The President’s candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman slot, Alhaji Abubakari Abdul-Rahman, also known as “Alhaji Short” has withdrawn from the race, vindicating The Herald’s publication on Wednesday, that he was withdrawing to support Acting chairman, Freddie Blay.
In a statement, Alhaji Short, said his decision comes after a long introspection and consideration.
“I believe the interest of the party will be best served by my withdrawal,” a statement signed by his Campaign Manager read.
The race for the next chairman of the governing party, will be a straight fight between acting chairman, Freddy Blay and Stephen Ntim.
The immediate past Upper West Regional Chairman of the NPP, Alhaji Abubakari Abdul-Rahman, had picked nomination forms to contest the National Chairman position of the party.
Alhaji Short, said he was coming into the contest with an immediate goal to ensure that the party retains power in the 2020 general elections and to sustain it for at least 20 years.
“We need to be in power for long so that we can have full realisation of our policies,” he said, adding that the eight years is not enough for the party to fully implement the “good and noble” policies that it has promised Ghanaians.
However, confirmed reports indicated he had resigned to give his support to the acting Chairman of the party.
The race is now between Mr Freddie Blay, Mr Stephen Ayensu Ntim, Dr Richard Amoako Baah and David Kankam Boadu.
The remaining four, will meet the National Elections Committee, under the Chairmanship of Most Rev. Dr. Asante Antwi today Friday, June 1, 2018 for vetting.
The NPP will elect new national officers at its national delegates conference in Koforidua in July.
The Herald’s sources at the presidency, had revealed that, Alhaji Short was stepping down, few weeks to the polls. He had had a meeting with the Presidency to step down and throw his weight behind acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay.
The July contest is now between former aspirant, Stephen Ntim and Mr. Blay, who got the position after Paul Afoko was kicked out based on his disagreement with the Nana Akufo-Addo.
It is not clear, why the new entrant discarded his ambition, but checks by this paper show that any candidate supported by the presidency since the NPP started electing its leaders this year, both from the constituencies and regions, have lost.
Alhaji Short reportedly, was being financed and supported by the Presidency.
Insiders say, he may have seen the writings on the wall, hence his decision to let go the dream of becoming the next national chairman of the governing party.
The shocking decision comes few weeks after Mr Ntim, publically claimed that President Akufo-Addo, called him and pleaded with him to step down for Alhaji Short.
Mr Ntim, has contested and lost the national chairmanship position on three occasions.
He has claimed, President Akufo-Addo, met him on three occasions and appealed to him to step down for Alhaji Abdul-Raman.
According to him, the President, told him he would prefer his candidate, Alhaji Abdul-Raman, to become the national chairman.
Reacting to a tape in circulation which captures his [Ntim] meeting with some NPP supporters during which he confirmed the request by the President, Mr Ntim, said he was not going to lie about anything, but explained that he did not say that he can’t be treated as Afoko as reported.
Rather, he said he would not be another Afoko and create tension between himself and the President.
Explaining himself in a radio interview on Asempa FM, Mr Ntim, accused his opponent, Alhaji Short, of deliberately trying to thwart his campaign and that aside the destruction of his posters in areas such as Wa, and assigning people to secretly record his [Ntim] meetings with party supporters to distort it, they have also been planting people within the executives to ask questions.
Mr Ntim said, at one of his meetings, he was asked to comment on a speculation that President Akufo-Addo had brought someone to challenge him and he told them that it was true.
So I told them that it was true that the President has a preferred candidate and I have met with him on three occasions on this issue, “he [Akufo-Addo] is appealing to me, and I’m also appealing to him, it is not a threat.”
“I’m not going to lie about anything, and I’m not going to make up any concoctions…it is a gentleman kind of negotiation… what is the secret about this,” he quipped.
He said, the President appealed to him to step down for Alhaji Short, “I will not mince words, I will not decorate it, this is what it is, it is not a lie, I don’t think the President will lie about this, ok, he appealed to me passionately and I also told him my position.”
Asked about why President Akufo-Addo would want him to step down, Mr Ntim said he will not go public on that one since it was an internal party matter, “I can’t divulge the reasons on radio,” he said.
What is the big deal about this, and people are saying “leaked tape, leaked tape”, there is nothing to this, he said in reference to the tape in circulation.
“I have not insulted anyone on this, then I also saw a caption on one of the TV stations that “I will not allow Akufo-Addo to treat me like Afoko, that is also a fallacy, I never said that, I am setting the records straight.
“What I said was that, I’m not going to be another Afoko whereby there was tension and all that and after winning the election, then there is tension between you and the president.
“Rather I said after winning the election, I will go to the president and pledge my support to him, I’m not going to fight my president, I’m not going to be another Afoko.
In 2001 he contested for the national vice chairman position but in 2005 he contested with Peter Mac Manu for the national chairman position.
Read full statement below:
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE NPP NATIONAL CHAIRMANSHIP RACE (ALHAJI ABUBARKARI ABDUL-RAHMAN- ALHAJI SHORT)
On Thursday, 31st May 2018, I served notice of my withdrawal from the national chairmanship race of our party, the New Patriotic Party.
After long introspection and consideration, I believe the interest of the party will be best served by my withdrawal.
To all my supporters and sympathisers, I want to thank you for your support. To the grassroots of our party who wished me well, thank you for your encouragement.
And to all the members of my team, I thank you for your dedication. To all and sundry, I apologise for any inconvenience my decision have caused you .
Long live the NPP!