NPP presidential battle gets fierce ahead of primaries.
• Ahead of an election of some presidential aspirants for the NPP, some individuals have already expressed interest
• The party however maintains campaigning is prohibited by such till further notice
It appears the heat is building up in the New Patriotic Party even ahead of the party’s presidential and parliamentary primaries for the next general elections.
Barely a year after the NPP regained power by emerging victorious in the 2020 elections, some names have emerged as potential candidates who will take over from the current flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2024.
Names including those of Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, Vice President, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, Agric Minister, Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen, Former Energy Minister, Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko and Joe Ghartey, Former Railway Development Minister have already emerged in this category.
Among these, some people have already emerged to somewhat confirm their interests, giving reason for why they are more appropriate for the position.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie:
Last week, Dr. Owusu Afriyie, during an interview with Joynews gave hint of his interest in vying to lead the NPP in 2024 as a leading member.
According to him, he would have denied blatantly any suggestions of a possibility, if there was none. Responding to the question of whether or not he was interested in the position, his response was;
“Why shouldn’t I be? I am a member of this party and a very senior member so why shouldn’t I? The destiny of this party should be of great concern to me and for all of us as party members. If I was going to say I was not interested in running for president, I would have said so,” he said.
During the same period, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during a visit to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, mentioned two of these tipped persons as having expressed interest in the flagbearership position for 2024.
“I am here with the Minister of Transport, Minister for Works and Housing, the National Security Boss, Chairman One Wontumi, the Food and Agriculture Minister, Owusu Afriyie who wants to be president. I also have here with me, someone who has long eyed the presidential seat, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, a very hard-working man. All of them are doing a good job,”
The President however has said that this in no way suggests an endorsement of any candidate as a preferred one.
Speaking on Pure FM Monday, he said, “I can’t have a favourite to break the 8 for the NPP. My duty is to hold the balance but the decision has to be that of the party and worker the party elects, that person is who I will support and God-willing, if I do have the strength, I will vigorously campaign for the elected individual,” he added.
Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko:
This weekend, Boakye Agyarko minced no words when he said, during an interview on Joynews that he is ready to take up the mantle to lead the party in 2024. According to him, he has served the party well enough over the years to assume that position. He also dared his critics to prove allegations against him otherwise refrain from tarnishing his image with the hope that it will affect his aspirations.
“If my critics have muscles, let them flex. I am a bonafide son of this party, I am a founding member of this party. I have worked hard and long in this party so if anyone thinks that I don’t have credentials in this party, otherwise, how did I become campaign manager? Let he who alleges, prove their case. You cannot allege and let just an allegation stand…. They will not impact or in any way affect my political carrier going forward. My contribution to this party is solid, I am proud of it and I will continue to serve this party,” he said.
Prior to all of these, in December 2020, Joe Ghartey had disclosed his intentions to contest for the presidential flagbearship position in 2024.
“There’s only one truth, I contested for the last election and I came third. Akufo-Addo came first and Kyeremanteng came second and I was third. 2024, if God permits, I will stand for the President of Ghana is reported to have said in reaction to a report that ranked his popularity in the NPP.
Whilst these individuals, in their own unofficial ways are declaring their intent, Boakye Agyarko has issued a strict caution to all, including party members and party leaders to allow due process to be followed and avoid imposing any candidate on delegates because ultimately, the onus falls on them to make the decision.
“In 2008, I was a contestant, one of the 17. I stayed to pay my dues. I consider myself fit for purpose so I would not resign from that ambition but at the end of the day, it is for the grassroots to decide. We have a process. This party has never accepted correlation or imposition. It is against our DNA. You can go back to the beginnings of our introduction. J. B Danquah had to contest, he almost lost, Busia had to contest and in that wise, people like Joe Appiah…… Kufour was contested famously by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Nana Akufo-Addo was also contested famously by Alan Kyerematen so this party has a process that must be gone through to confirm and elect its leader,” he stated.
“There is a process, and that process will be respected and it is that process that throws up the leader of the party. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”, he added.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the party, John Boadu has explained that campaign activities are yet to be sanctioned by the National Executive Committee and the National Council of the party.
The NPP, per the dictates of its constitution, indicates that presidential aspirants shall only be elected 2 years to a general election.
“The election of the Party’s Presidential Candidate shall be held not later than twenty-four (24) months from the date of the national election. The date and venue for the election shall be decided by the National Council, provided, however, that the National Council may, on appropriate occasion, vary the date,” the constitution reads.
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