Trouble in NPP? What trouble?; Kwabena Agyapong dismisses
Posted on: 2014-Jun-24        
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New Patriotic Party's General Secretary has rubbished partisan perceptions floated in the media that he is creating divisions in the party because, he has a parochial interest in seeing Alan Kyerematen emerge as presidential candidate for 2016 elections

"It is all down to suspicions. They have created an industry [of suspicion]" he said on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Tuesday.

The race for the party's flagbearerer race for the 2016 elections is set to draw along familiar lines, Nana Akufo Addo, two-time winner and his old political foe, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.

Three other candidates, former Information Minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former Minister of Trade Kofi Konadu Apraku and an MP for Mampong Francis Addai Nimo are considered also-runs.

The Chairman of the party Paul Afoko has been a key figure for Alan Kyerematen when he contested for flagbearer in 2007 while Kwabena Agyapong has supported Alan in the past.

Their past association with Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has become a target for activists supporting Akufo-Addo .

The conspiracy theory has it that, Kwabena Agyapong and Paul Afoko are working to scuttle the chances of an ageing Akufo-Addo in his record fourth bid to lead the party in the 2016 elections.

They claim this will pave the way for Alan to succeed Akufo-Addo as the flagbearer in 2020.

But in a spirited response, Kwabena Agyapong has debunked the claims and conspiracies. It cannot be the work of those who claim to love the party, he said.

"I am not part of any agenda 2020 and I don't think there is any agenda 2020. How can I be thinking about agenda 2020 when I don't even know what is going to happen to me tomorrow?...If we lose 2016, on what foundation am I going to seek re-election?", he wondered.

Delegates of the NPP at congress last April virtually cleared the former national executives out of office after the party lost the 2012 elections.

Dealing with rumours of working in Alan's interest, Mr. Agyapong said his detractors always cite his support for Alan in 2007 but forget that he was campaign manager for Nana Akufo-Addo in 1994.

"Why don't they add that? I have served with Adu Boahene [a former flagbearer], I served [President] Kufuor. I worked with Akufo Addo, I have worked with Alan and I have worked for myself [as a presidential aspirant] . And now I am working for the party", he emphasized.

Date for Congress

Although the tentative date to finally chose the 2016 flagbearer has been slated for December 6, 2014, some supporters are peeved that this date gives more time to other aspirants especially Alan Kyerematen to campaign and chip away support for Akufo-Addo.

But Kwabena finds this view uninformed. He explained that according to the constitution, the party must have a flagbearer 24 months before presidential elections when the party is in opposition. This is to allow the candidate to sufficiently campaign.

The 6th December date is "the constitutional date. It is not fixed by Kwabena Agyapong", he reiterated.

He nonetheless said this date was "not cast in concrete" and could be changed if the National Council thought it wise.

Mafia exclusions

The NPP General Secretary also explained why some regional representatives were excluded from the composition of National Council of the party.

According to the party constitution, five executives and five non-executives should form the 10-member regional delegation to the national Council. The choice of a representative must be balanced across the constituencies.

But according to Kwabena Agyapong, the list from some regions did not conform to the provision.

Citing examples, he said in the Ashanti region's list, there were only three executives and seven non-executives. In the Eastern region, there were seven members from one constituency out of over 20 constituencies. And despite Dagaartis being the majority in the Upper West region, they didn't have a single representation. In the Greater Accra region's list there was no Dangbe, the General Secretary explained.

He said this was pointed out to the regional leaders who had come to Accra for the meeting.

Kwabena Agyapong put his faith in the choice of the 140,000 delegates who are expected to elect the flagbearer and insisted as far as he is concerned, his "heart is clean" and "is as white as snow" .