Source: The Catalyst
As pressure mounts on the leadership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to indicate who mooted the idea of having early elections to select the flag-bearer of the party amidst tight lips, former flag-bearer aspirant, Alan Kyeremanten, is gradually gathering support for a showdown with Nana Akufo-Addo in March.
The ex-president Kufuor’s favorite, having surveyed the field and assessed Akufo Addo’s chances in the forthcoming primaries and the party’s rejection of the ‘top-down’ approach in electing leaders of the party, has started consultations with the grassroots to prepare the grounds for his eventual public declaration of intent.
The Catalyst newspaper has gathered from close sources within the leadership circles of the party that Alan Kyeremanteng was eagerly waiting for the party’s decision on the proposal to have election of flag-bearer earlier than the regional, constituency and polling station elections before making a stronger move.
He was earlier reluctant to accept President Kufuor’s offer of support for fear of losing an early election to Nana Addo. His fear was that Nana Addo was going to capitalize on the sympathy of party’s supporters and leaders emanating from the recent election petition the party lost.
An early election would have given Akufo-Addo the advantage of using the current national leadership of the party to cook victory for him and overshadow his major weakness – old age. The idea was opposed by the Kufuor faction in the party who want to push Alan or any other candidate to face Akufo-Addo.
The Catalyst was reliably informed that many of the current leaders, including Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey were in full support of the ‘top down’ plan knowing that it was going to keep them at post till elections were held and in the event of Akufo-Addo winning the primaries, they were also going to get his support a la ‘scratch my back I scratch your back’ style.
Now that the way is clear, Alan has begun his subtle campaign, sending his operatives to various regions to start consultations with the leadership at the grassroots. The main message is for the party to reject aging Akufo-Addo for a younger Alan who has gathered much experience now to lead the party after two attempts.
His operatives are also reminding the people of the message of consolation Nana Akufo-Addo’s gave to Alan at the last primaries held prior to the 2012 election, Akufo-Addo had assured Alan of giving him the chance after his (Akufo-Addo’s) second trial at the presidency.
The message has started sinking at the lower levels of the party as the age war takes center state. A vote for Akufo-Addo is seen by the Kufuor faction as a weapon in the hands of the NDC to win the elections in 2016. Nana Addo is too old to compete with a much younger President John Mahama, they insist.
Meanwhile, the fight between the two major faction in the party, the Kufuor led Ashanti faction and the Akufo-Addo’s Akyem Mafia, has regained it momentum with the Kufuor faction rallying behind Alan to defeat Nana Addo. The two have stated preparing the grounds for one of the ugliest campaign battles ever witnessed in the party.
President Kufuor is reportedly ready to fund the campaign of Alan, now that he has agreed to contest.