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Opinions of Friday, 26 September 2014

Columnist: Alhassan, Mohammed

Alan Kyerematen, Get Real

On Tuesday 29th July, 2014, Nana Akufo-Addo officially kick-started his campaign to be elected as the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party for the December 2016 presidential election.

At this event, which took place at Akwei’s House in Odododiodio, in the heart of Accra, stalwarts in the NPP declared their support for the candidature of the 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate of the party. Members of Parliament, regional executives, constituency executives, amongst others, pledged their strong support for Nana Akufo-Addo. These declarations were only reinforcements of the pledges they had given to Nana Akufo-Addo, prior to his 6-month break from frontline politics, in the aftermath of the infamous August 29 Supreme Court verdict on the election petition.

What, however, caught the attention of the gathering, and subsequently the attention of the media and Ghanaians at large at the campaign launch, were the declarations of support made by persons who had previously supported the candidature of Alan Kyerematen, the man who was the main challenger to Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2007 and 2010 primaries of the NPP.

Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi, the Ashanti Regional NPP Chairman; Archibald Cobbina, Greater Accra NPP Regional Organizer; Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, former Member of Parliament for Asokwa and a former Mayor of Kumasi; George Kofi Agyei, alias “Geo Kad”, Nhyiaeso NPP Chairman; Kwasi Nti Asamoah, Fomena NPP Chairman; John Kumah, the 2010 spokesperson for Alan Kyerematen; and Stephen Amoah (“Sticka”), another spokesperson for Alan Kyerematen, publicly endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo as the man to lead the NPP to victory.

Whilst in the Ashanti Region, campaigning ahead of the Special Electoral College, on Friday, August 15, 2014, Nana Akufo-Addo again received endorsements from some former supporters of Alan Kyerematen. This time, Ashanti Regional NPP Organiser, Kennedy Kankam; Mr. Asare Bediako, NPP Chairman for Asokwa; Hon. Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, MP for Odotobri all publicly endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid. Indeed, the only constituency in the Ashanti Region won by Alan Kyerematen in the 2010 presidential primary was Chairman “Geo Kad’s” Nhyiaeso constituency.

Lest we forget, another influential party figure, Alhaji Mumuni Musah, the Chairman of the Dormaa Central Constituency who, prior to the holding of the Special Electoral College, had never supported Nana Akufo-Addo, also declared his support for him, when Nana Akufo-Addo took his campaign to the Brong Ahafo Region on 17th August, 2014.

As though this was not enough, during the Thank You Tour undertaken by Nana Akufo-Addo, in the aftermath of the overwhelming 80.81% margin of victory some 740 delegates gave him in the Special Electoral College, 3 stalwarts of the NPP and, in what has become a norm in the party, former allies of Alan Kyerematen, again declared publicly their strong support for Nana Addo. In the Northern Region, Brong Ahafo Region and Ashanti Region, Hon. Mohammed Amin Anta, former MCE for Tamale, Hon. Razak Awudulai, former DCE for Kintampo, and Chairman Robert Yaw Amankwah, former Ashanti Regional NPP Chairman, respectively, publicly declared their support for Nana Akufo-Addo’s “winning team”.

Fellow presidential aspirants, Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, who had previously supported Alan in 2007, and Hon. Joe Ghartey, who was firmly behind him in 2007 and in 2010, and both of whom made the shortlist of 5, have not only decided to stand down from the 18th October contest, but have also declared their support for Nana Akufo-Addo’s candidature.

These last declarations, by the 5 gentlemen, proved to be the proverbial straw which broke the back of Alan Kyerematen’s camel forcing him to issue a statement, through his spokesperson, Philip Longdon, stating that “Akufo-Addo is luring my boys with money.”

For a candidate whose campaign slogan has always been “jobs for the boys, cash for the people”, it was a very ironic development that the “cash man” was complaining that Nana Akufo-Addo was inducing his supporters with cash, the reason for the declarations of support by people who used to be his staunch allies.

In as much as this fallacy was dealt with on Oman FM’s Boiling Point by Chairman Yaw Amankwah and Hon. Razak Awudulai, this statement by Alan Kyerematen is not only laughable, but is also an insult to these fine gentlemen who had supported him previously.

As aptly stated by Chairman Amankwah, “When we supported Alan in 2007 and 2010, did he also induce us to support him by giving us money? He is insulting our intelligence. We supported him out of our own volition, and now we are supporting Akufo-Addo out of nothing but love for the party because he is the best candidate to deliver victory for the party in 2016.”

For a man whose vote share in internal contests in the NPP consistently keeps dropping from 32% in 2007, when he had the whole state machinery behind him, to 19% in 2010 and now 7.97% in 2014, Alan Kyerematen is failing to realize that he has credibility issues in the NPP. He has so far failed to come to terms with the fact that the NPP wants nobody but Nana Akufo-Addo to lead it into the 2016 elections. Everywhere one goes, it’s the same old message “No Nana, No Vote”, which I am confident Alan Kyerematen himself has heard.

He should ask himself why his supporters, who were once considered his trusted allies, from all parts of the country, are now jumping ship and swimming away to join Nana Akufo-Addo’s. He should listen to the reasons being adduced by them and face the realities of the time, and spare us such absurd effusions as “he is luring them with money.”

It is Nana Akufo-Addo’s time, Mr. Kyerematen. Failure to realize and accept this simple fact will be your downfall come October 18, and subsequently the doom of your political future in the NPP. Get real, Alan Kyerematen!!

Mohammed Alhassan

Builsa South Constituency

mohammedalhassan2016@gmail.com