Former president John Agyekum Kufuor has dismissed suggestions that he belongs to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“factionÃ¢â‚¬Â in proposals to amend the constitution of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In an address to over a thousand delegates at Pavilion E of the Trade Fair Centre in Accra, the former president, who described himself as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“thorough-bred NPP [member],Ã¢â‚¬Â said such speculations were unfounded.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have no faction and indeed do not want any faction in the party,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have supported the ideals and principles of the party all my life. I have no intention of departing from them. Through the party I reached the highest point in the political life of our nation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mr Kufuor stressed that he is intent on seeking the well-being of the Dankwa-Busia fraternity and not to rip it apart.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not in contention with anybody for any position within the party or outside it. I wish to play my role as an elder statesman within the party; which position I believe I have earned. I have earned it,Ã¢â‚¬Â he emphasised.
He added that Ã¢â‚¬Å“as an elder if I see something going wrong or I have a vision I am convinced in, I believe I have a dutyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦to my conscience, my beliefs to share it with my party members.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mr KufuorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comments sought to dispel recent perceptions in the media that he is leading a radical school of thought that kicks against several of the proposed amendments to the constitution of the NPP.
The main opposition party considered a heap of proposals including changing the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name from New to National Patriotic Party, swelling its electoral college and restricting the number of its flagbearer aspirants.
In an interview with Joy News on Friday, spokesman for the former president, Mr Frank Agyekum, hinted the former president had opined that the current constitution of the party did not need changes necessarily but reinforcement. He said the former president was of the view that the party must tread with caution so it is not exposed to “unforeseen dangers.”
The Minority in Parliament has fully thrown its support behind the changes and believes the exercise is a health one.
Minority Leader Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu addressing delegates at the extraordinary conference emphasised: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We in Parliament by consensus do support the proposed amendments.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let all of us herein assembled; let the conscience of each one of us be the keeper of each one of us,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, receiving a raucous applause and shouts of Ã¢â‚¬Å“yee yeÃ¢â‚¬Â from the party delegates.
Mr KufuorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word to the party at the conference grounds was that its leadership adopts an Ã¢â‚¬Å“open-handÃ¢â‚¬Â approach, made unity the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“rallying cryÃ¢â‚¬Â and stuck to the campaign refrain Kukrudu, Unity.
The extraordinary delegates conference of the party will be followed by a rally on Sunday August 23, at which event leadership will reiterate calls for stronger cohesion as the party laces its boots to “recapture power in 2012.”
Story by Fiifi Koomson