Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, a presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), cleared the air at the weekend over speculation of frosty relations between him and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 presidential candidate of the party, who is again in the flagbearership race for election 2016.
With particular reference to the recent skirmishes at the party?s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra, Alan said he maintains a very cordial relationship with Nana Akufo-Addo.
?Today, my brothers, I am saying that I don?t hate Nana Akufo-Addo, he is my senior brother; this is like a football match, so be patient,? Alan Kyerematen told supporters at the launch of his flagbearership bid at Abeka Lapaz, in Accra, on Saturday.
The NPP held a Special Delegates? Congress on August 31, 2014 to prune the seven flagbearer aspirants to five, in line with the party?s constitution.
Nana Akufo-Addo emerged winner with 598 votes out of the 740?valid votes cast, representing 80.78 percent.
Alan Kyerematen came second with 59 votes, while there others?Joe Ghartey, Francis Addai-Nimoh and Kofi Osei Amayaw?had less than two percent.
So far, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw and Joe Ghartey have dropped out of the race, with the former giving his full support to Nana Akufo-Addo.
Even though Alan has come under intense pressure to step down from the race to allow two-time flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, to go unopposed, he (Alan) has maintained that he is capable of overcoming the odds and winning the slot.
?I want you to understand that the decision that you are about to take will affect the results in the future, so think about how we can win the general elections. If you vote for Alan Kyerematen, I will lead the party to win the 2016 elections ?one touch,?? he said.
He stressed, however, that members of the party would support whoever would be elected to lead the party in the 2016 general elections, assuring his supporters not to be worried about what is going on in the party.
Alan?promised to pay all party polling station and constituency executives? salaries, if they elected him to lead the party.
Alan Kyerematen?s comments obviously followed a conscious attempt by Nana Ohene-Ntow, former General Secretary of the party and current spokesman for Alan, to blame Nana Akufo-Addo for the recent fracas at party?s headquarters.
The spokesperson for Mr Keyrematen, speaking in Twi, stated that ?We had a certain leader who could not unite us; vote for Alan Kyerematen??
Ohene-Ntow, noted that Mr Kyerematen is humble and the second ?gentle giant? in the party, claiming that ?If you vote for Alan, nobody will pull a knife at the party?s headquarters again.?
Anane Joins Fray
Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nhyiaeso in the Ashanti Region, said he disagreed to calls seeking to ask Kyerematen to step down for Nana Addo.
He alleged that in 1998, after the then candidate John Agyekum Kufuor had been elected to lead the party in the 2000 presidential election, some elements within the party, led by Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, went to the late B.J. da Rocha to impress upon candidate Kufuor to step down for their preferred candidate.
Mr Anane, former Minister of Health and later Road Transport in the Kufuor administration, described as ?laughable? comments that Mr Kyerematen is not known in the party.
He said Alan had been in the party since 1992 and was a key member in the Young Executives Forum.
Hilda Addo, a former MP for Kwadaso and an avowed supporter of Mr Kyerematen?s presidential bid, said Alan is the best bet for the party, if it was so minded to win the 2016 elections.
Some of the key party figures present at the event were Frank Agyekum, spokesperson for former President Kufuor, Kofi Dzamesi, former Volta Regional Minister and Alan?s Campaign Coordinator as well as Nana Gabby Nketsiah, Aide to former President Kufuor, who was also former Ambassador to Korea.
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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson