General News of Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Even before Nana Akufo-Addo officially discloses his political future for the NPP next week, his aide, Mustapha Hamid has said it will be an "intelligent guess" for anybody to conclude that the 2012 NPP flagbearer will contest the 2016 elections.
Akufo-Addo who made a triumphant entry into the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi, yesterday, is reported to have, in confidence, told the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II his political future and the Asantehene has given his blessings.
While the twice defeated presidential candidate publicly announced to the chanting supporters who thronged the Manhyia Palace that he will officially declare his political future in a press conference next week, his aide told Joy News that on the "balance of probability" Nana Akufo-Addo's announcement will be that he will vie for the flagbearership slot of the NPP for the 2016 elections.
The 2012 NPP flagbearer late last year announced a temporary retirement from politics soon after an Election Petition he and others brought challenging the outcome of the elections that year was dismissed. He subsequently left for the UK for holidays.
In his absence there were mixed opinions from party stalwarts and political watchers. While some campaigned for him to announce a return to politics and lead the party to the 2016 elections, others were vehement in their call for him to remain on retirement.
Akufo-Addo has been silent on his political future, saying he is consulting God and the party elders before making his intentions public.
Following a rousing welcome, first at the airport in Accra, when he returned from London and a similar gesture at the Kumasi Airport, Wednesday, Mustapha Hamid said "Nana Addo will do what he considers [is] the bidding of the majority members of the party."
According to him, it was his opinion in the recent past that there was a 90-95 per cent chance that Mr Akufo-Addo will contest the 2016 elections. He said that opinion still holds.
Mustapha Hamid welcomed any contest against Akufo-Addo if he were to announce his decision to contest the party's flagebearership race, saying, "there is no way Nana Addo will go unopposed."
He said Nana Akufo-Addo is always eager for a contest because for him "the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory."
"Let the battle lines be drawn and by close of this year [and] we will go to congress to elect a flagbearer," Mustapha Hamid indicated.