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General News of Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Source: The Republic

Akufo Addo, Alan fight to plant surrogates in NPP MP race

Reports picked up by The Republic Newspaper from the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) indicates a mad rush between the Nana Akufo-Addo and the John Kufuor/ Alan Kyeremanteng camps to plant their surrogates in the party’s June 13, 2015 Members of Parliament (MP) race.

The clandestine backstabbing and manipulations are aimed at ensuring that loyalists of the opposing camp is eliminated from the parliamentary primaries and checkmated in growing desperation between the two camps to seize control of the party, the Republic has gathered.

Reliable sources have told this paper that Alan Kyeremanteng is seriously funding over 40 handpicked parliamentary aspirants who would do his bidding as he prepares to relaunch his presidential ambition in 2020 as set out in the infamous Agenda 2020 allegedly hatched by the Kufuor/Kyeremanteng camps.

“If he is still not harbouring intentions of running in 2020, why would he be undertaking such a dastardly venture?” Stated Mohammed Alhassan, a known activist of the NPP from the Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East in an article circulated on social media recently.

In the article, Mr. Alhassan categorically charged National Chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong for actively supporting the Kufour/Kyeremanteng clandestine moves.

According to the obviously angry NPP activist from the Builsa constituency, Mr. Kyeremanteng has ‘delivered two of his henchmen’ to Kwabena Agyapong to help in the execution of the Agenda 2020 project.

He named the ‘henchmen; one Davis Opoku Ansah (OPK) and Chief Mohammed Obosu (currently said to be an aide to Kwabena Agyepong). In a counter move, Akufo Addo is also reported to be actively supporting a cross-section of NPP parliamentary aspirants who appear to have a soft-spot for him.

Apparently, the Akufo-Addo camp had sensed the aggressive move being made by the Kufour/ Kyeremanteng camp, hence last week’s counter National Steering Committee meeting said to have been ‘inspired’ by him to scuttle the tactics adopted by Mr. Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and Alan Kyeremanteng to reduce his influence and frustrate his presidential ambition in 2016.

According to reports, sensing the moves, Akufo Addo allegedly commissioned his close associate and the First Vice Chairman of the NPP to convene a counter Steering Committee meeting when the Chairman and the General Secretary left town.

Monday’s counter meeting which had Akufo Addo and most of his lieutenants in attendance, is said to have virtually overturned many of the decisions taken by an earlier Steering Committee meeting (late April 2015) which was attended by the Chairman and General Secretary.

In the April meeting, the party agreed on a set of individuals tasked to oversee the vetting of aspiring parliamentary candidates, however, the Akufo Addo camp is said to have realized that these individuals had been influenced by the Kufour /Kyeremanteng camp to wantonly disqualify aspirants sensed to be sympathetic to Akufo Addo.

This paper is in possession of an internal memorandum drawn after the April Steering Committee meeting, where it was agreed that a list of 25 individuals including Nana Ohene Ntow, Nana Akomea, S.K Boafo, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Hon. Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Christine Churcher, Steven Ntim, among others were to oversee the vetting process of new NPP parliamentary aspirants in 25 areas across the country.

However, after last Monday’s counter Steering Committee meeting reportedly held under the auspices of Akufo Addo, a new list of overseers for the vetting process was produced. This time, the list had people believed to lean towards the embattled flagbearer of the main opposition party.

A statement signed on Monday by John Boadu, the National Organiser of NPP (also a known loyalist of Akufo Addo) stated these new officers “…shall be assigned to the various regions to be responsible for the overall conduct of the vetting process and any challenges that may emanate therefrom.”

These individuals include, John Boadu himself, Sammy Awuku, Kamaldeen Abdulai, Mr. Nuhu Mahama, Ms. Otiko Djaba, Mr. Abankwa Yeboah, Freddie Blay, Daniel Denteh, Mr. F.F Antoh and Mr. Obiri Boahene; all sworn stalwarts of Akufo Addo.

This duplication resulted in mayhem across virtually all NPP vetting centres where reports indicates that these individuals were also busy planting Akufo Addo loyalists into the parliamentary race.

In Asante Akyem constituency for instance, one person was injured as irate NPP mob armed with clubs and other weapons attacked constituency executives supervising the ongoing vetting process. These angry supporters are reported to have suspected that some aspirants belonging to particular camps were being unduly favoured.

Similar reports of such angry confrontations were made from other constituencies across the country were the vetting process was undertaken.

In the heat of the NPP’s presidential primaries in 2015, aides to Akufo Addo openly stated the flagbearer’s mistrust of the leadership of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, whom he believes were systematically scheming to swing the balance of power in the NPP away from him and eventually lead to his defeat in the 2016 elections.

In his two previous bids for the NPP’s flagbearership, the two top executives of the NPP openly campaigned against him. The two are said to be currently enjoying goodies from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a reward for frustrating Akufo Addo’s presidential ambition. These alleged ‘goodies’ include cars and oil deals.

This paper is unable to verify the authenticity of these allegations, but Mohammed Alhassan claims he has pictorial evidence to nail Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong.

Akufo Addo himself is said to be extremely wary of the people he works with because he is certain there are many ‘moles’ planted in the NPP to ensure his defeat in 2016.

Due to this, he is said to, among other things, carefully selecting people he would want to work with and has set up private investigators to trail people he may have some doubts in.

Meanwhile, the NPP flagbearer is said to have formed a parallel campaign office, a situation inspired by his reported mistrust for the Afoko/Kwabena Agyapong leadership.

His aides have confirmed that the personal campaign office would be run by his family members and friends such as his controversial nephew, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko.

The Kufour/ Alan Kyeremanteng group is said to have dubbed Akufo Addo as a ‘risk factor’. According to Africawatch, the Ashanti power bloc in the NPP is convinced that if Akufo Addo wins the Presidential elections, they would be rendered useless and are ‘hell bent’ this would not happen.