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Opinions of Friday, 1 August 2014

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Addressing the Misconceptions About Alan Cash

Fellow Ghanaians,
As most of you are aware, the 'humble giant', Alan John Kyerematen has been at the receiving end of lies and propaganda from a section of NPP supporters for quite sometime now. Some people even think that Alan joined the NPP a couple of days ago. We, members of the Get Alan Kyerematen Elected (GAKE), take this opportunity to debunk such rumours. This, we strongly believe, could go a long way in changing the mindset of the NPP delegates in order to elect Alan as the next NPP flag-bearer.

1. WHO IS ALAN KYEREMATEN?

Alan was born on October 3, 1955 to the late Dr. Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen from Patase, Kumasi and Victoria Kyerematen from Elmina and Ejisu. He is currently 58 years old. He speaks Twi fluently, and is fluent in Ga, Fante, English and French. He is married to Patricia Christabel Kyerematen, who is the daughter of Justice Kingsley Nyinah, Chairman of Ghana's Electoral Commission during the 1979 presidential election. They have two children namely Alexander and Victor. Alan Kyerematen attended Adisadel College at the record age of nine (9) years, and thereafter attended the prestigious Achimota School for his sixth form education. He proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon for a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Alan Kyerematen also holds a Law degree, LLB from the Ghana Law School at the same university where he qualified as a Barrister-at-Law. In short, Alan is a lawyer, economist, diplomat, and business consultant.

2. ALAN IS NOT KNOWN IN THE NPP

Hon. Alan Kyerematen has been a leading young stalwart and key strategist of the NPP since its inception in 1992. Among the 7 current aspirants, Alan is the only Founding Member of the party. He has served on the highest decision-making bodies of the party such as:
• NPP National Executive Committee (NEC);
• NPP Economic Management Team;
• NPP Finance Committee.

3. ALAN IS NOT LOYAL BECAUSE HE RESIGNED FROM THE PARTY

Alan has been loyal to the party since its inception. In 2007, he willingly refused to partake in a run-off to enable Nana Addo lead the NPP into Election 2008. GAKE is yet to see any politician who could sacrifice his presidential ambition for others. Admittedly, Alan threatened to resign in order to re-unite the party. This was at a time that his supporters were being humiliated, insulted, and beaten up after the 2007 Legon Congress. Mr. Paul Afoko, the current NPP Chairman, was nearly lunched. However, Alan's letter of resignation was rejected by the party executives and the issues he raised were immediately addressed to restore peace. Currently, there is no official document at the party secretariat to prove that Alan did resign. Besides, the NPP's Constitution states clearly that; any member who resigns from the party could only contest the party's primaries after five (5) years. Alan was allowed to contest the 2010 primaries, an indication that he never resigned. But, if the NPP thinks Alan is the person to wrestle power from the NDC, why make the alleged resignation an issue? In 1979, Mr. William Ofori-Atta (Paa Willie) and his nephew, Nana Akufo-Addo resigned from the Popular Front Party (PFP) after Mr. Victor Owusu had beaten Paa Willie at the PFP primaries. The latter formed the United National Convention (UNC) with Nana Addo as the Deputy General Secretary. In the 1979 run-off, the UNC added their votes to PNP's Dr. Hilla Limann to win the elections. Paa Willie was appointed the Chairman of Council of State in 1979. Election, they say, is about numbers. Therefore, if the NPP had accepted wholeheartedly the likes of Frances Essiam, Maame Dokono, and Dr. Sekou Nkrumah in the 2012 elections, why talk about Alan's phantom resignation? Didn't Nana Addo visit Rawlings prior to the 2012 elections? What about Ernest Owusu Bempah, aka "Aboa Papu", who spoke constantly on OMAN FM for the NPP? Politics is about numbers.

4. ALAN VANISHES AFTER ELECTIONS

This is not perculiar to Alan. All politicians reflect and restrategise after every crucial election. For instance, after the 2000 general elections, the late Prof. Mills left Ghana for the US for further studies. Similarly, Dr. Bawumia had to work in far away Zimbabwe for two years after the 2008 elections. Besides, Nana Akufo-Addo left the courtroom for the UK to spend two weeks when the Supreme Court (SC) case was in progress. Nana Addo again spent six months in the UK after the SC verdict. So, why blame Alan? Alan is an international business consultant, and as a result, had to attend to his international businesses in order to cater for his family. There is nothing wrong with that move, especially when there is no intensive political activity.

5. WOULD ALAN HAVE CONTESTED THE NPP FLAG-BEARERSHIP, IF HE HAD SECURED THE WTO JOB?

Ghanaians are always proud when citizens of this country are appointed to such prestigious international positions. Mr. Kofi Annan, Dr. Ibn Chambas, Mohammed Mumuni, former president Kufuor, and recently Nana Addo who led the Commonwealth Observer Team to South Africa have made Ghana proud for their role in international assignments. For Alan to have been chosen among the 25m populace and supported by the African Union to contest the WTO post speaks volumes of his managerial competences. Yes, Alan would have forgone the WTO job for the presidency because of his unflinching love for his motherland.

6. ALAN DIDN'T HELP THE TWO NPP CAMPAIGNS

Alan toured the whole country campaigning in 2008. He increased Nana Addo's votes in Ashanti Region by 5% during the 2008 run-off. In 2012, Alan campaigned in Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Greater Accra Regions. He attended the IEA debate with Nana Addo, and co-authored the 2012 NPP manifesto. He supported the party's SC petition by maximizing all the 5 accreditation cards given him. He contributed financially and materially to the 2012 campaign. For some strange reasons, Alan was prevented from joining Nana Addo's convoy with the excuse that a larger convoy was counter-productive. At the Mantse Agbonaa mammoth rally, Lord Commey did not allow Alan to speak. The assumption was that, Alan would use those opportunities to project his presidential ambition. One thing that must be made clear is that, it took Nana Addo six years to recognise Kufuor's financial support for his presidential bids. We expect Akufo-Addo and his Campaign Manager, Boakye Agyarko to list the names of all those who contributed to the 2012 Campaign as well as the form of assistance in order to clear Alan's name. We should bear in mind that Alan was neither the Campaign Manager nor running-mate to Nana Addo.

7. ALAN SHOULD BID HIS TIME FOR NANA ADDO

In 2007, Alan stepped down for Nana Addo because people thought it was Nana's time. The NPP lost the elections with two regions and 49.13%. In 2010, the delegates again said it was Nana Addo's time so they voted massively for him. Here again, the NPP lost to a new NDC Candidate with 47.74% and a struggling two (2) regions. In 2016, the NDC would be presenting an incumbent president and people are saying at age 73, it is still Nana's time. The question is when will Nana's time be over in order for others like Alan, Joe Ghartey, and Bawumia to have theirs? For GAKE, it's only fair for Nana to reciprocate Alan's gesture in 2007 and step down for him this time around.

8. ALAN DOES NOT HAVE MUCH EXPERIENCE AS NANA ADDO

Alan is second to none when it comes to managerial experience. At age 22, he became the Manager of UAC Ghana Ltd, a subsidiary of Unilever International. He was AU's Trade Envoy; UNDP's Chief Executive, Enterprise Africa; Founder of EMPRETEC; UN's Economic Commission for Africa expert; Chairman of Young Executive Forum (YEF); Ambassador to the US; Minister of Trade, Industry, and PSI; Founder of John Young & Associates; Immediate past trade advisor for the AU. Just last year, Alan was chosen by the AU for the position of the Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO). What experience does Alan need again to manage the economy of Ghana?

