Justin Kodua Frimpong
General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Justin Kodua Frimpong, has refuted Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen’s claims that the party has been hijacked by a selected group of party leaders, elders, and government appointees.
The former Trade and Industry Minister, who dropped out of the NPP presidential race recently, on Monday accused the national executives of bias towards him during which he announced his resignation from the party.
“The party has been hijacked by a selected group of party leaders and elders, government appointees, ‘behind-the-curtain power brokers’ and some unscrupulous party apparatchiks,” he stressed.
But responding to the allegations by Mr. Kyerematen, the NPP General Secretary said at a press conference in Accra yesterday that there is no basis for the claims made against the top echelon of the party.
Mr. Frimpong explained that the selection of flagbearers for political parties in Ghana had been the preserve of a privileged few until the NPP took a bold decision to decentralise the process by expanding its electoral college to enfranchise over 106,590 delegates in 2010.
“Guided by the facts and data, the leadership of the party disagrees entirely with this assertion. Historically, the selection of flagbearers for political parties in Ghana had been the preserve of a select few until NPP took the bold decision to decentralise the process by expanding its electoral college to enfranchise some 106,590 delegates in 2010,” Kodua stressed.
“Currently, about 200,000 delegates will be voting to select the party’s next flagbearer, relative to the estimated 1,998 who did the same in 1992,” he noted.
According to him, the quantum leap from 1,998 to 200,000 delegates in 2023 underscores the decentralisation of power to all party stakeholders, and defeats the assertion that the party has been hijacked by a privileged few.
He also questioned Mr. Kyerematen’s basis for the allegations, asserting that some government appointees, including cabinet ministers openly declared their support for his bid to become the NPP flagbearer and still maintained their positions.
Mr. Frimpong stated that the party was unbothered about his resignation because it is not unusual in the Fourth Republic, citing instances where leading members of both the NPP and the NDC broke ranks with their respective parties to form their own political parties or join other political parties, while the mother party remained resilient.
The NPP General Secretary stated that while the party recognises his decision to quit, the party was dissatisfied considering the forum in which he chose to announce his resignation without prior notice to the party.
That, he said, implies that “he has made a premeditated and irrevocable decision to resign from the Party”. Mr. Kodua expressed the party’s appreciation for the years of service and contributions to the party’s growth and development.
“It needs emphasising that, when the National Chairman visited him on behalf of the Party after the August 26 Special Electoral College, in an attempt to bring all the ten aspirants together, he did not portray any sign of resigning from the party, let alone going independent,” he added.
He also denied Alan Kyerematen’s accusation that the party’s Special Delegates’ Conference was “tactically skewed in favour of one aspirant.”
He explained that there was a historical precedent in 2014 when the Special Electoral College elections were held at various locations, and no aspirant, including Mr. Kyerematen, failed to file any appeal questioning the venue at the time.
In addition, he stated that in Article 13(2)(2) of the party’s constitution, where there is more than one contestant, “each delegate will cast his or her vote by secret ballot for one of the contestants.”
According to him, as a result, the petitioners’ demand that delegates vote for five (5) people rather than one is unconstitutional.
He also urged party members who had supported Mr. Alan Kyerematen until his resignation to continue to support the NPP in its mission to break the eight-year political cycle.
“The NPP has always been a dynamic and resilient political party, and this moment serves as an opportunity for us to demonstrate our unity, fortitude, and unwavering commitment to the principles upon which our party was founded,” he intimated.
“Together, we shall overcome challenges, and together, we shall achieve success. We urge all party faithfuls to remain committed, dedicated and resolute in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise. Together, we shall persevere, and together, we shall succeed,” Justin Kodua stressed.
By Ebenezer K. Amponsah