The National Campaign Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2008 elections, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku has rebuffed allegations that he declared to contest then President Kufuor in the party’s presidential primaries in 2004.
In a swift reaction to the allegation, he said, it is just a ploy by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to justify that fact that former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings has hinted at contesting President Mills.
There have been rumours circulating in the NDC that Dr. Apraku declared his intention to contest the then President Kufuor in 2004 but was prevented by party leadership from picking nomination forms to contest.
On Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Dr. Apraku said he never intended to contest former President Kufuor who at that time had laid a solid foundation for the economy, provided free education and healthcare and expanded the frontiers of freedom and the rule of law in the country.
Contrary to newspaper reports that he opened an office for his campaign, he said it was just to facilitate his work as a Member of Parliament at the time and to receive members of his constituency.
According to Dr Apraku, the NDC should rather focus on interrogating the issues raised by former President Rawlings to know whether it would be justified for someone to challenge President Mills in their upcoming Presidential primaries.
Dr. Apraku noted that for someone to challenge a sitting president indicates clearly that he poses a threat to the party winning an election-that “the element of potential defeat is high.”
He added that for a party leader like Nana Konadu to challenge President Mills is an indictment on the president’s performance.
Dan Botwe, Member of Parliament for Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region who was the General Secretary at the time confirmed Dr. Apraku’s claims.
He said even though the party opened nominations for prospective candidates to file their nominations, President Kufuor was the only person who filed his nomination.
But, the National Propaganda Secretary of the ruling NDC, Richard Quashigah expressed shock at Dr. Apraku’s comments.
He narrated how Dr. Apraku confirmed to him together with some colleague journalists that he (Dr. Apraku) intended to contest former President Kufuor in the party’s flagbearership race.
He recalled Apraku made the claim at the NPP’s congress in Sekondi-Takoradi to elect National executives and named some other persons who were present at the time during a live show on Radio Gold.
“Can he Dr. Apraku, in his heart of heart and the sincere man that he claims he is, tell Ghanaians that he has never expressed the intent to contest J. A.Kufour at the time that they were electing their national officers. Is that what he said?
“I’m alarmed, Dr. Apraku has been a friend and I think he should come clean”.
Story by: Adwoa Gyasiwaa/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana