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Feature Article of Thursday, 13 December 2012

Columnist: Haruna, Mahama

The Alan faction of NPP must step forward

and take over the party.

The Alan faction of NPP must step forward and take over the party. All around the world, most political parties typically have at least two main factions within them. The pendulum will often swing from one side of the party to the other over the course of time. For instance the Democrat and Republican parties of the US have their Liberal and Moderate wings. Anytime one side wins control over the party, the other faction will often feel alienated but usually soldier along until its time comes. It is now the turn of the J.A Kufour/Alan Kyeramanten faction of NPP once again.

The NPP has two main factions: The J.A Kufour/Alan Kyeramanten faction and the Professor Adu Boahen/Nana Akufo-Addo faction.

The J.A Kufour/Alan Kyeramanten faction is believed to be along the lines of Dr Busia of the Progress Party, through Victor Owusu of the Popular Front Party (PFP) of 1979, and now in the hands of the J.A Kufour and Alan Kyeramanten. A chunk of the PFP membership of 1979 fall within this group.

Currently this faction is made up most of the top-notches of NPP from the Ashanti region including Kwadjo Mpianim , Richard Anane, Addo- Kuffour, Kan Dapaah, Isaac Osei, S.K Boafo, Maxwell Kofi Jumah and others. Those from other regions are Paapa Owusu Ankomah, Felix Owusu Agyepong, Asamoah Boateng, Stephen Ntim, Haruna Esseku, Paul Afoko, Mohammed Amin Anta, Oboshie Sai Coffie, Mustapha Ali, Boniface Abubakari Saddique and others. What made this faction more powerful was the fact that, it controlled the party at a time it came to power for eight years. J.A Kufour ensured that most juicy government appointments remained within this group. They were able to annex the three Northern regions with the politics of Ministerial as well as Metropolitan/Municipal and District Chief Executive appointments.

We also have the Adu Boahen/Nana Akufo-Addo faction. Except in some few instances it is said this faction is along the lines of J.B Danquah, through William Ofori Atta (Paa Willi) of the United National Convention (UNC) fame of 1979. It passed through the hands of the late Professor Albert Adu Boahen and Peter Ala Adjetey and now Akufo-Addo. Although Adu Boahen and Nana Akufo-Addo hails from the Eastern Region some people believe this group is also broad based as its membership cuts across the whole country including the Ashanti Region where the likes of Konadu Apraku and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto come from. The likes of Proffessor Mike Ocquaye, Dan Botwe, Kennedy Ohene Agyepong, Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Christine Churcher, Nyaho Tamakloe, Ambrose Dery, Peter MacManu, Lord Commey, Muhamadu Bawumia and most of the current National Executive of NPP falls within this group.

It is also said this faction is now controlled by the 'Akyem Mafia' whose membership although could not be determined might be Akufo-Addo's immediate relations or personalities who hail from Akyem Abuakwa like Bumpty Akufo-Addo, Ken Ofori-Atta, Yaw Kwakye Amfo, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, Nana Fredua Agyeman, Nana Asante Bediatuo, Nana Yaa-Ofori Atta and others. I believe it would certainly be in the interest of NPP to critically assess their present situation and then seriously consider changing leadership. It is clear that the NPP need a major shake up at leadership level if it wants to win the next election. It is time for Alan to strategically work towards taking over the NPP. All the structures of Nana Akufo-Addo from polling station to Constituency to Region and at National level must be dismantled so that more energetic and loyal people who can do grass root work are selected. The 2012 elections has come and gone and whether we like not or yes, an anatomy of the NPP's fall will continue to rage on. Already there is talk of who becomes the next Presidential candidate of the NPP after Nana Akufo-Addo whose political career has come to an end following his defeat.This is an issue, which if not properly handled by the top hierarchy of the NPP has the potential of derailing the chances of the party in the 2016 election.

I wish to point out that the task which confronts the NPP is daunting. The NPP predicted that it would win the just ended Presidential election with a with a wide margin and majority seats in Parliament, but it was proven wrong. I think the NPP will concede that their loss was a shock to them.

The number of leading members who have lost their seats, the constituencies that have been snatched from the NPP by the NDC, the unimpressive performance in perceived strongholds should of course send a strong signal of what awaits the NPP in 2016. Any wrangling and bickering therefore has the potential of polarising its ranks, a situation that will not augur well for the development of the party at all levels.

I agree with political pundits who have always maintained that the strength of the NDC should at anytime never be underestimated. The party is an election winning machine. The Ghanaian electorate have become more sophisticated and as such the NPP will pay a bitter price should they ever slacken in their effort to continue wooing them.

President John Dramani Mahama will definitely lead NDC for the 2016 Election. He is one individual who has made a difference to the NDC. For President Mahama to campaign for three months, and yet win one touch should tell NPP everything is not well with the party.This was the reason Jake Obetsebi- Lamptey told NPP members at an Executive meeting to pray and wish that former President Atta Mills did not die because if John Mahama became flagbearer it would make their work difficult. It has come to pass. Anyone who underrates President Mahama does so at his own risk.

With qualities that that are more desirable, President Mahama represent the future of the NDC. He is a fine gentleman, affable, humble, articulate and has excellent media relations. His strongest points are that he is a lobbyist and could bring in much resources to the NDC. President John Mahama campaigned for only three months and won the election with 50.07% votes. Nana Akufo-Addo on the other hand campaigned for almost four years and lost. He started campaigning shortly after President John Atta Mills was sworn into office. I still remember Akufo-Addos Thank you Tour after he lost the 2008 election, his campaign tour for the Presidential Primaries, his Listening Tour after wining the NPP Presidential Primaries, his All Hands on Deck Tour after the NPP Parliamentary Primaries, his Restoring Hope Tour and Campaign Tour but ended up with 47.74% of votes.

President John Mahama is a person with an appealing personality and has an air of charisma around him. It is therefore imperative for NPP to have a Presidential candidate with positive attributes like President John Mahama. It is a known fact that the NPP is a party that strongly upholds internal democracy. The issue of who becomes the next Presidential Candidate will be opened to different and divergent views. Notwithstanding this fact, it will serve the party right it develop a common opinion, platform and consensus on this matter. Names of Presidential materials such as Dan Botwe, Isaac Osei, Mathew Opoku Prempeh (Napo) and others are being speculated as eyeing the Presidential slot. They may all be qualified but the party need to critically assess the chances and marketability of each an every one of them to arrive at the best.

The NPP needs to choose a winnable and suitable candidate; someone with exceptional dynamism; someone who must have a towering political pedigree and someone who will easily be accepted by the rank and file of the party. To me Alan Kyeramanten best suits these qualities.

There is no denying the fact that Alan Kyeramanten is a national phenomenon. In my political discussions with colleagues and friends, I have now come to the realisation that he is admired by many Ghanaians for his good manners and affable nature. He is largely acclaimed as a fine and appealing gentleman.

Note: Please watch out for my Features entitled: Why Nana Akufo-Addo lost the 2012 Election-Part 1 to 10 exclusively on Ghanaweb. By Mahama Haruna. The writer was a former Secretary of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). He was also a former NPP Secretary for Bole-Bamboi Constituency.

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