General News of Monday, 21 January 2013

Source: The Herald

Kufuor Snubs Akufo-Addo

Flies to Nigeria, Germany and Switzerland ahead of Supreme Court ruling Tomorrow

Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, has once again demonstrated his disinterest in Nana Akufo-Addo’s case at the Supreme Court by flying out last week Thursday evening to Nigeria, Germany and Switzerland to attend to personal engagements, including partying with his bosom friend, ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The nine Supreme Court justices will tomorrow give their ruling on whether or not the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) should be allowed to join the petition as respondents. But for the third time running, ex-President Kufuor will not be there to solidarize with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and its National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

A statement on last Friday signed by Mr. Frank Agyekum, spokesperson to Mr. Kufuor, said the ex-president was to make his first stop at Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria, to deliver the keynote address at a series of events to celebrate the ‘Life and works’ of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo dubbed: “Celebrating the Father of the Nation.”

It said Mr. Kufuor would speak on “Obasanjo in the Eye of History” at a lecture at the auditorium of the Obasanjo Library Complex. The former president will be away for about a week, the statement said.

The Lecture would be chaired by another former Nigerian President, General Abdulsalam Abubakar and would be attended by Ministers of State, Senators, Legislators and Governors.

“A civic reception would be held in honour of Mr. Obassanjo on Saturday, January 19, 2013 and would be attended by President Goodluck Jonathan and high ranking officials of the country”, said the statement.

According to it, in Berlin Germany, Mr. Kufuor together with ex-President Obasanjo will attend the Berlin Africa Summit where they will also have a side-meeting with ex-German President, Horst Kohler.

It also indicated that in Geneva, Switzerland, ex-President Kufuor would hold meetings with business executives on varied topics.

Ex-President Kufuor and his boys have so far stayed away from Nana Akufo-Addo’s petition at the Supreme Court in which he is seeking to overturn the 2012 presidential election results.

Last week, when the case was called for the second time, the ex-president and some of his notable lieutenants stayed away from the premises of the Supreme Court where Nana Addo, has dragged President John Mahama and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, claiming a rigged election.

Nana Addo’s loyalists who were present in court as usual were Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Nana Asante Bedietuo, Mike Ocquaye Jr, Kwamina Bartels, Kofi Konadu Apraku, Frema Opare, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Agyiri Blankson, Kofi Twum Boafo, Kwame Akufo and Herbert Krampa.

Missing from last Wednesday’s hearing were notable names such as, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, Mr. Isaac Osei, Alhaji Moctar Bamba, Madam Otiko Dzaba, Kwadwo Pianim, Frank Agyekum, Mrs. Agnes Okudzeto alias Daavi Ama, Boniface Abubakah Sidiq, Lepowura Alhaji M.N.D. Jawula, Nii Ayiko Otoo, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, Fred Oware.

Mr. Kufuor’s absence from the court has been attributed to the growing factionalism in the NPP, and reports that the Ashanti Bloc of the party holds the view that Nana Addo’s conduct is destroying the party they have sacrificed both physically and financially, to build.

Reports available to The Herald suggest that the ex-President Kufuor has been unhappy with the embarrassing invasion of his Airport residence by thugs sponsored Kofi Dokye Ampau alias “Kofi 1234” following his decision to the attended the investiture of President Mahama on January 7, this year, despite a boycott announced by the NPP National Executives led by Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey.

He has, therefore, vowed not to be part of the controversial legal claims, as he feels the defeated NPP flag bearer and Mr. Obestebi-Lamptey, whom he once chastised for going about claiming he (Jake) single-handedly won the 2000 elections for, were out to disgrace him.

Mr. Kofi 1234, a former television anchor with TV3, an Accra-based television station, despicably told the media and the charged NPP supporters gathered at the residence of the ex-president that he was only attending the ceremony because of the food and drinks that was going to be served. His unruly behaviour was not condemned by Nana Addo or the NPP party leadership.

Mr. Kufuor is also angered by a statement attributed to the rustic General Secretary of the party, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka ‘Sir John’ that ‘as a National Executive Committee (NEC) member, he was not privy to any meeting where ex-President Kufuor was asked to attend the investiture of President Mahama.

Meanwhile, the ex-President is said to have secretly directed his followers to channel their energy to strengthening the party at the polling station level in preparedness for the upcoming polling station executives elections.

It is a known fact that Mr. Kufuor never supported Nana Addo, but Alan Kyeremanten, throughout the two occasions that the party elected him flagbearer at its presidential primaries. Indeed, Mr. Kufuor who has never failed to trumpet the political tutelage he got from Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia and Mr. Victor Owusu, many times declared that he who wants to be president must be groomed.