Politics of Sunday, 22 September 2013
Source: The Al-Hajj
Though it is said that “Wood already touched by fire isn't hard to set alight,” former President John Agyekum Kufuor and his cohorts in the New Patriotic Party have thrown out their “wood already touched by fire”, Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten and have replaced him with a “fresh wood”, Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, as their ideal candidate for flag bearer ahead of the 2016 elections.
This mysterious happening within the Ashanti sect of the biggest opposition party may come as a surprise to many, especially when the former president is known to have religiously backed his former Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten’s twice failed attempt to lead the party.
But the stark reality, though not known by many sympathizers of the supporters of Mr. Kufuor and his cohorts is that, the former president has only renewed his love for his Roads and Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Anane, whom he had previously hoped to succeed him but for his romantic affair with an American lady, Alexandria O’Brian at an HIV/AIDS conference which was leaked to the media by the former president’s nemesis in the party to jettison his wish.
According to sources within the Ashanti rank, Mr. Kufuor, ably flanked at the right side by his former Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, ‘divorced’ Mr. Alan Kyerematen on the basis that the former legislator has not ‘properly’ integrated himself into the party since he lost out the flagbearership of the NPP to Nana Akufo-Addo at the party’s acrimonious primaries in 2007.
Aside this, the former President and his group’s choice for the Nhyiaso Member of Parliament, our source disclosed, was informed by Mr. Kyeremanteng’s monotonous attitude towards the position, a behavior the Ashanti faction considers a threat to their resolve to snatch the flag bearer slot from Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also been prevailed upon to contest for the third time.
“Former President Kufuor and his men are looking beyond electing a flag bearer…what they want is a presidential candidate who can win them power, but it is not as if they don’t see that in Alan,… Alan, before and since he lost the WTO job has not shown much interest, so they have gone in for Dr. Anane whom he had wanted to succeed him after his tenure…I can tell you that Alan is out of the team we have,” a loyalist of the Ashanti clique hinted.
However, it not clear whether the former Trade and Industry Minister would like to take a lonely cause or will completely abandon his presidential ambitions and channel his energies and resources into supporting former President Kufuor's candidate, especially when same courtesies have been extended to him in the past by Dr. Richard Anane and other members of the Ashanti faction.
In accepting the honored offer from his boss, Dr. Anane in a bid to demonstrate his readiness and fitness for the job has started courting the media to support his bid.
Only recently, after stating that he has been inundated with calls to contest for his party’s flag bearer position, the former Roads and Transport Minister launched deadly attacks on his party’s General Secretary for breaching the party’s constitution by openly declaring his support for Nana Akufo-Addo.
Information gathered so far indicates that, aside the Dr. Anane’s surprised candidature; the former President and Mr. Mpiani in their attempt to wrap the party under their control are also flying the credentials of some party bigwigs whom they will resource adequately to grab other top leadership positions of the party ahead of the party’s pending national delegates’ congress to elect a new batch of national officers.
Mr. Paul Afoko, a business man and close confidant of Mr. Kufuor has been well “baked’ by the ex-president and his ‘army’ to lead the intended political demolishing exercise aimed at dislodging the current National Chairman, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, who is reported not to be in the best of health and have to be embarking on countless trips abroad just like Nana Akufo-Addo, for medical treatment.
As part of the Ashanti Caucus’ planned “house cleaning exercise” Eng. Kwabena Adjapong, also a former press secretary to President Kufuor has been slated to match the disgraced and foul mouth General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie also known as Sir John, to the backstage of happenings in the biggest opposition party.
Also gunning for that same position is Lawyer Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, a close confidant of Mr. Kyeremanteng, who featured prominently in championing the spurious election petition engineered by Nana AKufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, to overturn the verdict of the last election which they never succeeded.
It is not too clear whether the braggart, Buabeng Asamoah, has the support of the former president, especially when his ‘boss’, Mr. Kyeremanteng has lost his privileged position in Mr. Kufuor house to Dr. Richard Anane.
Not too surprising, the incumbent National Women’s Organizer and supporter of Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng’s last failed bid, Madam Otiko Afiso Djaba, who has been accused by loyalist of Nana Akufo-Addo of treachery is said to have also jumped on the Mr. Kufuor “rebranding and restructuring” trail.
Meanwhile, at the Nana Akufo-Addo camp, there is a stern ‘intra-sectional’ battle for who will contest as National Chairman; three formidable candidates from the same camp have all shown interest in the position and have started underground campaign to bring it to fruition.
The not-too-well incumbent chairman, Mr. Jake Obetsibi Lamptey has declared his intention to contest again, while one time failed national chairman aspirant, Mr. Stephen Ntim, though a close confidant of Mr. Kyeremanteng but had to abandon that cause to shepherd Dr. Bawumia for the 2008 and 2012 elections, now making him a trusted lieutenant of Nana Akufo-Addo confirmed to this paper his candidature yesterday.
Also, the first vice chairman of the party, Mr. Fred Oware, a loyalist and supporter of Mr. Kyeremanteng, but now a strong defender of Nana Akufo-Addo has also declared his intension to lead the party as National Chairman.
Strangely, Sir John appears to be enjoying some monopoly in the Nana Akufo-Addo camp, particularly when nobody from the same set has shown interest in contesting him aside Mr. Kufuor’s Kwabena Adjepong and Mr. Buabeng Asamoah.