Alan To Set Up Parallel Party Structures With GAKE

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to be present at the Maiden Meeting of the Get Alan Kyeremanteng Elected (GAKE), the new political vehicle, two time defeated flagbearer aspirant, Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng seeks to use to prosecute his latest campaign to lead the Party.

This maiden meeting held at the Rexmar Hotel in Kumasi during which the objectives of the group was laid out, as well as how it intends to operate, left me in no doubt that this new vehicle of Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng will pose serious problems for the unity and strength of the Party and its structures going forward.

I must confess that some very divisive comments were made at the meeting by the self appointed National Coordinator of the movement, Katakyie Kwame Opoku, who went as far as suggesting that the NPP’s chances will be higher with an Ashanti flagbearer compared to a flagbearer from any other tribe. The National Coordinator also made some very trivial suggestions including a statement that Mr. Kyeremanteng was taller and more handsome than John Mahama and thus it will give him a better chance at capturing the Presidency in 2016.
Aside some of these statements however, were other suggestions which got me thinking hard.

After the 2012 General Election and in the course of the party’s restructuring which ended with the National Delegates Conference in Tamale, one issue which many seem to have agreed on is the desire for the Party structures to be used to run the 2016 Campaign.

Indeed, despite the fact that all Presidential Candidates in Ghana and indeed all over the world have campaign teams and despite the tradition of Presidential Candidates in the NPP from Prof. Albert Adu-Boahen to former President John Kufuor having Campaign Teams for the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Elections, very credible signals from the office of Nana Akufo – Addo suggests that the prevalent thinking is that in 2016, if given the opportunity to lead the party, Nana Akufo-Addo would depend solely on the Party structures to run the campaign.

One of the clearest indications of this approach was a piece I read in an NPP forum where one of the closest confidants to Nana Akufo – Addo made this known in clear and simple terms. This new approach which is a departure from the history of Campaigns even in the NPP, as I have stated early, is partly because Nana Akufo – Addo as a person keeps taking suggestions from the party and reworks things to conform with these suggestions for the collective interest of the party. This for example was why unlike 2008, there was nothing like FONAA in the campaign in 2012 and why aside the very top of the Campaign, the campaign utilized only the party’s structures in the Regions, Constituencies and at the Polling Station level.

More so, this decision to solely fall on the party, once elected, is because of the high confidence Nana Akufo – Addo appears to have in the newly elected National Executives. From all indications, these executives will be far more competent than the immediate past executives. This is not to suggest that the past executives were incompetent but just two quick examples will illustrate my point. With the position of General Secretary, for example, even Sir John loyalists readily admit that Kwabena Agyapong is a far more experienced and competent hand, having been an integral part of the internal workings of the Party since 1992. Again, with the position of National Organizer, it is very obvious that the choice of John Boadu is a departure from the past under Moctar Bamba whose only objective it seemed from day one was organizing a group of persons to protect the ballots, an idea which never came to fruition.

So back to the point, on the Nana Akufo – Addo side, there seems to be a clear indication of a desire to use the Party structure solely, something which began even in the 2012 Election and it now will depend on the Party to work hard and deliver victory come 2016.

However, at our meeting at the Rexmar Hotel, what became very apparent was that this new political vehicle aims to set up a completely different structure parallel to the party’s structure in all regions, constituencies and even at the polling station level to run the show in the unlikely event that Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng is elected flagbearer.

At the meeting, Mr. Kwame Opoku indicated that the group was in the process of setting up branches from the polling station level through constituency to the regional level and the National level which will be very separate from the Party’s structures.

This is clearly different from Nana Akufo – Addo’s structure which relies mainly on elected polling station, constituency and regional executives to campaign for him in the primaries and even during the National campaign.

I left the meeting with no doubt about the fact that what this new political vehicle of Mr. Kyeremanteng seeks to do is to establish a totally different structure and create a monster far worse than what numerous NPP activists have complained about with regard to the Campaign Team for the 2012 Election ,which was set up only at the National level.

I do believe that with our history, the last thing NPP delegates would want to see is a worsening of the issues we complain about and for me I think the maiden meeting of GAKE should send the signal clearly to the party that a far bigger nightmare is in its incubation stages. If the party allows it to fester and grow, the Party would certainly have itself to blame after 2016.

Kwaku Baah – Nuamah