Admirers of the opposition New Patriotic Party would have to brace themselves for eventualities as the battle for the control of the soul of the party initially thought to be a tribal contest between Ashantis and Akyems is now turning into a broad and elaborate personality cult between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor and Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
This new twist to the factionalism in the NPP which is to further deepened cracks within the party follows decision by Mr Kufuor to dump his once trusted Protégé and heir apparent, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
National Chairman of NNP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey confirmed last Saturday on TV3’s weekend political program, Hot Issues that President Kufuor no longer supports his former Trade and Industry minister, “… he’s told me that he’s not getting involved anymore; that previously even when he wasn’t involved people had been using his name and slandering him and that he’s going to keep out of it.”
Ask whether he believed what the former President told him, Chairman Jake stated “oh why would I fail to believe my former President and my friend. It would be the height of disrespect.”
But, reports are that Mr Kyerematen has decided to embark on his political journey with, or without the support of his former boss and mentor and has teamed up with likeminded faithful in the elephant family, mostly of the defunct ‘Executive Forum’ to prosecute his agenda.
Beginning with the just held regional elections and the result so far, candidates who contested are alleged to have had the blessings of the Akufo-Addo, Kufuor or Alan camps.
Results across the country suggests that in all the regions each of the camps has at least one or two of their loyalists occupying a position to advance their cause ahead of national executive elections scheduled for March 1, and the flag bearer contest later this year.
Amongst the threesome camps, it is never in doubt the popularity of the NPP 2012 flag bearer, Nana Akufo Addo in the party, however, party’s inner circles suggest Alan Kyerematen enjoys support from a considerable number of loyalists of the Kufuor camp who are currently said to be torn between Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Isaac Osei and Dr Richard Anane, as candidate for flag bearer.
But, information gathered by this paper by press time Saturday revealed former president Kufuor has made up his mind, and has thrown his weight behind Akufo Addo’s 2008 and 2012 running mate, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia to lead the party into the 2016 presidential elections.
This current development in Ghana’s biggest opposition, many political pundits say; has the potential of keeping it in opposition for a number of years only God knows how.
Interestingly, as former President Kufuor, according to a close source favors a Bawumia, Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong ticket for Flag bearer, Chairman and General Secretary respectively, Nana AkufoAddo, who initially was thought to favour Bawumia, Jake and Sir John team; is reported to be indecisive until after the national officer’s elections.
Sources within his camp tells The Al-Hajj it is partly the reason why Nana Addo has deferred his return to Ghana until after the March congress aside what others say was medical advice.
Ironically, while in the Akufo-Addo camp, there are suggestions he abandons his presidential ambition due to old age and heath, and back his twice failed vice presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, other linchpins in his camp are said to be kicking strongly against that idea.
Reports are that Nana Akufo-Addo is likely not to contest the 2016 election and had wished to give Dr Bawumia a chance, a position that is said to have sharply divided his camp with some threatening to withdraw their services if the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana is made to contest.
With Kufuor now said to be fully backing Bawumia’s candidature just as Nana Addo was previously, it is yet to be known if the former Foreign minister and Abuakwa South MP would also throw his support for Bawumia or go the full hog to contest his former running mate.
The ongoing poker game in the NPP is not about to go away any time soon as former Kumasi Mayor and MP for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah has announced his likely entry into the flag bearer race.
Garrulous Kofi Jumah, also known as Kofi Ghana, a former Alan Kyeremanteng loyalist turned Akufo Addo’s staunchest defender, firmly stated on Asempa FM that he aspires to contest in the party’s polls to select its flagbearer for the 2016 presidential elections.
“Who said I don’t have interest in contesting for the position? I have interest in the flagbearership race of the NPP…of course I have interest.” Kofi Jumah told his host.
It is not yet known if Kofi Jumah who is publicly known to be supporting Akufo-Addo’s third attempt to become president now wants to contest him or, maybe he is aware Akufo Addo may after all not run for the presidency in 2016 again, hence his (Kofi’s) entry.
Meanwhile, one man in the NPP who has boldly come out against any third time bid for Nana Addo, former Trade Minister and MP for Offinso North, Hon. Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, has been making a strong case for change of flagbearer leadership if the NPP relishes hopes of coming back to power in 2016.
According to Dr Apraku, who has declared his intention to contest for the party’s 2016 flag bearer, after two successive defeats “we will all win these elections if we select the best person to lead the party or our various offices…And in an election for our Presidential candidate let me say we should select the best possible person for our party; the person who will embody the aspirations, the values of the rest of the population; the person that Ghanaians can see through and say I want my son to be this person,” he added.
Another aspiring presidential aspirant of the NPP and MP for Subin, Mr. Isaac Osei recently in an interview with an Accra based radio station, Radio XYZ advised the 2012 flag bearer to abandon any idea of running to maintain his newly acquired status of a statesman.
He told Moro Awudu “Nana Akufo-Addo is better off retiring from politics now to avoid sullying his statesmanship” position after the election petition… “I think, at the moment, Nana Addo has transcended politics and has moved into the realm of statesmanship. He’s become a statesman. If I was to advise Nana Addo, I’ll say that let his legacy be”.
It has now become obviously clear that the just ended regional elections to herald the party’s selection of its national officers and subsequently, flag bearer, initially seen as a direct fight between the Nana Addo/ Alan sets goes beyond that as the happenings in the biggest opposition party in Ghana continue to be foggier.
The Al-Hajj has gathered from party insiders that, Mr Alan Kyerematen just as the Kufour/Nana Akufo-Addo camps, has also team up with Mr Stephen Ntim and Yaw Buabeng Asamoah to occupy the National Chairman and General Secretary positions respectively.
Whereas former President Kufuor has now finally put his bet on aspiring Chairman, Paul Afoko; aspiring General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, and Dr Bawumia as flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo who, though is wishing a win for Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Sir John, has himself torn between whether to contest or support his twice failed political partner, Dr Bawumia.
Reports are that should Nana Akufo-Addo decide to contest, which would be largely based on how his loyalists perform at congress, he is likely to face a stiff challenge from Mr Alan Kyerematen and his twice running mate, Dr Bawumia whom he had to choose against all odds in the party to partner him for the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Others sources in the party say should NPP delegates decide to visit the atrocious mayhem most incumbent regional executives suffered, then Nana Akufo-Addo’s men would be upstage by loyalists of Mr Kufuor or Alan and that would mean the former Abuakwa South MP would have no choice than to join ranks with Mr Kufuor to back Dr Bawumia.
Also, in the event Mr Alan Kyerematen’s men manage to topple the Nana Akufo-Addo and Kufuor’s men at congress, there would be a union between the Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo camps to support Dr Bawumia as against the former Trade Minister.
In this entire scenario, the obvious question political connoisseurs would have to deal with is what will become the fate of the elephant party of Ghana when the chips are finally down, one year from now? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.
Source: Al-Hajj Newspaper/Ghana