Story by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu & A.A Yayra
The outcome of the Tamale conference of the opposition New Patriotic Party to elect new national officers to manage the party for the next four years did not all together come as a surprise to?The aL-hAJJ?as we have weeks before ?the event predicted those who will emerge winners.
Though this paper forecast some candidates flying on the wings of former President Kufuor would beat Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo?s sponsored candidates, mainly incumbent executives, it was never anticipated that the Kufuor?s men could have wreak such ?havoc? to the twice defeated presidential candidate and his linchpins.
Even as the outcome of the conference may have slimed Nana Akufo-Addo?s chances of leading the party into election for the third time, party insiders say results from the Tamale conference has played to the advantage of the former Foreign Minister?s twice political partner, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia whom he (Nana Akufo-Addo) had put on the standby to contest the presidency in the events all odds go against him.
This paper is on record to have reported prior to Nana Akufo-Addo?s revelation, he would contest the NPP?s flag bearer slot for the fourth and possible last time that, the NPP?s twice defeated presidential candidate was preoccupied with two key factors for consideration of his candidature; the availability of resources to prosecute the 2016 elections and the outlook or performance of the Mahama government in delivering on its promises.
As of the time The aL-hAJJ reported on the aforementioned considerations, which also included Nana Addo?s advancing age and health status, little did we anticipate, and our sources could not also reveal that Nana Akufo-Addo?s political future was also hinged on the outcome of last Saturday?s conference.
Information gathered by?The aL-hAJJ?after the NPP conference indicates that Nana Akufo-Addo is combing for other options to boost his political fortunes and make him relevant in the NPP scheme of things after his preferred candidates miserably lost all sensitive positions in the party to his internal rival camps.
Having added another dimension to the internal politics of the NPP as the party gears up to elect a flag bearer later this year, Nana Akufo-Addo?s announced third time bid is said to be deflated following the heavy thrashing of his preferred candidate.
And as if already sensing the ?massacre? of their sponsored candidates, Nana Akufo-Addo?s nephew and chief spin doctor, Gabby Asare Otchere Darkoh, few minutes to the start of the conference posted on his facebook wall:
?The more I read and hear all the mudslinging among teams competing for NPP national office positions the more I ask: is it all worth it? There is a lot of wisdom in Jake’s proposal that choose the leader first. But, I will go further than Jake and ask, do parties have to elect their national chairman, general secretary, national organiser and treasurer, etc, at all??
??We must consider having them selected by the leader (Presidential candidate or President) in consultation with the National Council or National Delegates’ Conference. We can’t make ‘democracy’ an albatross! Too much is spent, materially and emotionally, in this exercise with its concomitant issues of disunity. To run a party need not be a popularity contest. After all, the refrain is ‘competence’; I will add loyalty/commitment?. Gabby states.
All is not lost
Though all the incumbent national executives aside the National Women Organizer, who were part of Nana Akufo-Addo?s army could not secure the needed victory to boost their??chances, the former Foreign Affairs minister under the Kufuor administration is said not to have given up on his resolve to ?control? the party.
Prior to conference, Nana Akufo-Addo was reported to have vowed to throw his weight behind his twice failed vice presidential candidate, Dr Bawumia to ascend to the presidency that is, if he does not get the opportunity to lead the country.
Even though Nana Akufo Addo and former President Kufuor are miles apart in terms of support for candidates contesting for national executives positions, the former Foreign minister?s decision to back Bawumia in the event he decides not to contest is said to have the full support of former President Kufuor, whom reports say is absolutely against Akufo Addo?s third time bid.
The consensus among the two, according to reliable source was that whiles Akufo Addo favours Bawumia as the next flag bearer of the NPP, former President Kufuor who is reported to have dumped his former prot?g?, Alan Kyeremanten and has no objection to Bawumia, however, wants MP for Essekado Ketan and second deputy speaker of Parliament, Mr Joe Ghartey to partner Bawumia as his running mate for the 2016 polls.
