General News of Friday, 18 July 2014

Source: Today Newspaper

Akufo-Addo disowned me, Says Alan Kyeremanten

A flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten has discounted the propaganda making rounds in the public domain that he did not support the campaign of the party’s 2012 flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Describing it not only as falsehood, but a calculated attempt by his opponents to dent his political career. The former diplomat challenged his critics to substantiate their allegations else they should “shut up.”

On the contrary, the former Minister of Trade and Industry in the erstwhile Kufuor administration said he was not invited to join the 2012 Campaign Team of Akufo-Addo.

The NPP flagbearer hopeful made these observations in his interaction with the media at a press soirée at Africa Regent Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014.

“I was never invited after our primaries to join my senior brother’s [Akufo-Addo] campaign in 2012,” he lamented.

“I don’t know whether our party members across the breadth and length of the country were told not to receive me because even when I personally came down with my money to campaign in some constituencies, I was not recognized by my party members,” the former Trade Minister added.

He recounted the number of times during the 2102 campaign of the NPP where the Master of Ceremony (MC) did not acknowledge his arrival at events.

The party events in which he was prevented from openly addressing the gathering include an NPP rally at Mantse Agbona rally and a fundraising ceremony at the International Conference Center as examples of events.

Alan Cash as he is popularly known in political circles, also explained why it is time for the NPP delegates to elect him to lead the party to victory in 2016.

According to him, his three main concerns to lead the NPP are; to help build a strong grass root support for the party, woo floating voters into the party and to unite the party for victory.

What the NPP needs to win power in 2016, Alan Kyeremanten noted, are these three ingredients adding “I’m the man who can make all these happen if I’m given the mandate by my people.”

“The votes of our party members and sympathizers alone cannot give us presidential victory. We need the votes of the floating voters, which according to the polls conducted by my own team, indicate that Ghanaians want to see the face of Alan Cash on the presidential ballot sheet of the NPP in 2016," he said.

He recalled the number of sacrifices, primarily financial; he made to the party in its early formation days in 1992 when he was the chairman of the Young Executive Forum of the NPP.

The Young Executive Forum, which had members like the former Minister of Energy, Albert Kan Dapaah, Alan Kyeremanten noted raised a substantial amount of money for the party to purchase its Kokomlemle office.

His contribution to the party, according to him, made some NPP stalwarts encourage him in 1996 to contest the likes of the then Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor in the party’s presidential primaries.

However, the former candidate for the position of Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO) said after some consultation, he was prevailed upon not to contest and should allow Kufuor and others to contest and wait for his turn.

This he noted was captured in an autobiography of a founding member of the NPP; Appenten Appiah-Menkah titled “The River in the Sea.”

“Now it is my turn, and somebody also has to make a sacrifice for me to lead the party,” he said.

In reaction to his close relationship with the current National Executives of the party, Alan Kyeremanten, though admitted working with the two in his previous campaigns, he said they [Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong] will not compromise on their principles by favouring him.

The NPP has chosen August 30th 2014 for their Special Congress to prune down the seven (7) aspirants to five (5) before December 6th, 2104 for their congress to elect the party’s flag-bearer for 2106 general elections.