An uneasy calm has engulfed the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) following series of suspicions by some sections in the party that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the newly elected flagbearer of the party, may form a parallel campaign machinery for the 2016 Presidential elections with little reliance on the party headquarters, the Republic newspaper has gathered.
This follows what some party sources have described as the party’s three-time flagbearer’s inherent mistrust for the Party Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong.
The two have openly worked against Akufo-Addo’s presidential bid in his last two flagbearership contest where the two top executives of the party worked zealously to scuttle his ambition by supporting Akufo Addo’s arch-rival, John Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng (Alan Cash).
Besides, run-up to the main opposition party’s last Saturday flagbearership election, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and their supporters have had clashes, albeit violent ones with supporters of Akufo-Addo, who were certain that the two were actively crippling the capacity of Akufo-Addo to win his third time bid as the presidential candidate of the NPP.
Mr. Afoko and Mr. Agyapong have been accused of eliminating people they perceived as supporters of Akufo-Addo from the decision-making circles of the party; a situation that sparked a violent clash between Akufo-Addo thugs and heavily armed bodyguards of both Mr. Afoko and Mr. Agyapong.
Even though Akufo-Addo in his acceptance speech after his Saturday victory at the Afua Sutherland Park in Accra indicated that he will work with all his adversaries in the party towards the 2016 Presidential elections, his opponents in the party consider his gesture as mere rhetoric.
Sources have told this paper that Akufo-Addo’s advisors have not forgiven the two for the various roles they allegedly played in undermining the twice-defeated flagbearer of the NPP.
Nana Ohene Ntow, the spokesperson for Alan Kyeremanten has also expressed trepidations at the fate of his boss and his supporters with Akufo-Addo as the party’s flagbearer backed with his usual advisors.
On a discussion program on Joy FM on Monday, Mr. Ohene Ntow cited the power of Akufo-Addo’s advisors, saying that even though Addo-Addo made similar promises in 2012 after he had beaten Alan Kyeremanteng to the flagbearership race. He promised to work with all those who contested his bid; he even went ahead to appoint Alan Kyeremanteng as his main campaign anchor in the Ashanti Region.
But according to Nana Ohene Ntow, barely had Akufo-Addo made this declaration than him calling Alan to the side to tell him that his promised new role would not materialize because “some people” have mounted pressure on him to take back the role promised Alan cash.
Nana Ohene Ntow added that hitherto (during the 2008 campaign of Akufo Addo), he made Alan Cash campaign with him throughout the country but in “… 2012 it was different”.
Some party men close to the Akufo-Addo campaign have unequivocally confirmed that Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong will be relegated to the back-bench when Akufo-Addo’s campaign goes into full swing.
Kofi Agyapong, an aide to Perry Okudzeto, the Acting Communications Director of the NPP (also known for his closeness to Akufo-Addo), recently stated that Akufo-Addo would rely on his own campaign team rather than what the party will assemble for the 2016 elections.
On his official blog kagyepong.wordpress.com, Kofi Agyapong explained that the party’s General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong cannot be trusted to organize an effective campaign team for Akufo-Addo if he wins the flagbearership contest.
A clearly peeved Kofi Agyapong described Kwabena Agyapong as “a terrorist, who is arrogant, selfish, shallow-minded and a swift manipulator.”
Unconfirmed reports indicate that having won the flagbearership slot, Akufo-Addo would immediately activate his campaign machinery that is likely to be similar to the one he adopted for the 2012 Presidential elections where he virtually separated his campaign from the general campaign office of the party sponsoring him. He may make a few tweaks to the campaign strategy, though, sources close to him have told this paper.
His campaign apparatus was mostly manned by his family members such as Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and other key strategists like Kyeremanteng Boakye-Agyarko, Kofi Konadu Apraku (a former Trade Minister who also contested Akufo-Addo for the flagbearership bid), former National Organiser, Lord Commey and the former National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey.