General News of Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Source: The Catalyst Newspaper
‘Stop blackmailing me!
Mr. Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremanten has sent out a signal of his sternest warning yet to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his main contender in the race for the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 2016 flagbearership to stop using unorthodox means to get him out of the race, as his camp has told the twice defeated flagbearer of the NPP and his campaign ‘war machine’ to back-off their man and stop trying to use the weapon of blackmail to kill his presidential ambitions.
For a very long time now, Mr. Kyeremanten has been reeling under heavy bombardments from Akufo-Addo campaign hounds that have resorted to using blackmail as one of their main strategies in trying to force the former trade & industry minister out of the race in order to pave the way for the twice failed NPP flagbearer to assume the position yet again without a final contest.
Had Mr. Kyeremanten fallen for Mr. Akufo-Addo’s pranks this time, it would have been the second time he has bowed out of the NPP flagbearership race under pressure from the Akufo-Addo camp.
It would be recalled that at the NPP conference at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana in December 2007, a final contest that would have been the decider between the two rivals did not take place when they emerged first and second from 17 contenders. This was because the Kufuor camp was blackmailed by the Akufo-Addo camp and enormous pressure was brought to bear on Mr. Kyeremanten as a result, to sacrifice his presidential ambition at the time for the sake of unity in the party.
On the preceding night, the current chairman of the NPP, Mr. Paul Afoko, was walloped at the congress by Akufo-Addo’s militants when, what later turned out to be a well-orchestrated, violence broke out in the main auditorium after the then NPP national organizer, Lord Commey, grabbed a microphone and announced that Mr. Afoko was sharing dollar bills by way of bribing some delegates on behalf of Mr. Kyeremanten.
Things reached a crescendo when the violence was backed with threats from the Akufo-Addo camp to breakaway and form another party if Mr. Kyeremanten, who has been the main candidate for the Kufuor camp, emerged the eventual winner of the contest.
History is repeating itself in 2014, some seven years after that horrifying incident. The Akufo-Addo camp is leaving no stone unturned to ensure Mr. Kyeremanten breaks down again and bows out of the impending October 18 contest.
The 2014 NPP flagbearership race has also been characterised by violence, with Nana Akufo-Addo being accused by his 2012 campaign communications director, Dr. Arthur Kennedy of being the aggressor.
Alan supporters were on two major occasions beaten up by Akufo-Addo’s militants at the party’s headquarters in Accra. On the second occasion, not even Chairman Afoko or General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong was spared. Mr. Kwabena Agyapong had had to reportedly escape in a car booth from the party headquarters where the two were addressing a press conference before the bloodletting thugs arrived, On both occasions, the marauding thugs were heard threatening to kill anybody who dares to stand in the way of Nana Akufo-Addo’s presidential ambition this time around and that includes their own party members. It was not surprising that on 31st August 2014, the day of the special delegates’ congress to prune down the number of flagbearership contenders from seven to five, an aide to Mr. Paul Afoko was severely assaulted by some Akufo-Addo militants, people he knows very well and was left with a completely fractured humerus (the bone between the shoulder and the elbow of his left arm. Closely on the heels of the ‘pruning-down’ congress which saw 740 valid votes cast have been incessant calls on Mr. Kyeremanten to step down again for Nana Akufo-Addo with the excuse that the gap between his 8% and Nana Akufo-Addo’s 81% is too yawning for him to venture going into the main contest involving some 14,000 delegates across the country, who will choose the next NPP flagbearer.
The Alan camp has however rejected these calls, saying that it is absurd to ask Mr. Kyeremanten to step down because any basis for comparing the two congresses of 31st August and 18th October is flawed.
Member of Parliament for Esikado, Hon. Joe Ghartey, who was one of the five selected for the grand finale on 18th October has already dropped from the race leaving four contenders. It is still early days yet to know if all remaining four contenders will finish the intraparty race.
Information stumbled upon by The Catalyst however has it that the Akufo-Addo camp is working hard to get the other two contenders, Mr. Adei Nimo and Hon. Osei Ameyaw to step down and throw their weights behind the two-time NPP flagbearer in a bid to show intransigent Alan where power lies.
Should Mr. Kyeremanten stand his ground to the end, he would have broken a myth even if he does not win, but which his spokesperson, Nana Ohene-Ntow has indicated his boss is confident of.
According to the former general secretary of the NPP, the Akufo-Addo camp has resorted to all manner of orchestration and campaign to blackmail Mr. Kyeremanten, even before nominations were open, one of such numerous attempts being a recent move by regional organisers led by the national organizer of the party, John Buadu, to try to talk Mr. Kyeremanten out of the race in order to make easy passage for Mr. Akufo-Addo.
Reaffirming his resolve to go ahead and contest the NPP flagbearership position on October 18, Mr. Kyeremanten in a press release said his inclusion in the final five chosen by the delegates has inspired his confidence that he can become the eventual winner to lead the NPP into the 2016 elections.
“Let me express my appreciation to the entire party and particularly the delegates who ensured that I was included in the list of five contestants for the final primary. By this action, I have a clear indication that the NPP fraternity believes I am capable of leading our party to victory in the 2016 elections. I take this charge very seriously and assure our party members that I will do all within my power, and by the Grace of the Almighty God, not to let them down,” Mr. Kyeremanten said.