The ?gentleman?s? agreement, therefore, is seen by the two NPP most influential personalities as win-win situation as Dr Bawumia was said to have been proposed by his boss Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Kufuor on his part also nominated the Essekado Ketan MP as a possible running mate.
Bawumia in the driving seat
Becoming almost like the lucky bird in the NPP, Dr Bawumia who was not known to be a member of the NPP but was selected ahead of famous and committed NPP gurus to partner Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 elections; is set to benefit profoundly from the outcome of the Tamale conference.
As customary with Ghanaians, Dr Bawmumia maybe be sympathizing with his boss, Nana Akufo-Addo who is reported to have buried his head down, biting his nail, for an almost end to his political career due to the outcome of the Tamale conference; Bawumia is also said to be smiling in quite as all indications are pointing to the fact that he would be the next leader of the Daquah-Busia-Dombo group.
Therefore, if all should go well as planned by Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Kufuor, then the former, who though has announced few days to his 70 birthday at his Nima residence that he was ready to lead the party again for the third time, may have to hang his gloves and make way for the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
As part of his plans to ?shepherd? Dr Bawumia to stardom, the septuagenarian politician is said to have told his prot?g?e that he would contest the flag bearer and after that name him as usual as his running mate.
But, few weeks to official filing of nominations with the Electoral Commission of Ghana, he (Nana) will pull out of the race, citing advice from his doctors, in which case the NPP would be hard press for time to go for another congress to elect a new flag bearer and he (Bawumia) with support from Kufuor, who now has his men controlling the party, would be made his successor.
According to the strategy, Dr Bawumia would also then name Mr Kufuor?s preferred candidate, Mr Joe Ghartey, who, as expected would be endorsed by all ?the movers and shakers? in the party.
However, party insiders say for Akufo Addo, this whole permutation is subject to availability of resources for the 2016 elections especially now that political watchers say his age has made him unattractive to potential sponsors and the performance of the Mahama administration ahead of the 2016 election.
Sources say if Nana Akufo-Addo is able to shop for resources and should the Mahama administration perform poorly, of which the NPP?s chances of winning 2016 would have been brighten, Nana Akufo-Addo would by all means put himself up for the 2016 election but, only to win and hand over power to Dr Bawumia.
NAADA?s hasty 3rd time bid message
Deep throat sources disclosed to?The aL-hAJJ?that though Nana Akufo-Addo had agreed with former Presiddent Kufuor on the Bawumia and Joe Ghartey bid as an alternate plan, the two senior NPP members according to reports, were prior to the Tamale conference bent on seeing their henchmen secure national executive positions to strengthen their bargaining positions.
The idea was to get their allies elected to top positions in other to assume control of the party and direct how it should be managed. To beef up the campaign machinery of his preferred candidates, Nana Akufo-Addo?s hasty announcement of his third time bid, an insider disclosed; was to court support for his ideal candidates.
He is reported prior to the conference to have endorsed Fred Oware and Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John for the National Chairman and General Secretary positions respectively. Freddy Blay, Sammy Crabbe and F F Anto were all said to have been blessed by Nana Akufo-Addo to occupy the three vice chairman positions.
Madam Tina Mensah, Hopeson Adorye, Esther Ofori and Sammy Awuku were also said to have been endorsed by Nana Akufo-Addo for the women organizer, national organizer, treasurer and youth organizer positions.
Unfortunately for Nana Akufo-Addo, his rivals appeared to have paraded a more formidable team and they made a mess of his sponsored candidates.
Mr Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, John Boadu, Otiko Afisa Dzaba, who are believed to have the backing of President Kufuor won their respective positions. Not even Nana Akufo-Addo?s physical presence in Tamale two days to the conference to campaign for his men could make any difference.
New face for 2016
After voting, it became clear that the NPP was no longer going to be led into the 2016 election with the ?old? executives, but by a new crop of leaders with new ideas.
Business magnate Paul Afoko, who had to endure several crude machinations that nearly caused to his disqualification, was elected National Chairman.
