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General News of Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Source: The Enquirer

Revealed: Akufo-Addo is not contesting

There is a kind of anxiety within the corridors of the Akufo-Addo faction in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), with latest signals suggesting that Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo is not likely to contest to lead the party in 2016.

A trusted source close to the NPP 2012 flagbearer has given the clearest indications that he will not contest the impending flagbearership race of the biggest opposition party in Ghana.

This conclusion came about after a series of consultations and meeting in London, New York and Paris, involving all the key important stakeholders of Akufo-Addo’s camp, including a respected paramount chief, who is related to Nana Addo.

The source said Akufo-Addo's decision is anchored on personal reasons, including his health and the division within his support base in the party.

According to the source, Nana Addo’s group popularly called Akyem Mafia’ is very perturbed about the fact that key allies such as Dr. Konadu Apraku, a known Akufo-Addo loyalist and Mr. Kyeremanteng Boakye Agyarko, the director of his 2012 campaign, and other persons, who were all staunch supporters and members of his political inner circle have told associates that it is time for the twice-defeated candidate of the center-right party to give way for a new face to lead the party in the 2016 general elections.

In fact, Dr. Apraku and Mr. Boakye Agyarko have both declared their intention to contest the flagbearership of the party.

At the New York meeting, which was essentially used to assess the financial position, if Nana Akufo-Addo should decide to contest the presidential primaries, it was agreed that raising funds will not be too difficult since he personally conducted himself well after the election petition judgment on August 29, 2013.

The source told The Enquirer that Nana Addo’s close relatives have assured Akufo-Addo that they will raise the needed funds for both the primaries and the general elections campaign and that he must honour the family call of getting them a president from Kibi after the many failed attempts by his uncles, namely Dr. J. B. Danquah and Dr. William Ofori-Atta in 1957 and 1979 receptively.

The source told The Enquirer that some insiders of the New Patriotic Party, however, believe that, Nana Addo has been pushed to end his political career by his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo- Addo, who, in joint efforts with the daughters, prevailed upon the 69-year-old lawyer to call it quits and save himself and the immediate family from the stress of political campaigning by concentrating on managing his health.

One senior party lady who worked with the shadow First Lady during the 2012 campaign told this newspaper on condition of anonymity that, Mrs. Akufo-Addo is furious because close family relatives of her husband are using him to enrich themselves.

The lady said, “Madam was very disgusted when she heard about a house-warming party Nana Akufo-Addo’s relatives had in late December at a time her husband was preparing to petition the Supreme Court over the presidential election results,” before the expiration of the 28-day deadline.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo is reported to have severed relations with that person and his wife, as well as cautioned Nana Addo against allowing himself to be used as a money-making commodity.

Moreover, some party financiers, especially those who are pro-Kufuor and pro-Kyeremanteng, have also sent a strong indication to Akufo-Addo not to enter the race again.

One of such persons who deal in commodities and supplies has told a trusted confidante that they will not allow Nana Addo’s relatives to use their association with the candidate to enrich themselves at their expense.

Readers will recall that, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and an Akufo-Addo loyalist, has cast doubt over the speculation that Nana Akufo-Addo will contest for the 2016 presidential candidature of the NPP in an interview on TV3’s ‘Hot Issues’ hosted by Kwasi Pratt, Jnr.

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe is not alone as many party insiders say that they do not believe that Nana Addo will throw his hat into the race.

With Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo’ exit from the race, political analyst believe that, it will pave the way for Hon. Alan Kyeremanteng, who lost the flagbearership race in August 2010 to Nana Addo, Dr. Konadu Apraku, a former Minister of Regional Integration and NEPAD, Hon. Dan Botwe, Hon. Isaac Osei, both sitting members of parliament, and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to compete for the most coveted position of the party in order to face the National Democratic Congress candidates in the 2016 general elections.

Before a date for this much awaited contest will be determined, the race for National Chairman and other National Executive positions has been slated for March 1, 2014.

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