Even before delegates of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) assemble in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale on April 12, 2014 to elect new National Executives, former President Kufuor and his protégés contesting top positions in the party have triumph over their archrivals from the Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo stock.
President Kufuor’s set, which comprises business magnate and aspiring National Chairman, Paul Afoko and former Presidential Press Secretary and aspiring General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong, won over their intra-party ‘nemesis’ by having their wishes granted by the party’s National Council regarding the procedure and venue for the party’s impending delegate congress.
As if it was an act of God for the Kufuor camp to put their noise in front ahead of the real showdown which has now been moved from March 1 to April 12 this year, the National Council of the NPP on Tuesday endorsed the proposal by Kufuor’s camp, spearheaded by Kwabena Agyapong to go strictly by the party’s constitution of holding a centralized congress to elect national officers.
The Kufuor camp also advocated that the congress be moved to the Northern region this time around, which was duly accepted.
This was against the decision by the pro-Akufo Addo’s Jake and Sir John led national executives to shove aside the party’s constitution due to lack of funds to have the congress and voting decentralized across the regional capitals.
The National Council’s verdict has since sent the Kufuor camp rejoicing as they see it as a foretaste of the victory that awaits Mr Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong at the April 12 congress.
Many have said that the National Council’s endorsement of Kufuor’s proposal, championed through Kwabena Agyapong and Frederick Opare Ansah, suggested that those contesting on the wings of former President Kufuor have a better sense of judgment and know what is good for the NPP.
The race for the NPP’s top most positions of National Chairman and General Secretary, aside of the flag bearer, hit fever pitch when the current leadership, thought to be enjoying the support of Nana Akufo-Addo, for strange reasons varied the procedure for the conduct of the next elections by decentralizing the system, whereby each region will be allowed to cast their votes at a designated venue.
This did not sit well with former president Kufuor, his pal Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, who were said to have suspected the Nana Addo, Sir John and Jake/Oware set of planning to rig the election.
As a result they fought against the idea and pushed for the status quo to be maintained and also suggested the congress be held in the Northern regional capital.
This was resolutely and aggressively rebuffed by the current leadership through its chief ‘spokesman’, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who vigorously defended the decision to opt for the decentralized system, citing lack of funds.
In the heat of the arguments, the Member of Parliament for Suhum, Mr Frederick Opare Ansah, a former Alan loyalist but who is now in the camp of Kufuor which caused him to lose his position in parliament as Minority Chief Whip wrote to Chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey reminding him of the constitutional implications of their proposed decentralized policy.
Whiles the Kufuor and Akufo-Addo camps hotly battle each other over the procedure and venue for the next congress, another standard bearer aspirant, representing the “third force” in the NPP, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen’s camp of Stephen Ntim (aspiring National Chairman) and Yaw Buabeng Asamoah (aspiring General Secretary) remained non-aligned.
Indeed, Mr Ntim in a radio interview noted that he has nothing against the current executives proposed procedure for the election, adding that he was ready to offer himself for election base on any procedure decided by the party.
His colleague from the same camp, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, on a day to the National Council’s decision issued statement calling on the National Council to stamp their authority by concluding on the procedure for the congress.
The April 12 congress of the NPP, which has now shifted from the initial tribal contest between the Ashantis and Akyems in the party to a personality cult between Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan, is said to be a decider on who controls the elephant party in the next four years.