Mr Freddy Blay, Sammy Crabbe and F.F Anto were also elected first; second and third vice chairman positions whiles John Boadu, Madama Otiko Afisa Dzaba, Kamal Deen Abdualai were elected National Organizer, National Women Organizer and NASARA coordinator respectively.
Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah and Sammy Awuku were voted Treasure and National Youth Organizer respectively.
Danger to Mahama
This new crop of leaders with diverse rich experience in politics and organizational skills, according to political pundits poses a danger to the second term bid of President John??Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
Pundits say Mr Paul Afoko?s apt?organizational skills, and in-depth political and analytical mind and northern background would add to support Dr. Bawumia to deliver the three northern regions, which have been safe haven for the ruling NDC since the inception of the 1992 Republican constitution.
Dr. Bawumia?s background as an influential Northerner, a Muslim, and a well-known Zongo man added to his political clout acquired since his discovery by Nana Akufo-Addo together with Paul Afoko now as chairmanship, many believe; the NDC?s dominance in the three northern regions and the Zongos could abruptly come to an end.
This, according to an insider, would aid the NPP to garner enough votes from the three northern regions plus the over 1000 Zongos across Ghana to add to the NPP?s traditional strongholds of Ashanti and Eastern. This is expected to push President Mahama and his NDC to an uncomfortable zone in 2016?.
The preference for Dr Bawumia?s possible running mate, Mr Ghartey (that is in the event Nana Akufo-Addo?s alternate plan goes through) who is also well-known and respected as an astute lawyer and legislator by his kinsmen from the Central and Western regions, is to snatch the Western and Central regions, which the NPP won in the 2000 and 2004 elections, but had to surrender it to the NDC in the last two elections.
Kwabena Agyepong?s in-depth knowledge in election matters with support from other equally competent newly elected executives could wreak havoc to the NDC and pose sever danger to the second term bid of President John Mahama.
Read below a number of stories we have carried prior to the NPP Tamale conference
- Here stands the new worries of NPP
NPP’s new face for 2016
Feb. 21, 2014
The dream of President John DramaniMahama to emulate his predecessor Johns aside the late President Mills, to enjoy a second term at the Presidency is under serious threat as the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has marshaled a formidable and unified team to go into the 2016 elections.
Highly poised to make history as the only political party in the fourth Republic to deny an incumbent President a second term, the NPP, The Al-Hajj?s intelligence has picked up, is resolved to shelve the age-long tradition of an Ashanti or Akyem presidential candidate to lead the party in the 2016 crucial election.
In a move calculated to appeal to other regions which political watchers say is likely to give the biggest opposition party an edge in the 2016 elections, both Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo and former President John AgyekumKufuor together with ?movers and shakers? of the party have finally settled on star witness at the recent election petition hearing and twice failed Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr. MahamuduBawumia as its flagbearer ahead of the next presidential elections.
Dr. Bawumia?s background as an influential Northerner, a Muslim, a well-known Zongo man and his political clout acquired since he was discovered by Nana Akufo-Addo together with a likely Paul Afoko chairmanship, many believe the NDC?s dominance in the three northern regions and the Zongos could abruptly come to an end.
The NPP?s permutations, according to an insider, ?with a ?neutral? person from the Ashanti/Akyem divide, it is possible to garner enough votes from the three northern regions plus the over 1000 Zongos across Ghana ?whiles consolidating our votes in our ?traditional? strongholds of Ashanti and Eastern; this would push President Mahama and his NDC to an uncomfortable zone in 2016?.
Having learnt big lessons from the painful defeats in the 2008 and 2012 elections which they nearly won with only two regions, the grey hairs in the NPP, according to a source, are said to have landed on Dr. Bawumia as flagbearer to cash in on the Northern votes to be partnered by the second deputy speaker and MP for Essikado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey, who is expected to win more votes from the Central and Western regions.
