Despite the seemingly public show of support for the ambition of two times unlucky presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, party insiders have dropped hints of deep divisions among party leaders across country over whether Nana Addo should be given a third chance to lead the party in Election 2016.
These deep throat sources have confirmed that there is an already existing faction that has sworn to do every thing humanly possible to prevent the ageing politician from returning to lead them as against another bloc which believes that Nana, being the most marketed face and with a solid support base, should be the automatic flag bearer in that election.
Members of the anti-Nana bloc are therefore strategizing for the party’s National Delegates Congress scheduled for Tamale in April to push through an amendment to the party’s constitution which will limit each defeated presidential candidate to only two trials as flag bearer.
‘This attempt to block Nana from making a third term bid is being championed by the pro-John Kufuor camp in the party. They are agitating against Nana Akufo Addo’s third term bid and they have based their argument on an ambiguity in the party’s constitution which did not place any term limit on one’s ambition to be president of the republic,’ the source revealed.
Our source said this silent aspect of the party’s constitution will be one of the sticky points to be discussed at the delegates’ congress. Even if the party decides to set a cut-off point for its presidential candidates; on whom and when it will start will be decided on at this crucial congress.
The source further revealed that the young Turks in the party (names withheld) who are in the forefront of the agitation to set term limits for presidential candidates believe Nana does not have what it takes to defeat the National Democratic Congress, NDC,’s otherwise obvious candidate President John Mahama in the next election.
‘This faction is working very hard to emerge victorious in the Tamale congress from where they can set in motion this amendment to their constitution. Once they capture power then Nana should consider his political career over and we will automatically admit him into the council of elders of the party. He deserves it, he has sacrificed so much for the growth of the party,’ the source, who is also a party insider revealed to The True Statesman.
According to him, Nana himself is aware of the undercurrents leading to the congress and is also closely watching developments in the countdown to the Tamale congress.
‘The emergence of a new national leadership will therefore shape Nana’s political future. If his faction led by incumbent party chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Kojo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John) emerges victorious, be sure Nana will announce his candidature but if that faction loses then he will bow out gracefully, after all age is not on his side to undergo the strenuous presidential campaign,’ the source explained.
What however may ultimately derail Nana’s ambition which is also linked to his age is his health, our source hinted. According to him, the presidential candidate has gone through a lot physically and emotionally and many have doubts if he can go through the grueling all night travels and sleepless nights holding meetings with campaign strategists and confidants again, it takes a lot.
‘So in addition to the subterranean moves by some party insiders to curtail his ambition, he is also mindful of the other factors and is therefore hedging his bet till the delegates’ congress,’ The True Statesman was told.
‘Nana is therefore waiting for the right signals before making any pronouncement, he is a veteran politician and a strategist; he knows when to pitch,’ he added.
He hinted that the anti-third term faction have always suspected that the famous petition sent to the Supreme Court last year to annul President Mahama’s presidency was a ruse by the pro-Akufo-Addo faction to have a stranglehold on the presidential seat. This faction, he pointed out, knew the futility of going to the court, they knew we will lose but it was part of a grand design by Nana and Jake to ensure that Nana leads the party again with he Jake still in charge as chairman.
‘The result of that strategy is what we are witnessing today. What they will tell us is that the election was stolen for the incumbent so Nana must be given the chance since his face is already known,’ the source sadly said.
However Nana Addo, in a public pronouncement on March 6, told hundreds of his supporters who thronged his residence to welcome him from his six-month sojourn in UK that though he has taken a decision on his political future, he first wants to meet and brief party elders on it following which he will make a formal public announcement. He however did not fix a time table for these crucial events further fueling speculation that he is still interested in running for the primaries and maybe for the national crown if he is able to scale the hurdles posed by other interested party members who are believed to be receiving covert support from former President Kufuor.