Posted: Thursday 29th May 2014 at 7:00 am

Akufo Addo, Alan Rivalry Turns Deadly

9739231489809 224732 Akufo Addo, Alan Rivalry Turns DeadlyThe rivalry between opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) twice-defeated flagbearer: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and his closest adversary in the race, John Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng (Alan Cash), has assumed a frightening tempo as supporters of both sides resort to death threats.

The social media (particularly Facebook) is replete with verbal attacks from individuals and new groups purporting to support either of the two candidates ahead of tomorrow’s crucial National Executives Meeting in Accra.

The Republic newspaper gathered that the feud apparently became terrifying when a section of the party proposed Akufo Addo should contest on the party’s ticket unopposed.

Supporters of Alan Cash, seen as a formidable candidate likely to upset Akufo Addo’s monopoly, felt the call was unfair and suggested counter arguments that has spiraled into an uncontrollable face-off between party members aligned to the two camps.

The situation has forced several top party members to intervene, including Paul Afoko, the National Chairman who warned that if the party disintegrated along the two camps, they stood no chance of victory in the 2016 general elections.

“No matter how popular or strong a candidate is, he cannot win political power with a divided house” Mr. Afoko warned. The National Youth Organizer Samuel Awuku was less enthusiastic about the development, saying it was ‘breaking the hearts of Ghanaians’. , Sammy Awuku described as unfortunate how a mere flagbearership race has now become a tug of war. “Ghanaians are looking up to us to restore hope and redeem them from the shackle of poverty they have been plunged in by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC),” Mr. Awuku stated on Monday on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme.

As the race for the flagbearership of the party heats up and the congress to elect the party’s next flagbearer nears, the infighting appears to be escalating in a similar proportion.

A group calling itself Friends of Alan Kyeremateng (FAK) recently voiced its displeasure at what they suspected as an attempt to market Akufo Addo more than their preferred candidate Alan Kyeremateng For them statements make recently by respected members of the party such as Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori (PC Appiah Ofori), Dr. Amoako Tuffour, among others that Akufo Addo should be allowed to contest without opposition apparently because of his perceived popularity, is in disregard to the democratic tenets of the party which gives every member the opportunity to contest for the party’s flagbearer.

But aides to Akufo Addo have denied such perceived favoritism, saying Akufo Addo considers contesting unopposed as an ‘anti-climax’. His aide, Mustapha Hamid stated on Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday that contesting unopposed “… is not going to happen. In this NPP? – No”.

Indeed, the two factions have always been bitter rivals whose supporters threaten to split the party in the middle. The NPP’s current to-camp rivalry is not a new development; it is a tussle that runs deep into the very essence of the party’s identity. The party strength is said to be evenly divided between the Akyem Tribe from the Eastern Region and the Ashanti tribe from the Ashanti Region.

These two tribes have been ancient rivals and the front-running personalities for the flagbearer race are aligned to these two opposing tribes: Akuffo Addo is a thoroughbred Akyem, while Alan Kyeremateng is a deep rooted Ashanti.

The former President John Agyakum Kufour, another Ashanti, is said to be a strong supporter of Alan Kyeremateng, having rooted for him in the 2008 internal elections that saw Alan Kyeremateng give Akufo Addo one of his more daunting challenges to the flagbearer race.

The simmering rivalry is seen by political analyst as the NPP’s more disturbing ‘Achilles heels’ that could again cost the party the opportunity to annex power from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

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