The ?wise? political permutation is such that a majority of NPP members are pushing for business magnate Mr. Paul Afoko to be elected National Chairman to use his organizational skills, and his in-depth political and analytical expertise and northern background to support Dr. Bawumia to deliver the three northern regions, which have been a haven for the ruling NDC since the inception of the 1992 Republican constitution.
The preference of Mr. Ghartey, who is also well-known and respected as an astute lawyer and legislator by his kinsmen from the Central and Western regions, is to snatch the Western and Central regions, which the NPP won in the 2000 and 2004 elections, but had to surrender it to the NDC in the last two elections.
The NPP is also said to have cashed in on the growing differences between President Mahama and his party leadership and major stakeholders; effects of which has cascaded down to the grassroots of the party, to launch their ambitious agenda to make him a one term President.
The current economic hardship, characterized by serious macro-economic imbalances with a downward spiral of the value of the local currency, the Cedi, is making matters worse for the President.
The NPP?s ?victory 2016? team has been designed in such a way that the party intends to give former presidential spokesperson, MrKwabenaAgyapong, the General Secretary position in order to utilize his crafty organizational skills and experience in politics since 1996, to deny the NDC and President Mahama another term in office.
Political pundits The Al-Hajj spoke to on NPP?s permutations narrated how serious a threat the biggest opposition?s latest plan is to President Mahama?s second term bid.
Many say, given Mr. Afoko?s pedigree in the north and his political astuteness coupled with Dr. Bawumia?s popularity since his emergence on the political terrain, President Mahama and NDC have a hefty task in terms of maintaining their win in the three northern regions.
The irony of President Mahama?s presidency is that many have accused him of tilting his administration in favor of northerners.
Again, many senior members of his party are also peeved with him for ill-treatment and exclusion, a development that has found expression in Parliament, where the President is very unpopular even among his own party legislators.
Reports are that the President and all the three northern minority and majority leaders the NDC have produced over the years are not in the best of terms.
Hon. Alban Bagbin, Cletus Avoka and Dr Benjamin Kumbuor are all said to be complaining of ill-treatment from the Mahama government.
The NadowliKaloe MP has come out openly to vent his frustration at the conduct of the President regarding his inaccessibility and lack of commitment to fight corruption and graft.
Both Hon. Bagbin and Cletus Avoka, who incidentally have been leaders of the august House, were given a position christened ?three wise men,? which many have interpreted as retirement packages for the two active gentlemen.
Dr. Kunbuor on the other hand, is said to be aggrieved due to his amorphous position as a majority and leader of Government business without cabinet status.
The president?s resolve to deny him a cabinet status is said to have irked the majority Leader, who together with Alban Bagbin and Cletus Avoka, control both the Majority MPs and the Northern Caucus in Parliament.
The NDC leadership and kingpins of the party have all complained of the politics of exclusion being practiced by the President, a development that is said to pose serious danger to the second term bid of the President, especially when the NPP has crafted a strategy to take over the votes of the three northern regions, Western and Central regions, and add to their traditional Ashanti and Eastern region votes.
Political watchers say the best way to neutralize the effect of the NPP?s plan is for the President to begin resolving his differences with all persons in the party before the 2016 elections.
Now that former President Rawlings and his wife Nana KonaduAgyemang Rawlings have started planning their antics, it is quite clear the NDC is disadvantaged so far as the 2016 is concerned.
According to pundits the only way forward for the NDC to avoid a disastrous showing in the next presidential election is for the President to unite the party and do away with his politics of exclusion and vengeance in the ruling NDC.
- JM?s 2nd Term in Danger??IT?S BAWUMIA FOR 2016!?-As Akufo Addo bows out, Kufuor Agrees
Feb. 21, 2014
When the General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), KwadwoOwusuAfriyie, somewhat compromised his position to announce DrMahamuduBawumia as the party?s 2016 flag bearer in the event Nana Akufo decides not to run, he may just be stating the obvious as both former President Kufuor and the twice defeated presidential candidate Nana AkufoAddo, have all endorsed the former deputy Governor of the Central Bank.
Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, who is cooling off in his ?hide out? in far-away UK has finally thrown in the towel on his wildly rumored third term bid for the presidency due to old age and health concerns.
And as part of the strategy to remain politically relevant in the NPP even when he has decided not to engage in active politics, he has anointed his twice- failed political partner, DrMahamuduBawumia to lead the party into the 2016 elections.
Surprisingly, former President Kufuor who has over the years been championing for his own choice of flag bearer for the party has also endorsed DrBawumia even before AkufoAddo?s validation.
However, the snag was that the two NPP political giants had to enter into a pact to also endorse the Member of Parliament for Esekado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey, as running mate.
In effect, whiles the former Abuakwa South legislator proposed the flag bearer, former President John AgyekumKufuor also proposed the running mate in order to present a united squad for 2016 presidential election and ensure that President Mahama becomes a one term president.
The choice of Dr. Bawumia, though was strongly resisted by some key members of the Ashanti/Akyem stock, is to clear the age-long Akan tag on the NPP and to win enough votes tobeef-up the party?s traditional Ashanti and Akyem votes.
Mr. Joe Ghartey?s choice as running mate, on the other hand was to snatch back the Western and Central regions from the ruling NDC and also to dispel suggestions that leadership of the party is a swing ?between Ashantis and Akyems in the party.
Though some kingpins of the NPP have also shown interest in contesting the flag bearer ship, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is enjoying considerable popularity in the party and former President John Kufuor, who also has a hold on a large proportion of the party, have vowed to install Dr. Bawumia as leader of the party.
The choice of Dr. Bawumia, according to party insiders is also based on his economic prowess and the level of intelligence he demonstrated when he represented the party as its key witness in the novel election petition hearing.
Those championing this ticket are of the firm belief that given Dr. Bawumia?s background as an astute economist and Mr. Joe Ghartey?s knowledge as a lawyer, a former Attorney General and a legislator of several years, the duo stand the chance of turning the NPP on its winning ways and subsequently revive the fortunes of the country.
This paper has gathered that though Nana Akufo-Addo and former President Kufuor have agreed to a Dr.Bawumia/Joy Ghartey ticket for 2016, they are miles away from each other regarding support for individuals contesting national executive positions.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister is said to have endorsed Jake ObetsebiLamptey or Fred Oware and Sir John, for Chairmanship and General Secretary respectively; whiles former President Kufuor has also endorsed Paul Afoko for Chairman and KwabenaAgyepong for General Secretary.
Though Mr. Paul Afoko is yet to scale through the vetting process as there is an impending petition to the vetting committee on his candidature, it appears former President Kufuor?s men would beat Nana Akufo-Addo?s apostles to the National Chairman and General Secretary positions.
- Race for NPP Flagbearer 😕AKUFO ADDO IN PLAN ‘B‘?–To Prepare Grounds for Bawumia
March 17, 2014
To the many unsuspecting supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) already rejoicing a possible third term bid for Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, and have begun relishing how paradise Ghana will be under his presidency, the news is that the 2016 presidential ballot paper may contain the name of the twice defeated presidential candidate only on premeditated condition.
Clever as Nana Akufo-Addo is, his resolute henchmen, hell bent on maintaining his influence in the party and determined to install him as the de facto leader whose dictates must be the fulcrum around which the NPP ?revolves, have decided to gamble with his childhood dream of becoming president of Ghana at-all-cost, The Al-Hajj can report.
Determined to ignore all wise counseling from his physicians, close family, friends and associates, it is becoming obvious Nana AkufoAddo is bent on contesting the party?s primaries to select flag bearer at the next congress.
Nana Akufo-Addo?s presidential candidature in the 2016 elections, The Al-Hajj has picked up would be predicated on two legs; the availability of resources from now to the time of start of 2016 campaign, and the outlook of the Mahama administration.
Party insiders say if Nana Akufo-Addo is able to harvest enough resources between his anticipated declaration date and election time in 2016, and he is also convinced the Mahama-led administration has performed poorly for which reasons his chances of becoming president are bright, he would by all means damned the consequences to contest the 2016 presidential elections with DrBawumia as his running mate.
However, in the event any one or the two conditions go against him, and being the most popular person in the NPP today, he would nevertheless, contestthe party?s flag bearer, but immediately after winning name DrBawumia as his running mate only to cede the flag bearer position to him some eight months to the 2016 general election.
According to our usual reliable sources within the party, few weeks before the filing of official nomination with the Electoral Commission, Nana AkufoAddo is expected to announce his withdrawal from the 2016 presidential polls, citing advice from his doctors, during which time the NPP would be constraint by time going for another congress and therefore, would be compelled to endorse his nominated running mate, DrBawumia as its 2016 presidential candidate who will in turn name Mr Joe Ghartey, the MP for Esekado-Ketan and Second Deputy Speaker as his vice presidential candidate.
On the other hand, in the unlikely event all two conditions go in his favour, Nana AkufoAddo would then be emboldened to contest the 2016 presidential elections with Dr. Bawumia as usual, his running mate.
However, the NPP veteran politician who would be marking his 73rd birthday two months after been sworn into office as president on Jan 7, 2017, should he eventually be declared winner of the 2016 polls; is expected to relinquish his new status before his 75th birthday to allow his vice, Bawumia take over.
Intelligence intercepted by The Al-Hajj (both home and abroad) indicate that though, before leaving the UK, Nana Akufo-Addo had heeded to his nuclear family and doctors? advice not to risk his life contesting the 2016 presidential election against a much younger and energetic President John DramaniMahama, the ?all-die-be-die? man is said to have changed his mind on arrival in Ghana, even if temporarily.
Akufo-Addo?s resolve to ?roll a red? carpet for his twice failed political partner to ascend to the highest office of the land possibly after the 2016 polls is reportedly born out of his sheer love and faith in DrMahamuduBawumia to lead Ghana.
At the same timeour sources revealed that it is also to position the ?young man? for the 2020 elections should all the permutations not work out in 2016.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister under the Kufuor regime, a source told The Al-Hajj is taking cue from the late President Mills, who for the love he had for the then John Mahama was compelled under circumstance to contest the 2008 elections even when he was not in the best of health conditions in order to smoothen the path for his prot?g?, President John Mahama
Like his university mate Atta Mills, Nana Akufo-Addo, highly convinced by results of a poll said to have been conducted to test DrBawumia?s popularity within the New Patriotic Party, which results indicated that Bawumia?s chances of beating any potential flag bearer aspirants in the party?s internal contest is very slim, and ?just as Jesus Christ sacrificed his life to save mankind, Nana has vowed to risk his advancing age and not-too-good health to engage in another tortuous political theatrics to ensure his heir apparent, Bawumia is installed?, a source close to the NPP strong man revealed.
It has been said that if the late Candidate Mills had decided to step down as NDC flag bearer (when his health began to fade) in the middle of the 2008 political battle, party stalwarts would have opposed any attempt at John Mahama replacing him and would have called for emergency congress to elect another flag bearer in which case then vice presidential candidate Mahama could have lost out.
It is also on record that long before his demise on the throne, the late President Mills, in order to validate his love and wish for his prot?g? Mahama, warned ministers at two sessions of cabinet that after him no one should attempt contesting his vice President.
And ?in like manner, Nana Akufo-Addo is also said to have vowed to protect and shepherd DrBawumia to the extent that if he (Nana Akufo-Addo) does not become President, he would fight for his twice running mate to get the keys to the flag staff house.
One other factor that may eventually push down Nana Akufo-Addo to reconsider his decision to contest the 2016 presidential elections, according to many political pundits is the free Senior High School policy he had wanted to use to convince Ghanaians which will now be implemented by President Mahama in the 2015/2016 academic year.
And this is said to have rendered the NPP twice defeated flag bearer ?campaign message-less? in 2016.