The 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, does not want any of the candidates contesting national positions of the party to use his name or picture in their campaigns.
According to a source, Nana Akufo- Addo has no preferred candidates among the contestants and is rather urging for unity and fairness within the rank and file of the party for a total victory in 2016.
To demonstrate his neutrality in the upcoming national elections of the party, the source said Nana Akufo- Addo last Wednesday ordered that all banners and posters that associated him with contesting candidates be removed from his residence.
Nana Akufo-Addo, arguably the most popular politician within NPP circles, arrived in the country last week to a tumultuous welcome after a six-month holiday in the United Kingdom, where he spent time to reflect on his future role in Ghanaian and NPP politics.
The two-time presidential candidate of the NPP in the 2008 and 2012 elections is currently enjoying huge popularity that some candidates have made his name and picture central to their own campaigns across the country.
As part of preparations to receive Nana Akufo-Addo on his return from the United Kingdom, many party stalwarts who are contesting national positions in the party printed posters, stickers and banners showing pictures of themselves and Akufo- Addo.
These posters and banners were subsequently posted around Nana Akufo-Addo’s Nima residence, but the 2012 flag bearer of the NPP is reported to have directed his security to tear down all the posters and banners from his walls.
Some of the candidates were said to be making phone calls to delegates across the country claiming that they were the preferred candidates of Nana Akufo-Addo.
According to the source, the directive from Nana Akufo-Addo signals that all candidates will now have to campaign on their own merit instead of trying to ride on his back.
Forty-four candidates have successfully gone through vetting and are eligible to stand for election during the party’s national delegates conference in Tamale, the northern regional capital, on April 12,2014.
The candidates are all in the field campaigning vigorously, and two key positions – the national chairman and general secretary – are interesting to watch.
For the national chairmanship position, incumbent National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, and his Vice, Fred Oware, Paul Afoko and Steven Ntim are vying for the slot.
Though Mr Afoko’s vetting is on hold following an alleged petition against him, the party has asked him to continue with his campaign. Meanwhile, the four candidates are expected to go for balloting to determine their positions on the ballot paper by close of today.
For the position of general secretary, incumbent Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, Kwabena Agyapong, Yaw Buaben Asamoah and Captain Effah Dartey (rtd) are contesting for the slot.