Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku
FORMER Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the 2008 elections, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku virtually took the flagbearer to the cleaners at a party function in Kumasi, asking delegates to reject him.
Dr. Apraku, who delivered the keynote address at the grand inauguration of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the NPP Alumni (TESCONA), stunned party faithful when at the tail-end of his speech, he launched into innuendos casting aspersions on the party?s 2008 and 2012 flagbearer.
Dr Apraku, a former MP for Offinso North in the Ashanti Region, seemed not to understand why the NPP, with the brains at its disposal, could lose two successive presidential elections to the NDC, lamenting that something was wrong with the party?s leadership.
Interestingly, grapevine information making the rounds indicated that Dr. Apraku, a leading member of Nana Akufo-Addo?s campaign teams in the 2008 and 2012 polls, was all but set to contest the flagbearership position of the party for the 2016 polls.
It was not clear whether he was referring to himself as the best candidate for the party.
Ahead of the 2008 elections, he contested the party?s flagbearership at the NPP Legon congress and had less than 20 out of the 1000 votes.
Dr. Apraku, who had been secretly campaigning to lead the NPP for 2016 and had allegedly been badmouthing Nana Addo, said apart from party structures, the person who would lead the party as candidate was equally important if indeed the NPP wanted to apply the brakes on the losing streak which had hit the largest opposition political party in the last two polls.
He was the Campaign Manager when the NPP lost power in 2008 and partly blamed for the defeat.
He was of the view that the NPP needed a candidate who was a unifier and would not only appeal to the party faithful, but the millions of floating voters whose votes and support the NPP urgently needed in order to unseat the NDC in 2016.
Virtually calling for a change for the party?s presidential candidate ahead of the 2016 polls, he said, ?Let us elect a person that would unite our party around our common goals, beliefs and objectives of winning the next elections and providing superb leadership for our party and country.?
To the chagrin of the NPP faithful present, Dr. Apraku, who for a moment was taking advantage of the party function to announce his presidential bid, stressed that the party needed a candidate who would appeal to independent voters.
?Our next leader must be able attract independent voters to vote for us. He must be a person who shares the values of the ordinary Ghanaian, a person who is the embodiment of what Ghanaians consider to be right and Godly,? he said.
At this juncture, the body language of some of the attendants portrayed people who were not comfortable with what they perceived as incessant attacks on Nana Addo, but Dr. Apraku, who was in his elements, would not budge.
He cautioned the NPP delegates against voting for the wrong person to lead the party to its third successive electoral defeat in 2016, charging them to be extra careful about the choice they would make with regard to the next flagbearer.
?We make choices every single day, and every choice we make impacts on our own future as individuals as well as our nation and party. When we make right choices we get right results, when we make wrong choices we will get wrong results,? he said.
Dr. Apraku therefore charged the NPP delegates to do what was right for themselves, the party and Ghana, noting that the type of candidate that the NPP would present to lead the party would go a long way to determine how the party would fare in the 2016 polls.
After two successive electoral defeats to the NDC, he said the NPP was in a stressful situation just as Ghana, which was being poorly managed by the incumbent government.
He said the NDC had crumbled the better Ghana that ex-President Kufuor left behind.
Still lamenting over the NPP?s electoral defeats since 2008, he wondered why the party which managed to win six regions to attain political power in 2000 was now struggling to even win two regions.
Dr. Apraku reiterated that, indeed, something was wrong with the NPP, giving the assurance however that the NPP could bounce back to power in 2016 if the party, in particular, its delegates, would do the right thing.
He charged the NPP delegates to elect competent people whose loyalty to the party was without doubt to lead, warning the party not to allow personality cult to take over the party. ?There are no enemies in the NPP,? he said.
Party bigwigs such as former Roads and Transport Minister Dr. Richard Anane, NPP founding member Aketen Appiah Menkah and Stephen Amoah aka ?Sticker? were at the function.
Stephen Amoah, one of the several people who seemed unhappy about Dr. Apraku?s statement, whilst addressing the gathering, said in a nice way that they were not in support of all that the ex-Offinso North MP said.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi