The 2024 general election is fast approaching and could be a defining moment for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a viable political entity.
The factor of Alan Kyerematen and his Movement for Change, shows clearly that the governing NPP has a divided front heading into the contest.
While Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia is leading what remains of the party on paper, Mr Kyerematen, is leading the breakaway group.
Mr Kyerematen, has not shied away from encouraging “skirt and blouse” voting by NPP supporters, which is that they should vote for him as President and an NPP parliamentary candidate in their various constituencies as his representative in Parliament, and ministers for that matter.
Aside from Mr Kyerematen being heard asking party supporters to be defiant, two of his top aides; Hopeson Yaovi Adorye and Yaw Boabeng Asamoah, have also been captured encouraging the act.
Interestingly, while Mr Kyerematen has resigned from the party, both Yaw Buabeng Asamoah and Hopeson Yaovi Adorye, insist they are still members of the NPP, but have decided to follow Mr Kyerematen and his Movement for Change as a matter of principle.
They argue that between Dr Bawumia and Mr Kyerematen, the latter is better placed to run the country compared to the Vice-President, whom they insisted has been part of the economic, social and political mess that the Akufo-Addo administration has submerged the country.
Ironically, Mr Kyerematen has in the last six to seven years been part and parcel of Akufo-Addo’s government as a cabinet member holding the portfolio of Trade and Industry Minister. But the two and others helping Mr Kyerematen with his butterfly project – the symbol of the Movement for Change, insist he represents the better side of the Akufo-Addo administration, adding they have a lot of things to show that he was the only better person in the Akufo-Addo regime.
Mr Kyerematen, also sees himself as superior to the National Democratic Congress’ John Dramani Mahama, who is also going to be on the 2024 presidential ballot paper come December 7.
Recently, on one of his campaigns, he warned the NDC not to be complacent with next year’s election, highlighting the danger of assuming an automatic shift in power every eight years.
Kyerematen, addressing his supporters in Kumasi, highlighted what he perceives as a prevalent mindset within the NDC that anticipates a change in government every eight years, regardless of the quality of governance.
He stressed the need to avoid the notion of ‘it’s your turn’ as a determining factor for leadership transitions.
“The NDC operates under the belief that a change in government occurs every eight years, adhering to the principle of ‘it’s your turn.’ However, this perspective disregards the essence of meritocracy. I, Alan, would have been flagbearer of the NPP if I adhered to such a principle,” Kyerematen stated.
“In my case, the grassroots pushed for me to lead, but there was opposition from certain quarters. Consequently, I’ve moved on to form a separate political movement,” he added.
Kyerematen further suggested that the belief in an eight-year power cycle could create an opening for broader change in the political landscape.
He implied the potential for a shift in the usual partisan framework and hinted at a future where Ghana might witness the election of a non-partisan president.
“So, if the NDC thinks its eight years and therefore it is their turn to come to power, the Movement for Change is coming…and in 2024, history will be made in this country and you will have the first president of Ghana who will be elected as the first non-partisan president,” Kyerematen stated.
Last week in Accra, Mr Kyerematen’s Movement with the brand logo “Monarch Butterfly,” registered hundreds of Ghanaians through a volunteer activation exercise.
Participants, who were mostly youth, were in branded yellow T-shirts and caps, with the logo embodied on the front and back of the T-shirts, provided their name, constituency, and telephone numbers to become an agent for the movement.
Speaking at the launch of the volunteer activation exercise, Mr Kyerematen said, the NPP and the NDC could not be trusted to handle Ghana’s economy, going forward as both parties had no plan to address the current economic situation.
He said the NPP and NDC had ruled the country for over 30 years, with both parties leading the country to visit the IMF for 17 times, hence, the need for a new leader who is capable of transforming the misfortune of the country for the betterment of the youth, especially.
He said Ghana needs to move beyond the duopoly of the NDC and the NPP, as nations such as China have been able to transform their economy after 30 years of good leadership, who are committed to fighting corruption and managing their economy with good policies and programmes.
Mr Kyerematen said that, currently, Ghanaians are not interested in bringing another political leader to rule, but a leader who would come and serve the interest of Ghanaians, and not those that would continue to serve the interest of their political parties.
“It is time to elect a leader who is nonpartisan, and capable of serving the interest of Ghanaians, and not those interested in continuing to serve the survival of their parties.
The youth is suffering, nurses, teachers, farmers, the labour unions are all complaining about the hardship in our economy. The movement is here to serve them,” he said.
He said what Ghana needs is a plan and not a manifesto which is full of promises, stressing that the plan shows how leaders could deliver upon their promises, which the NPP and NDC had to address the current issues.
“What Ghana needs is a new plan, and that is what the Movement for Change will be given to Ghanaians.
The great transformational plan from the movement is going to move Ghana and sustain the development of the country. Our exchange rate and inflation will be resolved through our plan,” Mr Kyerematen said.
He noted that Ghanaians also needed to change their attitudes and behaviours, saying the lack of discipline is becoming disrespectful to the principles of the rule of law.
He said there was no patriotism in the country anymore, as the youth especially were not committed to national duties to help transform the country for the betterment of all.
Mr Kyerematen said the foundation of the movement would be championed by the youth, stressing that this was an opportunity for the youth to anchor their future.
He said the movement, unlike political parties, would be built in the spirit of volunteerism and expressed the hope that the youth would be at the forefront of the movement campaign.
Mr Kyerematen said the NPP elected flagbearer had done nothing new to transform the country’s mismanaged economy, while the NDC flagbearer had also no plan to address the menace of corruption and mismanagement they brought to the Ghanaian economy.
Notwithstanding this rhetoric, many keep looking at ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor as one who can call Kyerematen and get him to rescind his decision to split the NPP front by contesting the 2024 elections as an independent presidential candidate while Bawumia leads another section.
Others have also laid their silent supplications before Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II saying he could also intervene in asking Mr Kyerematen to back down on his decision after all he has always talked about how his forebears including Baffour Akoto, a chief linguist at Manhyia funded the political parties from which the today’s NPP emerged.
But from what The Herald is picking, neither ex-President Kufuor nor Otumfuo will speak to Mr Kyerematen to shut down his Movement for Change.
Separate meetings with Mr Kyerematen revealed the cozy relationship they share with him.
Although, many have suggested that Mr Kufuor and Otumfuo are very much deeply ingrained in the Kyerematen “butterfly project”, The Herald is yet to see a shred of evidence to that effect.