General News Fri, 28 Dec 2007

Aliu Quits ...

... Hackman, Oquaye and Owusu-Adjapong to follow?
... Oquaye: Professor to Pastor?
... Addo-Kufuor: Back to Batan?
... Apraku’s 15 years service reward: 19 votes
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates’ congress has claimed its first casualty as some leading members of the party have announced their premature retirement from active politics owing to their poor showing at the congress.

Rattled by the outcome of last Saturday’s congress, which threw them off their feet, Vice President Aliu Mahama and former Defence Minister, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor have indicated their desire to quit active politics following their defeat in the NPP flagbearership race.

Even though all the 16 aspirants pledged their support to the eventual winner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD who had 1,096 votes (47.9 percent), the decision to quit was informed by the embarrassing number of votes the defeated aspirants received from the delegates.

Other defeated aspirants who are on the verge of announcing their disengagement from politics, DAILY GUIDE learnt, are Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, MP for New Juaben North and former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing; Prof Mike Oquaye, MP for Dome-Kwabenya and former Minister of Communications; and Felix Kwasi Owusu-Adjapong, MP for Akim Swedru and former Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

According to Dr Addo-Kufuor, who had a paltry 22 votes from the total valid votes of 2,285, he was left with no option but to go back to his medical practice, while Alhaji Aliu Mahama said he would go back to his business.

Speaking to journalists after the Electoral Commission (EC) announced the results of the congress, Alhaji Mahama said he had come to the end of his political career, and that going back to his business was the only option he had. The Number Two Citizen had 146 votes, representing 6.3 percent.

However, the Vice President’s decision would take effect after January 7, 2009 when a new government is in place.

“I want to have my cool, go into private life, you know. As I said, eight years is enough for me," the 61-year-old Vice President said.

A Civil Engineer by profession, Alhaji Mahama surprisingly emerged the running mate to then candidate John Agyekum Kufuor, when he was introduced to the party at its annual conference in Ho in 2000. He has been Vice President since 2001 when the party captured power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He said he would need time to decide on the type of business he would engage in.

The Vice President who run his campaign on the premise that he was the most suitable for the job, having acted as president several times in the absence of his boss President Kufuor, was roundly defeated to the third position after John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, former Minister of Trade and Industry, picked the second position with 738 votes, representing 32.5 percent.

Only three contestants polled more than five percent of the votes while seven of them had less than one percent in the bitter contest that was characterized by heavy spending by most of the aspirants.

Dr Addo-Kufuor could not believe his ears when it was announced that his high profile campaign could earn him only 22 votes. “I’m surprised. I believe this is a fluke,” he stated.

According to him, he had done a lot for the country, as well as the NPP and he deserved more credit than the 22 votes he had received.

“Addo-Kufuor deserves more than this,” the MP for Manhyia and brother of the President said.

He said going back to medical practice may be his next line of action.

A former President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor entered the NPP flagbearership race with a solid record of achievements including his tenure as Defence Minister for close to seven years, until he resigned along with seven others to pursue their presidential ambitions.

A disappointed Dr Addo-Kufuor who had the baggage of being the President’s brother to carry said he had come to the end of the road and was therefore going back to private medical practice.

Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the business mogul and arrowhead of Sikelele Enterprises may also be on his way out of politics after the heavy defeat he suffered at the congress.

Hon Owusu-Agyemang, one of the biggest spenders in the NPP race managed to get 28 votes, six votes less than Papa Owusu-Ankomah, MP for Sekondi’s 34.

He was reported to have said he would not have wasted his time and resources if he had known all he would get were 28 votes.

Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku’s 15 years’ service to the party got him 19 votes. The former Minister of Regional Integration and NEPAD could not believe it when it was announced that he had 19 votes.


“What! 19?” he asked his wife who was sitting behind him at the congress.

Prof Mike Oquaye’s notice for retirement was served long before the contest gathered steam. He had told DAILY GUIDE in his office before he resigned as Minister of Communications that in the event of he being rejected by the delegates, he would quit politics and concentrate on the ministry of Jesus Christ.

A Baptist priest and a lawyer by profession, Prof Oquaye, 63, who supported various constituencies with cornmill machines (Nika Nika) had just 20 votes.

His support to the constituencies did not touch the hearts of the delegates, who commended him with the 20 votes. More people are expected to announce their resignation from active politics following the bruising defeats.

Source: Daily Guide
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