9. ALAN HAS NOT CONTRIBUTED MUCH TO THE NPP

As a founder and Chairman of the Young Executive Forum (YEF), Alan galvanized the professional and business community to support the growth and development of the party, as well as mobilize a new generation of party faithful and young leaders such as the late Baah-Wiredu, Kwabena Agyapong, Mac Manu etc. The YEF financed the first NPP headquarters at Kokomlemle, Accra with an amount of $6000. Besides, Alan was appointed Chairman of the NPP/CPP Great Alliance Negotiating Team in 1996.

10. ALAN DID NOT SUPPORT THE SUPREME COURT CASE

Alan was given five (5) accreditation badges and he appeared at the Courtroom on five occasions in spite of his busy schedules abroad. He contributed to Sir John's GHC5,000 court fine. It must be noted that elections are won at the Polling Stations and not the courtroom. Alan's presence or absence at the court had no influence on the SC verdict. He was not a member of the NPP's legal team. Even Ayikoi Otoo, then NPP's Chairman for Legal and Constitutional Affairs was sidelined. Hon. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, then in charge of the 2012 elections was replaced by Dr. Bawumia as witness. What role did other contestants - Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, Pastor Koduah, and Hon. Isaac Osei play in the court? So, why always Alan? If people still believe Alan is so influential to win a court case, why not make him the Presidential Candidate?

11. ALAN HAS NO RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT

Alan has solid record of achievements in both private and public life. As an Ambassador to the US, he established the US-Ghana Economic Council to deepen economic relations and bilateral trade; negotiated the purchase of VALCO by the Ghana government at a cost of $20m; implemented the first Investment Forum in the US to showcase the economic potential of each of the 10 regions of Ghana; established the first web-based Ghana Skills Bank to facilitate access to Ghanaian professionals and experts worldwide; initiated the Ghana Cultural Centre in the US; developed an “Operation Save Your Schools Programme” for Ghana residents in the US to assist their alma mater (primary/middle school) back home; negotiated Cosmos Energy's arrival in Ghana to discover oil; and negotiated the release of $547m from the US government through the Millennium Challenge Accounts (MCA) to alleviate poverty in Ghana. The 14km George Walker Bush road is a living testimony.

As a Minister of Trade, Industry, & PSI, Alan built $8.5 million state-of-the-art factory to produce high grade industrial starch from cassava for export. The Ayensu Starch factory has been bought by the Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) this year to produce beer for consumption. Alan constructed an enclave within the Tema Free Zone, for the manufacturing of garments for export; revived the Oil Palm industry in Ghana; expanded the Salt mining operations; implemented the District Industrialization Programme, where at least, one medium-sized factory in each administrative district would be built; initiated the highly successful “National Friday Wear” programme, implemented the Distance Education programme to enable Ghanaian workers acquire higher degrees; facilitated the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which offers Ghana, a quota free export of certain category of goods to the US market; and negotiated a $45 million loan facility with the World Bank to promote SME development in Ghana.

12. ALAN HAS NOT STOOD FOR ANY NATIONAL ELECTIONS SO HE CAN'T WIN

It doesn't take a Candidate to win a parliamentary seat before he becomes president. Dr. Liman never contested any position in Ghana, but he beat Mr. Victor Owusu, a former MP and Foreign Minister to the presidency on his first attempt in 1979. Flt. Lt. Rawlings never contested any elections just like Prof. Albert Adu-Boahen, but Rawlings beat him in 1992 and repeated it against Kufuor in 1996. Similarly, the late Prof. Mills never contested any parliamentary seat, yet, he beat Nana Akufo-Addo, a three times Member of Parliament and Foreign Minister. Alan too can beat Mahama in 2016 on his first attempt.

