Akufo-Addo Demands Early Congress

Time is not on the side of the twice defeated presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party as he hides behind proxies to exert pressure on the new National Executives to convene early congress to elect flag bearer for the 2016 presidential polls.

The Al-Hajj can report that even before the current executives, most of whom he was reported to have campaigned against because he said he would not be comfortable working with some of them, assumed full responsibilities and settle down in the party’s Asylum Down headquarters; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for parochial reasons wants the congress organized early.

Sources close to the former Foreign Affairs Minister in the Kufuor government, who is presently on a Commonwealth observer mission in South Africa; monitoring ongoing local and provisional elections, revealed to this paper the delay in holding the congress is gradually but deeply dipping the hitherto popularity of the former Abuakwa South MP within the NPP and any further delay could wreak havoc to his fourth flag bearer bid.

Reports are that Nana Akufo-Addo’s fiercest rival, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, who is suspected to have strong ties with the new National Executives, is making serious in roads into the Akyem Septuagenarian’s previously ironclad support base and is likely to snatch the ‘leadership’ of the opposition party from him.

Feeling the pinch of Alan Kyeremanten’s robust campaign, which is said to be gradually dwarfing his wholesale popularity, Nana Akufo-Addo and his ‘crisis managers’, according to NPP sources have tasked social media and party communicators sympathetic his agenda to relentlessly keep knocking on the doors of the Afoko-led executives, demanding an early congress.

Information reaching The Al-Hajj revealed how the absence of a definite pronouncement on the party’s congress date to elect a flag bearer is causing Nana Akufo-Addo to lose some of his crack and tough loyalists among the NPP top brass; to other rival camps.

Sensing danger at the rate at which devotee heavyweights are jumping ship to consort with his opponents, Nana Akufo- Addo and his handlers are said to have vowed to resort to all tactics under the sun to ensure the party goes to an early congress.

Party insiders told this paper that those decamping from Nana Akufo-Addo to join other flag bearer hopefuls are not encouraged by his recent physical looks and are of the opinion that a further delay by the national executives in organizing congress to elect the party’s next flag bearer may see the twice defeated presidential candidate run out of steam.

This latest but unfortunate thinking among the gurus of the party, particularly those in Akufo Addo’s camp is said to be resonating with NPP grassroots, who are also reported decamping in droves.

Interestingly, some of the NPP linchpins still ‘dinning’ with Nana Akufo-Addo are also reportedly piling pressure on him to consider making way for his young and energetic protégé and twice failed political partner, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to step in his shoes, citing his advancing age and its associated health challenges.

These new developments adding to the wise counseling from the international community advocating he hangs his political gloves and become a respectable statesman, a source close to Nana Akufo-Addo revealed, has pushed him thinking what to do next.

It would be recalled that few days after the NPP’s last month Tamale conference which saw the crushing of Nana Akufo-Addo’s sponsored candidates, an aide to the dislodged national chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, stated that Nana Akufo Addo is in a state of fear following attempts by some leading members of the party to convince the current executives to delay the organization of the party’s National Delegates Congress.

Asamoah Gyamfi said the fear of delaying the congress has hit the camp of Nana Addo due to the fact that the current executives hail from the camp of Alan Kyerematen and attempts are being made to buy time to market his (Alan’s) candidature by deliberately delaying the congress.

His comments were in reaction to suggestions by a former Information Minister in the Kufuor government, Stephen Asamoah Boateng that, instead of pushing for an early congress, the party ought to focus on re-structuring and strengthening its base to make it a more formidable political entity.

Asamoah Boateng stressed that what NPP needs after its Conference in Tamale was to allow the new crop of executives to have ample time and space to build the party from the grassroots by giving enough attention to the branch, polling stations and constituencies where the party’s strength lies.

But in opposition to these assertions, Nana Akufo-Addo and his men are said to be intensely relying on article 12 of the NPP’s constitution which states “1. The election of the Party’s Presidential Candidate SHALL be held not later than twenty-four (24) months from the date of the national election. The date and venue for the election SHALL be decided by the National Council, provided, however, that National Council may, on appropriate occasion, vary the date …

b. Not later than six (6) months prior to the holding of the National Congress, the General Secretary shall give notice inviting applications from members of nomination as the Party’s candidate to contest for the office of the President of the Republic. The notice shall be displayed in conspicuous place in the Party’s Constituency, Regional and National Offices and shall specify the closing date for application, which shall not be more than five(5) months prior to the holding of the National Congress.”