As revealed in the March 3, 2014 edition of The Al-Hajj of a conspiracy by some key actors of the New Patriotic Party to install Dr Mahamudu Bawumia the sole flag bearer for the 2016 elections, the crusade has now thickened and the twice failed vice presidential candidate may just be smiling to stardom.
Even though senior members of the biggest opposition party denied plots to crown Dr Bawumia the next leader of the party, recent acrimonious campaigns by loyalists of the two leading flag bearer aspirants is courting enormous support for the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana to lead the party as flag bearer in 2016.
Party insiders have disclosed to The Al-Hajj that due to the rift in the party occasioned by Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeremanten’s resolve to elbow each other ahead of the party’s congress in December to elect flag bearer, kingpins and the grass root of the party are mounting pressure on the two leading aspirants to make way for a neutral and popular candidate in the person of Dr Bawumia.
Apart from the campaign on social media, particularly facebook, for NPP delegates to snub Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan to allow Dr Bawumia lead the party into the 2016 elections, the youth wing of the party in the Dorma East constituency has taken the campaign to another level.
Citing Nana Akufo-Addo’s age as reason why he should not contest the next flag bearer contest, the NPP youth group also argued that the two leading flag bearer aspirants’ ambitions is breaking up the party hence the duo should put a break on their bids in the interest of the party and make way for Dr Bawumia.
Though there was an earlier covert arrangement between former President Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo to allow Dr Bawumia and MP for Esekado Ketan and deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey lead the party into the next election, recent ‘mudslinging’ between the former president and the 2012 presidential candidates’ assigns appears to have thrown that arrangement into the cold room.
While it is not still clear if the former president supports the candidature of his once protégée, Alan Kyerematen, as he is believed to have dumped him for a yet-to-be announced candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo is said to be considering the unthinkable, becoming Dr Bawumia’s running mate, (akin to what happened in Russia between Putin and Medvedev) for the 2016 elections.
Sources close to Nana Akufo-Addo narrated to this paper how events after the party’s congress have closed the door on the political fortunes of the Akyem Abuakwa Septuagenarian to the extent that he believes the only alternative left for him to inscribe his name in the presidential history book is to ‘push’ the young, energetic and astute economist to go for the presidency while he winks at his back as running mate, even though he would be calling the shots.
Sources say, although Nana Akufo-Addo will thrash any of the potential flag bearer aspirants at congress, his fast advancing age, ill-health and fracas with Alan, Kufuor and the Ashanti bloc has convinced him that even if he gets the nod to lead the party, he will lose to the affable John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
Prior to the party’s April 12, Tamale congress, Nana Akufo-Addo was alleged to have lined-up candidates to secure national executive positions, but his agenda could not see the light of day as his fiercest opponent, Alan Kyerematen’s candidate ‘dismantle’ his men.
The strategy initially was to contest and grab the flag bearer post and immediately name Dr Bawumia, as usual, his running mate. Then few days to filling of nominations at the Electoral commission, he will resign citing health concerns and handover the mantle to his twice failed political partner.
Because the party would be hard press for time to go for another congress to elect flag bearer, the entire members of the elephant family will yield to Nana Akufo-Addo’s proposal for Dr Bawumia becoming flag bearer while former president Kufuor’s candidate, Joe Ghartey, will be made to partner him.
The other alternative Nana Akufo-Addo was said to have outlined was that if the John Mahama-led administration performs poorly in which case his chances of achieving his childhood dream would have been boosted, he will at-all-cost contest the 2016 elections and when he wins, will relinquish power to his running mate Dr Bawumia, who will in turn name Joe Ghartey as vice president.
What has caused this rosy and fantastic arrangement to suffer a premature death is the ongoing heated and unhealthy mudslinging between supporters of Nana Addo and Alan, and the rest of the powerful Ashanti faction.
Nana Akufo-Addo is said to have sensed danger ahead of him and also the groundswell for Dr Bawumia to lead the party to among other things ‘kill’ the Ashanti/Akyem infighting and also erase the Akan tag on the party.
To avoid been sidelined in the NPP’s scheme of things, Nana Akufo-Addo is said to have agreed to allow Dr Bawumia to contest the flag bearer in which case there will be pressure on Alan to also back off only for the Akyem Abuakwa South legislature to resurface as Dr Bawumia’s running mate.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s ‘vice-presidency’ will only exit on paper but will be taking all the hardcore decisions for Dr Bawumia’s government, just as it happened in Russia between then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former President Dmitry Medvedev some few years ago.