Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has stepped down from the National Chairmanship race of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
A statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by one Ernest Twum, for and on behalf of the good old professor, noted that “the Prof has taken the firm position he is not going to contest for party chairman.”
Instead, the statement indicated, “he is going to use his good offices as a member of National Council of Elders and member of the National Council of the NPP to advise, caution, broker peace and direct in any way to help resolve conflict and help steer the party in the right direction.”
This comes as a disappointment to his supporters who picked up nominations forms for him to contest the race without his knowledge and consent.
Hours before the close of nominations last week, a group of NPP members including some MPs from the Greater Accra region, went to the Asylum Down headquarters of the party where they picked nomination forms for Prof. Oquaye, a former deputy Speaker of Parliament, to contest as National Chairman of the party.
The statement however noted that “at that material stage, the Prof was not aware of the move” and that later “the relevant persons met the Prof in his home and explained that they represented a large number of party loyalists who were strongly concerned about various goings-on in the party which had attracted media attention and felt it was necessary for him to come to the rescue by becoming the next party chairman.”
In spite of this, Prof Oquaye, a former MP for Dome Kwabenya, turned down the proposal, offering to “help whoever emerges as winner in the ensuing contest, advise and work closely with him to secure victory in election 2016.”
He had since urged members of the NPP to keep their eyes on the ball for the 2016 elections.
With his exit, the race is now open to four people including the incumbent, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, 1st Vice National Chairman Fred Oware, a former 1st Vice National Chairman Stephen Ntim and Paul Afoko
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