13. ALAN IS NOT POPULAR WITHIN HIS OWN PARTY BECAUSE HE HAS LOST TWICE TO NANA ADDO

Party's internal elections are different from national elections. One comes out with a flag-bearer and the other brings forth a president. Even though the numerical strength of the NPP is estimated at 5.2m (per the 2012 election results), only 2,300 delegates voted in the 2007 Congress. In 2010, only 140,000 delegates voted. The selection of these delegates is "democratically undemocratically", because some potential delegates perceived to be pro-Alan were denied access to the nomination forms. How could incumbent party executives be the ones to sell party nomination forms? A typical case was the Ashanti Regional Chairmanship elections, where Osei Prempeh, a contestant had to buy his form at F.F. Antoh's Filling Station. We all heard Osei Prempeh's complaints on air. If our memories serve us right, 16 Constituencies had their results cancelled. It must also be pointed out that neither Alan nor Nana won or lost the 2007 primaries, even though it was Nana's second attempt and Alan's first attempt. The 2010 primaries was more or less popular acclamation on Nana Addo because of his performance in the 2008 elections. Judging a candidate's popularity on the choice of 140,000 out of 5.2m NPP members/ sympathisers is wrong. The popularity of a candidate can be tested, if all NPP members/sympathizers were allowed to partake the primaries , hence the need for one man, one vote.

14. WHAT THEN IS ALAN'S VISION?

Alan has categorized his vision into two, one for the NPP and the second for Ghana. He believes that, for a party to win political power and maintain it, it needs to be strategically strong. Alan intends to restructure the NPP by empowering all those who would work for the party. He would mobilize the over 5m supporters to make a monthly financial contribution of at least, GHC1.00. This money would be deposited in a Progress or Savings Bank which would be established in the Constituencies. Part of the deposits would be invested in viable economic ventures, part as loans etc. The interests and profits accrued to such investments would be used to pay the party executives. This innovation will be fashioned around the mode of financial institutions with regard to money creation. It would be recalled that in 2006, Alan implemented the constituency Business Venture programme that provided some support in the running of the constituencies. Alan Kyerematen's vision for the country will be to harness and develop the potential of her youth force by putting education and entrepreneurial skills at the center of his youth policy. This would prepare them adequately for the industrial revolution and small-scale enterprise initiatives. Alan intends to add value to our agricultural products in order to put the country on the path of economic independence. His campaign message is coined; "Jobs for the people, Cash for the people".

15. WHAT MAKES ALAN THINK HE CAN BEAT MAHAMA?

Elections in Ghana have never been based on good or bad governance. The floating voters (Kingmakers), to a very large extent, have always centred on personality traits such as charisma, humility, appeal, and affability. Fortunately, Alan has those attributes to attract them. He is gentle, giant, calm, approachable, peaceful, and handsome. Ghanaians have lost hope in younger presidents. They don't also need an old man. Alan will be 61 years in December 2016, and thus acts as a bridge between the young and the aged. He has more credibility than Mahama. Alan is not surrounded by controversies and this will give him ample time to sell his campaign message instead of defending allegations. Alan can maximise votes from both Central and Ashanti Regions because of his mixed ancestry. The NPP cannot win elections with votes from only Ashanti and Eastern Regions. Alan has more international connections and better understanding of the economy than Mahama. Many disgruntled NDC members, especially Voltarians have vowed to vote for the NPP in 2016 on condition that Alan leads the party. Alan is fit, strong, and healthy. He will campaign 24/7 to beat John Mahama.

16. WHY IS THE NDC ROOTING FOR ALAN

Politics is about numbers. It is refreshing for an opposing party like the NDC to admire not a CPP candidate, but an NPP candidate. For any president to succeed in his administration, it needs the co-operation of all political parties. Alan will be president for all Ghanaians not only NPP members.

Let's all join the new group; Get Alan Kyerematen Elected (GAKE) on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at Rexmar Hotel in Kumasi, as we set to have out Maiden National Conference & Fundraising at 2pm.

Vote Alan! Vote NPP!!

...Signed...
Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang
(National Coordinator - 0202471070/0547851100)
Kamir Muhammed - Operations
Gabriel Osei Kufuor - Organiser