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As November Polls Near

Information available to The aL-hAJJ reveals that, as the Electoral Commission gears up to open nominations for the November elections, the opposition New Patriotic Party is busily embroiled in high level meetings both in Accra and the party’s stronghold, Kumasi, to deliberate on a suitable replacement for Nana Akufo-Addo for the impending polls.

Power brokers in the biggest opposition party, this paper has gathered, are alarmed by the uninspiring campaigning by Nana Akufo-Addo and his team ahead of the elections and this, they fear, is slimming the chances of the NPP in the November polls, after spending almost eight agonizing years in opposition.
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To brighten party’s chances of forming the next government, some senior members of the NPP have “been meeting to decide on a suitable and acceptable candidate to replace Nana Akufo-Addo ahead of the elections”, the deep throat sources in the party disclosed to The aL-hAJJ.

Even though many have long tipped three time running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as automatic successor to Nana Akufo-Addo, party insiders say the former deputy Governor of the Central Bank is part of those being considered “for this task…all that these people are looking for is someone who will be accepted by both the Kufuor and Akufo-Addo camps and that includes Dr Bawumia.”

The consensus candidate they are shopping for, the source intimated, “should be someone who will bring all the feuding factions together so that we can forge a united front for the elections. This person must be someone who can bring back the likes of former president Kufuor, Mpiani, Dr Anane, Dr Arthur Kennedy, Dr Nyaho Tamakloe, Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, Wereko Brobbey, Sammy Crabbe among others to rejoin our ‘change train.”

This paper has gathered that whereas Nana Akufo-Addo has acknowledged the party elders’ concerns about the campaign not resonating with voters in spite of all the talks about wanton corruption in the Mahama government, general hardships and incompetence, he is reported to have told close associates he will vigorously fight to block any attempt to replace him.

According to another source who sat through one of the meetings held in Accra recently, “the NPP ‘kingmakers’ are making references to several factors militating against Nana’s chances among which include, his inability to unite the party, age and health challenges. They say Akufo Addo is not fully fit to engage in a vigorous campaign”.

These ongoing talks about his strength and ability to lead the NPP’s crusade to unseat the relatively younger and energetic John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress is said to have informed Nana Akufo-Addo’s recent comments that he is “nowhere near his grave”.

The three-time flag bearer told the people of the Volta region “they say I am an old man with one foot in the grave. But, here I am. I am OK. As for death, it’s up to the Almighty. We all don’t know when we will be called. What you see before you is a small man with a big heart for Ghana,” Nana said this in the Volta Region while worshipping with some churches to show appreciation to the region for hosting him during his four-day campaign tour.”

While many thought the NPP flagbearer’s statement was a response to his political foes, especially in the NDC; sources in party say the twice defeated presidential candidate’s statement was a subtle riposte to the NPP elders who are raising issues about his age and health and wants him replaced.

But, our source disagreed with their flag bearer. He told this paper that Nana Akufo-Addo’s comment that, he was nowhere near his grave “would not change the minds of persons bent on changing him. We have heard such statements before. We were all in this country when the late Prof Mills made similar statement and even went jogging on the tarmac of the KIA but what did we see afterwards; he passed away some few days after that incident.”

In a related development, what could be said to be big blow to Dr Bawumia’s political career, is his boss and mentor, Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to renege on his earlier promise to hand over the flag bearer slot to him ahead or, after the November elections.

This follows what has been described by Akufo Addo and his aficionados as the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana “peaking ahead of time”, a deep throat source told The aL-hAJJ.

What is also said to have irked Nana Akufo to dump his once beloved protégé “is how Bawumia’s wife, Samira, is conducting herself. She is has been going round projecting herself as first lady in-waiting because according to her Nana will hand over to her husband and that her husband will defeat Mahama in the first round of the elections,” according to a source.

Mrs Bawumia’s posturing, the source alleged, is what has embolden her sibling, Abu Ramadan, a former Youth Organizer of the Peoples National Convention, to decide to embarked on needless and endless litigation with the Electoral Commission to have things done his way in order to aide his in law, Dr Bawumia’s bid of becoming President and his sister, Samira, becoming first lady after the November polls. Stay tuned.

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