General News of 2013-12-12

We have no option than to change Akufo-Addo in 2016 – Apraku

A two-time failed presidential hopeful of the opposition New Patriotic Party has dismissed suggestions that the party’s 2012 flagbearer be retained for the 2016 elections because he is marketed.
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku says the suggestion that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represented the NPP’s best chance in the next presidential poll because he is the most marketed candidate is based on flawed arguments.
“For any [person] to say that somebody is marketed; marketed by who? Whose standards? What is the basis of the assessment of that marketing”? he asked.
Dr. Apraku contested the presidential candidature of the NPP with former President John A. Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo in 1998 and came third. Mr. Kufuor won that primary.
He again put in a bid for the flagbearership of the party in 2007 alongside 16 others. Nana Akufo-Addo won that election but lost the 2008 Presidential poll to the late President John Mills, and the 2012 elections to President John Mahama.
Even though Mr. Akufo-Addo has not publicly stated whether he will make a third-time bid for the Presidency, his partisans say the two previous elections have made him the most popular political leader in the opposition party currently and should therefore be retained at the NPP’s flagbearer in the 2016 elections.
But Dr. Apraku, who managed Nana Akufo-Addo’s campaign in the 2008 elections but has recently, been labeled a traitor for suggesting to the party to elect a presidential candidate who can win elections, has rejected the arguments that Nana Akufo-Addo is well marketed.
“I’ve taught a Marketing Course at the university level and my conception of Marketing is not just marketing; the measure of your success is how much you sell of that product,” he asserted.
The former Trade and Industry Minister in the John Kufuor administration said, “If we have marketed somebody, we should be winning elections; we should be making progressive increases in the margins [of victory].”
“Look at President Mahama,” he told Joy News' Beatrice Adu, “he has never run any presidential election in his life. He came for four, five months and [was] able to win and you are talking about what?”
Replying critics who say he is simply calling for a change in the leadership of the NPP without any cause, Dr. Apraku said, “Anywhere else, except places where people don’t want to see progress, when you lose elections two times, you go back and assess yourself, and change is not always bad.”
For him, it is depressing that the opposition party is electing new leaders to steer its affairs without an assessment of the causes of its electoral losses in the previous elections.
Describing accusations that he was running down Nana Akufo-Addo in order to brighten his own chances of leading the NPP to the 2016 Presidential Poll, Dr. Apraku retorted, “Go and tell the Electoral Commission it is running somebody down.”
He is simply citing the election results as declared by the elections governing body, the Electoral Commission, he argued, insisting, “That is the results, that is what Ghanaians voted; if anybody is running anybody down, Ghanaians ran us down; they voted these numbers.”
“If you were the head of a family in your own home and your grandfather left six houses for you, in four years only two houses are left, won’t people ask you to account for it?” he asked, alluding to the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo won only two (Ashanti and Eastern) out of the 10 administrative regions compared to former president Kufuor who won six regions – Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Western, Greater Accra, and Bono Ahafo – in the 2 004 elections.
Refusing to state whether he would be running for the presidential nomination of the NPP, Dr. Apraku asked, “do you have to run for president to care about the fortunes of your party that you have invested your time and energies in it”? “I don’t have to run for president to worry about the future of this party,” he emphasized.