Politics of Thursday, 17 April 2014
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku has broken his silence on whether or not he will contest the flagbearership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to lead the party in the 2016 presidential elections.
Till then, there had been rumours and denials within the media about his intention, but speaking to selected media persons at the Tamale Sports Stadium around 3.30 a.m. on Sunday, just after it had emerged that Mr. Paul Afoko had won the chairmanship of the party, he declared: “When the party opens nominations and gives the timetable, I will contest.”
Asked whether or not he will contest the flag bearer position he said yes but he would not want to jump the gun because the party has rules and regulations regarding all its activities.
Dr. Apraku who contested the 2007 presidential primaries of the NPP that elected Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the 2008 presidential elections was convinced that with his personality and utterances, Mr. Paul Afoko would not support any of the persons who would stake their claim to the presidential candidate slot of the party.
Early last Sunday morning, the Electoral Commission declared Mr. Paul Afoko, a businessman, as the new Chairman of the party after he had secured 2,032, beating the incumbent, Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, and two others.
Analysts have claimed that the victory of Mr. Afoko and Mr. Kwabena Adjei Agyapong were indications that the Alan Kyerematen faction would have a hold on the party and make the chances of Mr. Kyerematen brighter than ever.
Dr. Apraku explained that the election of Mr. Afoko, who hails from northern Ghana, was a clear indication that the party was battle ready to put its house in order, and create a solid machinery to provide a formidable platform to make it easy for whoever was elected as presidential candidate of the party to win the 2016 elections.
“Whoever wins, we must lay a strong foundation for him, and if God says it is me, I will be happy. If it is not me, whoever is elected must have a solid platform and machinery to win the 2016 presidential elections.”
He said that Mr. Afoko would not support any particular candidate but would allow the delegates of the party to make their choice as to who they want to lead the party in the 2016 elections.
Dr. Apraku was of the view that some executive members of the party tended to favour other persons; that was partly why the NPP had not been able to win power, adding that “we should not go back to factionalism.”