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Politics of Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Source: al-hajj

Akufo-Addo ‘stops’ Ntim from contesting NPP Chair race in favour of Alhaji Short

Bent on getting his preferred candidate to become the next National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, President Akufo-Addo has cannily baited former National Vice Chairman, Stephen Ayenso Ntim, with a lucrative post in his government to get him to back down on his ambition.

The President and his strategists, The aL-hAJJ has gathered, fear Mr Ntim could go pass their anointed candidate, Alhaji Abubakari Abdul Rahman aka Alhaji Short, for the National Chairman post, hence the need to find ways and means to get him out of the race.

Reports are that President Akufo Addo and his men have variously tried to convince the two-time failed National Chairman aspirant to shelve his National Chairman ambition in favour of Alhaji Short, “but on all these occasions they were unsuccessful”.

Party insiders told this paper that the President and his handlers at a recent meeting agreed to persuade Mr Ntim with a lucrative post in government as an incentive to block him from wreaking havoc to Alhaji Short’s ambition.

To implement this plot, President Akufo-Addo was said to have successfully convinced Mr Ntim to agree to serve as Chairman of the Governing Board of Ghana Lands Commission. It is however not clear if the President disclosed his real intention to him (Ntim) before he agreed to take up the post.

However, a deep throat source at the Flag Staff House told The aL-hAJJ that “that appointment is a trap that they have set for Mr Ntim and unfortunately he has fallen into it. The next phase of the plot is that they will confront him to give up on his National Chairman ambition or be relieved of his post.”

Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare in a statement last week announced that President Akufo-Addo has appointed Mr Ntim as Board Chairman of Ghana Lands Commission

“I take this opportunity to congratulate you formally for your appointment. Kindly indicate your acceptance or others of this appointment. Thank you,” the letter said.

The letter stated, “pursuant to Section 5 (1) of the Lands Commission Act, 1994 (Act 483), the President of the Republic of Ghana in consultation with the Council of State hereby appoints you as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Ghana Lands Commission.

But it has turned out that the President appointed the former NPP Vice Chairman on a repealed law; making his appointment null and void. Government is however yet to rectify the anomaly which calls to question; the competence of the President’s team.

It is no secret that President Akufo-Addo has dumped Mr Ntim and acting National Chairman of the NPP, Freddy Blay in favour of Alhaji Short after separately promising the duo ahead of the 2016 election that he will assist them to realise their dream of becoming the party’s National Chairman.

Like Ntim, the NPP’s acting National Chairman has also since been appointed Board Chairman of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation after the President again “chose” Prof Aaron Mike Ocquaye ahead of him as Speaker of Parliament.

The choice of the Upper West Regional Chairman, Alhaji Short, as the presidency’s preferred candidate for National Chairman is to get a Northerner to head the party after Mr Paul Afoko, a Northerner, was suspended indefinitely in 2015.

The three-time Upper West Regional Chairman is said to be basking in glory and touring various regions and holding secret meetings with NPP founding members, Council of Elders and Executives in pursuit of his ambition while his contenders struggle to warm their way into the hearts of delegates.

So far, Mr Ntim, Alhaji Short, Freddy Blay, Amoako Baah, Fred Amankwa Sarfo and others, have declared their intention to stake claim to the NPP National Chairman post. However, the other National Chairman hopefuls would have to gird their loins to do battle with President Akufo-Addo’s anointed Alhaji Short.