General News of 2014-05-28

Let Akufo-Addo go unopposed - Group

A group claiming to represent the Greater Accra Youth Wing of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has demanded that the party should not field any candidate apart from the 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for Election 2016.

Consequently, it has called for the withdrawal of all competitors for the party’s presidential primary scheduled for December.

A Spokesperson for the group, Mr Ben Owusu, who is a former NPP Youth Organiser in the Adenta Constituency, told Accra-based Joy FM that an open contest would amount to a waste of party resources and create acrimony that would hand the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) ammunition to defeat the NPP at the polls.

According to the group, an open competition might lead to resignations by some members of the party, as happened in 2007, and that could endanger the unity of the party ahead of the 2016 elections.

The group, said to be made up of constituency youth organisers across the region, stormed the NPP Headquarters at Asylum Down yesterday to press home its demand.

It was of the view that if one candidate was acclaimed as the presidential candidate, the whole party could support him to win the 2016 elections.

Mr Owusu said the party did not have the luxury of time to go through a series of elections, adding that Nana Akufo-Addo was the best candidate, since he had already been marketed in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

“Asking for acclamation will not be the first time that the party is going through this. It has happened before in 2004 when Mr J. A. Kufuor was the sitting President…at that period common sense prevailed,” he said.

Asked if going by that decision would not contradict the party’s byelaws, he said, “We are not talking about abandoning democracy…we are talking about the lack of luxury of time and we believe that we are in opposition and so going through internal elections will bring acrimony and wrangling.

“The youth in Greater Accra are saying we need power and the only means of getting power now is letting Nana Akufo-Addo to lead the party…he is already marketed. When it comes to resources, if all these aspirants will support him and come with one voice, it will bring about the unity we are looking for.

“In the situation where there are some people contesting, it will bring acrimony and if you listen to other people’s spokespersons, the rate at which they are talking on air, it is giving ammunition to our opponent and we don’t think that it is right,” he said.

Meanwhile, another group calling itself Get Alan Kyerematen Elected (GAKE) says the NPP stands a better chance of winning the 2016 presidential race by pairing Alan and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, instead of Nana Akufo-Addo.

A statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, said, “GAKE is emotionally troubled by Nana Akufo-Addo’s electoral defeats, in spite of the great opportunities that were at his disposal.

“Today, majority of Ghanaians are suffering under the Mahama-led NDC government because our preferred candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, has not been able to secure victory for the NPP as he promised in his “Victory 2008? and “Victory 2012? slogans.”

Others who have shown interest in the 2016 elections include Dr Konadu Apraku, Mr Joe Ghartey, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Mr Francis Addai Nimoh, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng and Mr Isaac Osei.