The flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been struck by a serious dilemma as he struggles to select his campaign manager for his 2016 presidential bid, the Republic newspaper has gathered.
The NPP’s three-time flagbearer (who lost the two presidential races he contested) is said to be confused because of conditions set by all eligible candidates at his disposal for the Campaign Manager position.
Generally, all the candidates want to be independent of Akufo-Addo’s Kitchen cabinet composed of his friends and family members led by Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, the former Executive Director of pro-NPP think-tank, Danquah Institute.
Adding to the general demand for non-interference from Akufo-Addo’s all-powerful kitchen cabinet; there are individual demands such as that allegedly made by Stephen Ayensu Ntim, an aspirant for the NPP National Chairmanship position in the party’s latest executive elections.
Mr. Ntim is reported to have demanded to be made the Chief of Staff in the event Nana Akufo-Addo wins the 2016 presidential election. This condition is said to have been frowned at by Akufo-Addo.
There are currently four other names on the cards that have been picked up by this newspaper as likely considerations. These include his campaign manager for the ill-fated 2012 presidential ambition, Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko; Dan Kwaku Botwe, Member of Parliament for Okere in the Eastern Region and a two-time General Secretary of the party; Stephen Ntim, former National 1st Vice Chairman of the NPP and Edward Boateng, the Chief Executive of media conglomerate- Global Media Alliance.
A surprising addition is Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Akufo Addo’s all-time running-mate, who is said to be strongly considered because of his acumen for strategy.
Dan Botwe, one of the likely front-runners has been unequivocal about his disdain for the antics of Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Co. and has specifically requested that this group of people should steer clear of his office if he is to become campaign manager.
Dan Botwe, popularly called “The General” for his ability to win elections for the NPP following his track record in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections that the NPP won, is said to be highly considered. However, sources say he might have bruised Akufo-Addo’s legendary ego by giving him uncompromising preconditions, thus unlikely to be picked.
On the other hand, Mr Boakye Agyarko is said to fit the bill perfectly having been “playing ball” with Akufo-Addo’s friends and family led by Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko.
But Boakye Agyarko has been viewed with suspicion by a section of the NPP who claim he failed to render proper accounts to how campaign funds were spent during the 2012 campaign.
Members of Akufo-Addo’s all powerful kitchen cabinet are said to have allegedly used the windows provided by Boakye Agyarko to enrich themselves at the expense of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Akufo-Addo is said to have been overwhelmed by the serious lobbying, currently ongoing within the party for certain individuals to be selected as campaign managers.
It is being speculated that the dilemma over who becomes Akufo-Addo’s campaign manager may force him to adopt the same strategy he used for this year’s flagbearership campaign where he personally chaired a Campaign Coordinating Team composed of Dr. Bawumia, Akosua Frema Opare, Victor Newman, Boakye Agyarko and Lord Commey.
It is yet unclear how he will match the task of electioneering campaign with campaign strategizing if he opts for this option.
This option has been seen as an easy way to rely on his family and friends to handle the campaign for him towards election 2016.
According to critics, this possibility is inherent, given Akufo-Addo’s latent suspicions for the leadership of the current national executives whom his supporters have hinted at being compromised.