-Supreme Court Precincts now political battle grounds
Whiles the defeated 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufu-Addo and two others are seriously and tirelessly knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court to annul over four million legitimate votes and declare him the president of the Republic, some kingpins of the party are paradoxically warming-upon the sideline to begin underground political schemes to lead the party in 2016, The Al-Hajj can report.
One of such individual, who is said to have dispatched his ?field officers? and close allies to the various constituencies across the country in a bid to win the hearts and minds of prospective party delegates, is the former Minister of Trade and Industry in the Kufuor administration and one time NPP flag bearer aspirant, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku.
Information available to The Al-Hajj has it that, the idea of having the political allies and local field officers of the former Trade Minister on the ground, was facilitated by some highly skillful and very experienced political strategists, many of whom are from outside the country and have been engaged by Dr. Konadu Apraku to offer professional advice and support for his 2016 flag bearership bid.
The core mandate of the swarm of field officers dotted around all the ten regions of Ghana, a close aide of Dr. Konadu Apraku told this paper was to engage in an underground campaign to get favorites of the former Offinso North MP to be elected to executive positions from the polling stations to the national level of the party.
This strategy, according to the aide, is to foist Dr. Apraku?s allies on the structures of the party on the ground battle ready for the eventual take-over of the party?s enviable leadership position by the American trained former Trade and Industry Minister under the Kufuor-led NPP administration.
?The idea is to dethrone associates of Nana Akufo-Addo who are currently occupying the various leadership positions in the party?.As the case stands now, it will be practically impossible for somebody to become flag bearer without first getting rid of Nana Akufo-Addo?s men, and that is exactly what we are doing now,? an aide to Dr. Konadu Apraku hinted.
Whiles at face value, many bigwigs of the party seem to be in full support of the ongoing court case engineered by Nana Akufo-Addo and two others, this paper has gathered that, most of them are wearing the same thinking cap as Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey, former head of the Volta River Authority (VRA); the renowned economist and statesman, Mr. Kwame Pianim, and Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamaklo, former head of Ghana Football Association (GFA) and former Ghana ambassador to Serbia; so far as the NPP?s Supreme Court case is concern.
Interestingly, all of the above are founding fathers of the NPP who have publicly stated their disapproval of the party going to court instead of working towards the 2016 election, which to them makes enough sense because that can at least guarantee the party a return to power with the failing Mahama-led administration making blunder after blunder day by day.
But for fear of botching their presidential ambitions with an open candor on the pending Supreme Court case, most of the presidential hopefuls would have openly kicked against the party?s petition currently in court.
A good number of the NPP presidential hopefuls are seething with rage over the potential waste of time and resources on the on-going court case whose outcome they know would favour the incumbent President Mahama because there is no any convincing evidence that can be sieved through the avalanche of documents dumped in front of the nine justices of the Supreme Court by the petitioners and their counsels.
They pointed accusing fingers at the highly influential Akyem elements within the elephant party, accusing them of using the pending court case as a subterfuge to continue their firm grip over the party and eventually play key role on who becomes the next leader of the NPP.
Interestingly, the potential flag bearer aspirants, a party insider disclosed to this paper have transmogrified the Supreme Court room into a 2016 political battleground to champion their presidential agenda.
?They always come to court nicely dressed in suit and tie as if they are backing the petitioners?. At the back of their minds, they are competing with each other for the TV cameras and the attention of the partisan NPP audience. The idea behind this is to portray to our supporters that, they are at the forefront of the struggle in court and should the need for a new presidential candidate becomes necessary, they would be in pole position.? a source in the NPP told The Al-Hajj.
According to the source, when hearing of the substantive case started, most of the NPP bigwigs were nowhere to be found, but all of a sudden ?people who we all know to be anti-Akufo-Addo and from the beginning, we all know their position on the court case, have made the attendance of court their foremost priority.?
In the wake of this development,the long-standing feud between the two most prominent ethnic groups in the NPP, the Akyem/Ashanti factions has reared its ugly head, with each faction upping their game in a bid to get their favorites to lead the party.
Aside the Akyem/Ashanti cabal, leaders of the new entrant, the Northern bloc are also said to be feverishly lacing their boots to have Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2012 running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo elected as flag bearer of the party in their next congress.
Already, there are media reports of a group calling itself the Dombo Advocacy Forum and highly linked to Anthony Karbo, a close aide of Dr. Bawumia; which among other things is said to have plans to rival the activities of the Danquah Institute, a policy think tank operated by the Akyem bloc and very sympathetic to Nana Addo.
In the Ashanti bloc alone, a bloodless political infighting is said to be taking place among the twice defeated flag bearer aspirant, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; Kwabena Agyepong, former press secretary to ex-president Kufuor and astute football commentator; and Isaac Osei, MP for Subin and former Ghana High Commissioner to the UK and Dr. Konadu Apraku himself.
The leaders of the Ashanti bloc are at a deadlock as to who bears the badge of the Ashanti bloc to face the representative of the Akyem stock or any other potential candidate from any other political bloc in the most tribalized political party, the NPP.
Whiles the Akyem bloc is said to have for now settled on the former General Secretary of the party and incumbent MP for Okere, Dan Botwe, the gray hair men of the Ashanti cabal led by the ex – president Kufuor and Kwadwo Pianim, former Chief of Staff are said to be having a hell of time containing the situation confronting them.
In anticipation that Alan Kyerematen could eventually be chosen ahead of them, reports are that, both Kwabena Agyepong and Isaac Osei have threatened to contest for the flag bearership slot without the support of any block, but many leading members of the Ashanti cabal believed that could jettison the chances of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
Credible information picked up by The Al-Hajj indicates, whiles many of the prospective aspirants are working assiduously to fly the flags of their various blocs, other potential claimant to the flag bearer slot are also relying on their own astuteness, financial mettle and strength at the grass root level to go into the race.
?Source: A.A Yayra (The Al-Hajj)