General News of 2014-04-15

Mahama to win 2016 elections in spite of...

If intelligence signals Public Agenda is picking are anything to go by, then President John Dramani Mahama is likely to win the 2016 presidential elections without sweat. And this will not be because of any remarkable achievement of his administration but because a sizeable section of the New Patriotic Party leadership wants it that way. They call it Agenda 2020.

The Agenda 2020 plot is only a rehash of an earlier agenda hashed for the 2012 elections, but which does not appear to have yielded the pre-meditated outcome.

Public Agenda has gathered that, in 2012, Nana Akufo Addo’s campaign was heavily infiltrated by elements of the Alan Kyeremanteng faction, who were mainly young, exuberant and aggressive crop of politicians, some of who had served in various capacities under the Kufuor administration, from District Chief Executives to ministers of state. Working under pretence and deceit, the group, according to Public Agenda’s intelligence succeeded in undermining the Nana Addo campaign.

Some are alleged to have collaborated with NDC elements to rig election results at some polling stations. One of such operatives who spoke to the Public Agenda in confidence in 2012, said if Nana were to win the 2012 elections, he (the Allan operative) was certainly not going to have a place in the government that would be formed, and given the likelihood that Nana will serve two terms, he and his group would be confined to the ‘wilderness’ for eight years.

Whereas if Mahama won (and of course he did) they were going to have to wait for just four years before their man, Allan, could take a chance at the presidency. The reasoning at the time was based on the expectation that, Nana was either not going to run for the high office in 2016, or was going to be rejected by the party if he did.

Of course Nana Akufo-Addo’s popularity today cannot be taken for granted in any political analysis. In fact, his declaration of intent to run for the presidency for the third time in a row, has sent shivers down the spine of prospective candidates for the presidential slot, both within the NPP and NDC. Pundits say Nana will be the man to beat in 2016. But his adversaries are not idling at all these days. Notes have been revised and the plot this time, even though cast in exactly the same frame as the 2012 one, has undertones of party political capture as a tool to undermine Nana’s bid. The rehashed plot still hinges on Nana’s age.

In 2016, Nana will be 72 years. The thinking is that if his third bid can be scuttled, Nana will either give up his presidential ambition or the party will give up on him. Either way, the stable would be cleared for an Allan bid in 2020. That is the Agenda 2020. Of course there are others who are also nurturing presidential ambitions in the NPP, such as Dr. Kofi Konadu Apreko, Dr. Frimpong Boateng, and Dr. Richard Anane, which suggests that even in 2020 Allan will not have a smooth ride.

One would have expected that given the economic management challenges that confront the Mahama administration, the NPP would be united in purpose to unseat the NDC, but the Allan faction, long believed to have the backing of former President Kufuor, would rather be in opposition than have Nana as president in 2016. The strategy this time around has been varied to capture major positions in the party by whatever means possible, and to turn around to call for party unity after the elections.

The Allan faction will then deploy a well-rehearsed plot characterised by the usual pretence, and aimed at making the world believe they (Allan loyalists) are genuinely working for Nana’s campaign. This is meant to deceive party followers as they proceed to undermine Nana’s bid by withholding resources for the campaign. Party insiders say the Allan pawns in this agenda are Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, Yaw Boaben Asamoah, Mike Ampong and others. The machinations have already begun - ahead of the party’s delegates’ congress in Tamale. A story carried in the Chronicle on Friday, April 11 suggested that Nana Akufo Addo has endorsed Paul Afoko, which would have been weird, but our checks did not confirm it. It seems all part of the grand plot to deceive party followers into voting for Allan loyalists.

The ultimate objective of this rather bizarre development within the NPP in the post Kufuor era flies in the face of Kufuor’s own preference for “…being a messenger in a governing party to being the General Secretary of a party in opposition”. These developments will no doubt hand over 2016 to NDC, and Mahama will remain President not because he won the elections, but more because the NPP decided to lose it.