The National Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko is battling serious pressure from his financiers of his campaign for the NPP Chairmanship, the Republic newspaper has learnt.
According to sources almost all those who allegedly supported Paul Afoko in his bid to become the National Chairman of the NPP are expecting him to return the favour by scheming for them to become the next flagbearer of the party.
Some names have come up, but the Republic newspaper has not been able to confirm them. According to a source close to happenings behind closed doors, personalities such as Osei Ameyaw a former Minister in the John Agyekum Kufour administration and the Member of Parliament for the Asuogyaman constituency, Heart surgeon-Professor Frimpong Boateng, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku a former Minister and former Attorney General, Joe Ghartey are all chasing the National Chairman for favours in target for the party’s presidential ticket.
These top guns of the NPP belong to a clique of ambitious party members nursing the dream of becoming NPP flag bearers. They are said to have pumped considerable resources into the campaign of Mr. Afoko who beat three other contenders to the position, including the then incumbent Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey.
“They all supported him with money; Osei Ameyaw, [and] Apraku gave him money. He [Afoko] thinks they were giving him money for free,” a source seeking anonymity told this paper. Some of these individuals including Dr. Apraku and Joe Ghartey, have officially declared their intension to contest, while the others whose plans even though an open secret have stayed off a public declaration for now.
Paul Afoko- hitherto known as particularly having a preference for John Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng (Alan Cash)-a formidable contender to the NPP flagbearership race-, on several platforms has stated that he will not be biased towards any of the contenders to the opposition party’s top position. He recently almost got physical with a journalist who chose to ascertain from him if he was still supportive of Alan Kyeremateng.
Mr. Afoko was very instrumental in Mr. Kyeremateng’s failed bid in 2007 to become the Presidential Candidate of the NPP for the 2008 general elections.
His victory as the Chairman of the party at the Tamale Delegates’ Conference has been interpreted by some people to mean a victory for Mr. Kyeremateng in the party’s flagbearership contest, which is expected to take place this year, but he has denied his affinity for his old pal.
Indeed, the Republic newspaper has picked up hints that the two have fallen out with each other over what Mr. Afoko allegedly regards as Alan Cash’s ingratitude to him for his support for his [Alan Cash’s] two-time presidential bids.
It is unclear if the aspirants alleged to have pumped money into Mr. Afoko’s campaign had seen an opening they could exploit from the disaffection between Alan Cash and Paul Afoko.
But critics contend that it will be extremely difficult for the National Chairman of the NPP to scheme for anybody besides Alan Cash and the party’s two-time flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. The two are seen as the front-runners in the race for the party’s ticket. Akufo Addo having garnered immense popularity within and outside the party because of his twice-defeated bid and Alan Cash’s fame charisma that he had used in previous contests where he was the clear runner-up.
Recent statements made by Afoko indicates that he is more focused on building a united party capable of giving the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) a good run in the 2016 presidential elections than be caught in the bitter wrangling y supporters of individual aspirants.
He was recently quoted as saying, “No matter how popular or strong a candidate is, he cannot win political power with a divided house,” referring to the brutal personality clashes run up to the NPP’s presidential congress this year.