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Opinions of Thursday, 17 April 2014

Columnist: Alhassan, Mohammed

The End Of Alan Kyerematen’s Political Future Draws Near

Thursday, 17th April 2014, marks exactly six years to the day Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen resigned his membership of the New Patriotic Party. This action, though forgiven by the rank and file of the party, can never go unforgotten in the annals of the history of the party largely because of the disruption it caused the party's 2008 campaign.

As we recall the sixth year of Alan Kyetematen's resignation from the party, it is quite ironical that today he is seeking to lead party for the 2016 election, albeit having failed twice already to secure the mandate of the party.

The man, popularly referred to as Alan Cash, has seen his popularity and appeal plummet in the last six years since his resignation.

Though Nana Akufo-Addo was seen as the natural successor to then President Kufuor by virtue of his long years of service to the party, runner-up position in the 1998 congress and his committed service as Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alan Kyerematen backed by powerful forces in government sought to change the status quo.

And my did he make an impression! Alan Cash become a household name in Ghanaian politics within a twinkle of an eye, after virtually being an unknown quantity in the body politic of the NPP.

However, after losing the election to Nana Akufo-Addo and despite being made an integral part of the 2008 campaign team, i.e. being made Chairman of the Identifiable Groups committee, Alan Cash disrespected the NPP by resigning from the party that had made him who he was in life.

According to him, his supporters were being persecuted. However, not a single shred of evidence was produced to back this claim. The total disregard for the structures of the party by Alan in resolving the alleged claims of intimidation of his supporters was clear for all to see.

Alan Kyerematen by his actions did not believe in the NPP and felt he did not need the party to "make it" in his quest to become President of the Republic.

He subsequently rescinded his decision and was welcome into the fold of the NPP. However, his utterances and the cracks he caused in the NPP were never forgotten by NPP delegates. Alan was forgiven, but NPP delegates did not forget the trauma he put the party through.

Thus, when he sought to lead the party into the 2012 elections, the time for NPP delegates to mete out their punishment to him had arrived. Coupled with the fact that he was facing a very formidable candidate in Nana Akufo-Addo, who delegates were bent on retaining for the 2012 elections, delegates had an extra motivation to punish his disloyalty.

From obtaining 32.30% of valid votes cast in 2007, and graciously conceding victory to Akufo-Addo, he could only garner 19.91% of votes in 2010, whilst the winning candidate obtained 78.89%

After losing the 2010 primaries of the party, Alan Kyerematen, many thought he would atone for his gaffe in 2008. However, we were proved wrong. Though, this time around, he did not resign, Alan did something equally negative resigning.

The man, who had promised during his concession speech at the Efua Sutherland Children's park to fully support Akufo-Addo did not even bother to show his face in the electioneering period, apart from making one or two appearances. He performed a disappearing act the great magician, Houdini, would have been proud of.

Whilst the NPP was busily campaigning to oust the incompetence of the caretaker government of John Dramani Mahama in 2012, Alan Cash was splashing his cash on first class airline tickets between Accra and Addis Ababa after securing an appointment as a trade advisor at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To his defense, then Special Assistant to Alan Kyerematen, Davis Opoku Ansah, who is now special assistant to newly elected General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyepong, stated in a post on Facebook that Alan donated a total of 40 pickups and some millions of Ghana cedis to help Akufo-Addo. Those imaginary pickups, upon checks with the 2012 campaign committee, have still not made their way to the campaign or party headquarters of the party. The cash did not arrive either.

In the aftermath of the disputed 2012 elections, and with the NPP going to the Supreme Court, Alan, again, was nowhere to be found, except for one or two tactical appearances. Whilst party activists scampered across the length and breadth of the country to gather the 24,000 pinksheets and make a compelling case, which ultimately proved in court that irregularities affected the outcome of the 2012 elections, Alan was busily lobbying to become head of the World Trade Organisation.

Is this a man who has the well-being of the NPP at heart? Is this a man who will put the NPP first? By his actions and deeds, I do not think so.

After failing to secure the WTO post, Alan has now realised he is an NPP member and wants to lead the party again. The NPP is now the option he is having to fall back on after his WTO failure. Will the 140,000 NPP delegates view him as a true party man and entrust the leadership mantle of the party in his hands after showing such open disdain towards the NPP?

Alan Kyerematen and his followers have always been keen to stress the fact that "Alan is appealing to floating voters" albeit backed by no scientific data or research work carried out across the length and breadth of the country.

Permit me to juxtapose Alan’s assertions to a football team’s ability to win the Champions League. If a team cannot qualify for the Champions League from its country’s own football league, how can that team claim to have the capacity to winning the Champions League?

If Alan cannot win an election within a delegate pool of 2,293 in 2007, when he was actively supported by the Kufuor government; and 106,590 delegates in 2010, how can he claim to have the overwhelming support of some 14 million Ghanaians in an election? Alan could not even beat Dr Bawumia to a “cheer contest” as witnessed in the Tamale Delegates conference.

As I stated in my earlier article, all the candidates who contested for national officer positions in just ended Tamale conference campaigned using the name of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. New national Chairman, Paul Afoko, stated emphatically that "I will make Akufo-Addo President in 2016."

With the NPP being a democratic party, Alan Kyerematen is certainly entitled to contest to lead the NPP in 2016. What I fear, however, is that the 19% he garnered in 2010 will certainly reduce. We may be seeing the very last of Alan Kyerematen's political future in the NPP. NPP delegates have not forgotten his actions in 2012 and will punish him again.

Mohammed Alhassan

Builsa South Constituency