The fall-out from the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) defeat at the Supreme Court last month in terms of open disagreements among leading party members appears to be increasing in its toxicity.
It started with protests against the NPP General Secretary’s assertion that the party will be presenting the party’s 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, for the 2016 presidential elections.
Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie’s announcement, coming shortly after some party members had heaved a sigh of relief that Nana Addo’s declared break from politics was going to be permanent, brought the knives out.
Out came long-rested former party chairman Haruna Esseku; former General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow; Michael Ampong, Greater Accra Regional Communications Director, and many others.
But they appeared to be facing formidable opponents like the current NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, whose silence on the impasse has rather been loud; Ashanti Regional party chairman, Mr Frederick Anto, founding member Dr Kwame Amoako-Tuffour, former MP for Asikuma Odobeng Brakwa, Paul Collins Appiah Ofori and Nana Addo’s 2012 campaign manager, Boakye Kyeremanten Agyarko, among others.
One interesting aspect of the feud is the way it has the former President Kufuor-backed Alan Kyerematen’s presidential bid supporters pitched on one side against backers of Nana Addo in the NPP 2012 presidential primaries.
Speaking exclusively to The Finder, Greater Accra Regional Communications Director, Michael Ampong, who is currently seeking the National NPP Youth Organiser position, expressed fears that if party members do not manage their differences well, it could lead to the party losing the 2016 elections.
He said party members should be aware of how incumbent Presidents have always won their second-term elections since the introduction of party politics in 1992.
They should therefore ensure that they have those with the dynamism to change the pattern of history, he said.
The divisions in the party has also got economist and NPP vice-presidential candidate for 2008 and 2012 elections worried.
Speaking after his national ‘Thank you tour’, understood by many as the unofficial launch of Nana Addo’s 2016 presidential campaign, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia called on party supporters “never to speak ill of any fellow party member as that would only lead to cracks in the party”.
“Factions which are built around personalities only mean that in the contest for power, some of the best talents would either choose to sit on the fence or be left out of the effort, which would ultimately affect our chances in one way or the other.”
The Dr’s call is timely in view of some attacks party members have launched against one another.
Latest issue dividing the party is whether to bring forward the time for electing a presidential candidate for 2016.
A number of leading members, mainly Nana Addo’s supporters, have called for this in order to give the candidate sufficient time to lead the assault on the Flagstaff House, but others, formerly in the President Kufuor-backed Alan Kyerematen campaign, have come out strongly against the idea.
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