyerematen’s Campaign, which had an unbridled access to cash.
Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey is reported to have confronted then President Kufuor over claims that he was supporting Mr. Kyerematen during a meeting with all the NPP flagbearer hopefuls inside the Osu-Castle.
However, the ex-President has said he is disappointed at the Al Hajj newspaper’s assertion that: “Mr. Kufuor is said to be brooding over the political fortunes of the NPP after the 2008 elections as a result of which he recently confided in a top official of his administration that when he admonished his party folks on the choice of his successor, most of them took it as a subtle campaign for Alan Kyerematen.
“If the party had paid heed to the wisdom underpinning my admonition, NPP would have remained in power since 2008, Kufuor recently told a confident (name withheld.)”
Of course this is not true and no wonder the paper could not provide the name of the person President Kufuor is said to have confided in.
Former President Kufuor maintains that what he said in 2007 is true for all times as it is his greatest desire that the NPP returns to power.
The party, listening to his advice, chose Nana Akufo-Addo as the person to do that job and Former President Kufuor, has given him his full support as he believes in his ability to lead the party to victory.
Former President Kufuor, supported Nana Akufo-Addo to the hilt in 2008 and 2012, and continues in same vein today.
The Al-Haj’s publication is one more effort of strategists of the NDC to divide the unity and harmony of the NPP towards the 2016 elections.
Former President Kufuor, once again urged all members of the NPP not to be taken-in by such divisive measures of the NDC, which was only aimed to create suspicion and disaffection among their ranks.
“We should remain united and focused, with the single purpose of victory in 2016 which beckons us ever so brightly,” he said.