The standard-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is being blamed for the turbulence and infighting within Ghana’s largest opposition party.
a former cabinet Minister in the Kufuor Administration, who pleaded for anonymity because he doesn’t want to further stoke the fire in the party, said there is no peace in the NPP because the people Nana Akufo-Addo has surrounded himself with are “fighting a quixotic force and chasing an imaginary enemy” leading to the tumult in the party.
This imaginary enemy, he said, is Mr Alan Kyeremanten, first runner-up to Nana Akufo-Addo at the party’s last congress that elected the latter as the flag-bearer.
The former Minister said the difference between former President Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo is that, whilst Mr Kufuor who won his flag-bearership with over 70 percent was able to integrate the 30 percent who did not vote for him and together they won the 2000 elections, Nana Addo who was overwhelmingly elected has failed to integrate the 5 percent Alan Kyeremanten supporters to form a formidable party.
Again, he said while they felt free to tell Kufuor some hard truths including certain personal habits he needed to change, “you cannot tell Nana Akufo-Addo same. He has surrounded himself with sycophants who only tell him what he wants to hear.”
He revealed that President Kufuor gave Nana Akufo-Addo $54 million while former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, also contributed $8 million with the admonition that he should not work with any of the Ministers he dismissed from his Administration.
He said Nana Akufo-Addo never headed to Mr Kufuor’s advice and went ahead to surround himself with the Osafo Maafos. That, he explained, was the reason why President Kufuor was apathetic to Nana Akufo-Addo’s campaign.
The former Minister said some of them who masterminded Kufuor’s victory in 2000 are still willing to offer to help Nana Akufo-Addo win power but they have been sidelined.
“They see us as Kufuor’s people interested in pursuing an Alan agenda,” he said, adding, “They tell us that we have finished ours. It is their time now.”
That attitude, he said, has made some friends he knows quit the NPP quietly and joined the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He said common sense tells us that you ask or go with the people who have already been to where you hope to get to, adding that unlike the NDC that has got people who are behind the scenes and doing the thinking for the party, the current crop of the NPP think only those who are in the public domain talking are good for winning election.
He stated that there are three Cs in politics – Consolidate, Cultivate and Convert – explaining that, you consolidate the votes you achieved in the previous election, cultivate new people who did not vote for you in the last election and convert them to vote for you. He said the NPP is rather dispersing those it needed to consolidate.
He wondered why Nana Akufo-Addo chose people like Dr Konadu Apraku and Mr Boakye Agyako as his campaign managers in the previous elections, saying in as much as Mr Agyako was a good material, he was a wrong choice for that job.
He said there are people you use them to win power and those that are used to manage power, explaining that Kufuor knew Kwadwo Mpiani was a very good material but whose public relation and communication was not good so he was not involved in the campaign but was later used as Chief of Staff.
He revealed that during the latter period of President Kufuor’s Administration he was shuffled to another Ministry but due to his open support for Nana Akufo-Addo against Alan Kyeremanten, because he believed Nana Akufo-Addo was the choice of the majority, he was denied the new Ministry and made a minister of State at the Castle, a designation that required that he stepped at the Castle just three times till they lost power.
He alleged that three months to the 2012 general elections, his network of intelligence picked information that the NDC was going to rig the election and that time not through the snatching of ballot boxes but by means of IT processes and that the Castle had already secured 10 percent of the votes.
He said he advised the party to recruit young IT specialists to maneuver to prevent the Castle from adding those votes to those counted at the polling stations. That information, he said, was not acted on appropriately and before the party realised it, it was too late for them.
The Former Minister said the current General Secretary of the NPP is becoming a disappointment to the party saying, as the Chief Administrator of the party, his public utterances on issues about the party are doing harm to the party than good.
He advised Mr Agyapong to be transparent and collaborate very well with the Akufo-Addo faction to move the party forward.
He also advised Nana Akufo-Addo and his people to understand that it is not possible in an election to have everyone vote for you but after intra-party election, you must be able to work with those who did not vote for you too.
He disagreed with with Dr Amoako Baah who has suggested that the General Secretary should be removed, saying, removing the General Secretary, who is perceived to be pursuing an Alan Kyeremanten agenda, otherwise known as Agenda 2020, would create further troubles for the NPP because Alan’s supporters will react by becoming apathetic and stay back from active participation in the party’s activities ahead of the 2016 elections.
He conceded that the party at this juncture lacks a father figure who could unify the various factions adding, President Kufuor who would have been the right person to play that role has compromised himself with his alleged support for Mr Kyeremanten.