General News of 2013-12-21

Akufo-Addo backs attacks on Konadu Apraku

The twice defeated presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has okayed verbal attacks on his 2008 Campaign Director, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, for advocating for his replacement as flagbearer, since the party risk losing another presidential election.

According to him, in so far as those slandering Dr. Konadu Apraku have not indicated that they are speaking on behalf of Nana Akufo-Addo, “any other person, who speaks on NPP matters, speaks on his own behalf.”

This was after Dr. Kwabena Arthur Kennedy had challenged Nana Addo to call his supporters, who are verbally abusing and threatening Dr. Konadu Apraku, to put a stop to the vilification.

Dr. Kennedy had said he would be ‘very disappointed’ if Nana Akufo-Addo continues in his silence, adding “if he is not able to call his supporters to order, how can he call his ministers to order when he becomes President?”

But spokesperson for Nana Addo, Mustapha Hamid, in a quick response to Dr. Kennedy said, “if party people are misbehaving, it is the responsibility of the leadership of the party to call them to order and not Nana Addo.”

He explained that, constitutionally, Nana Addo has no locus to interfere or call any member of the party to order.

But this challenge thrown to the party leadership, led by Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, to prevent the attacks on Dr. Konadu Apraku, onetime Minister of Trade, as well as NEPAD under the John Kufuor Presidency, appears to be an impossible mission as all the current NPP National Executives, have all thrown their weight behind Nana Addo to lead the NPP for the third time as flagbearer.

Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, who is the NPP General Secretary, declared his unflinching support for Nana Addo, and parried suggestion that he was too old to contest the 2016 presidential elections by saying, Nana will contest at that election even if he had to be ferried in a wheelchair to campaign.

According to Mustapha Hamid, “There is only one person on earth, who has a license duly signed by Akufo-Addo to speak on his behalf and that person is Mustapha Hamid. So Nana Addo is responsible only for the unguarded or even responsible statements and utterances of Mustapha Hamid…”

He indicated that until another election is held to select Nana Addo as a flagbearer, ‘he is just an ordinary member’ and can’t stop them from talking.

He explained in an interview on Citi FM that once an election is over, the candidate who stood as the flagbearer ceases to be the leader of the party and hence does not have a say in the actions of its members adding, in so far as those slandering Dr. Konadu Apraku, have not indicated that they are speaking on behalf of Nana Akufo-Addo, “any other person, who speaks on NPP matters, speaks on his own behalf.”

Supporters of Nana Addo recently took Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, who is also interested in the NPP flagbearer slot to the cleaners, after he had come out to urge a change in leadership ahead of the 2016 polls.

Dr. Apraku said, the defeat of Akufo-Addo on two consecutive times raises concerns, thus, the need for a different candidate that will appeal to the floating voters.

The former trades minister, who served as campaign manager for Akufo-Addo in 2008 and also played significant roles in the 2012 elections, bemoaned the party’s dwindling fortunes, since President John Kufuor left office in 2009.

Another former aspirant, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy says Akufo-Addo’s chances must be re-examined.

Meanwhile, another aspiring NPP flagbearer, Alan Kyeremanten, has urged unity within the party, as it holds its internal elections.

He says the party must eschew divisive tendencies and rather emerge as a united force ahead of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr. Kyeremanten said this ahead of last weekend’s NPP Constituency elections across the country. It will hold regional, national elections in March before the flagbearer election next year.

He had written on his facebook page that: “As we elect leaders to manage our party at the Constituency level, I urge all patriots to consider the larger interest and eschew the very issues that divide us”.

He said: “I pray that the party emerges as a more united front, battle-ready for election 2016.”

According to him, “our journey to restoring hope to the Ghanaian people is on course”.

Even though the national executives’ election is in March 2014, various camps have already started mudslinging each other.