Former Chief of Staff under the Kufuor administration has kicked against the Acting New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman’s quest to be affirmed.
Kwadwo Mpiani insists it was a mistake for Freddie Blay to have been elected First Vice Chair in the first place since he has no roots in the Danquah-Busia tradition.
“The chairman of a party is the number one person when it comes to the party so you must accord the person a lot of respect. You may not have voted for the person or like him/her but you are all in the same party,” he told Raymond Acquah on Upfront, Wednesday.
He said he does not know if Freddie Blay, a former member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) is loyal to the party.
“He is a very good friend of mine but I never voted for him and I told him that I don’t think it was proper for us to have him as the First Vice Chairman,” he said.
The former Chief of Staff said he asked Mr Blay whether the CPP would make him [Mpiani] “a porter” if he were to defect from the NPP.
Acting National Chairman of the NPP, Freddy Blay
Freddie Blay entered parliament in 1997 on the seat of the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP) as MP for Ellembele constituency and was elected Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 1997 to 2001.
He was elected First Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2005 under the NPP government of President John Agyekum Kufuor but lost his seat in 2008 to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
After 11 years in Parliament, he crossed carpet to the NPP in 2008 and has since enjoyed an unlikely rise in the party.
Freddie Blay has been acting as National Chairman since November 2015 after the elected leader, Paul Afoko, was suspended over what some say were his questionable loyalties to the party.
Mr Blay is contesting among others, Stephen Ntim for the position of chairman as the party prepares to hold its national delegates conference in the Eastern regional capital Koforidua on Saturday.
More than 8,000 NPP sympathizers and supporters are expected to converge at the conference grounds.
Suspended NPP Chairman, Paul Afoko
But advising the NPP delegates, Mr Mpiani said they should vote based on the historical values of the party and chose loyalty.
According to the former Chief of Staff, the party was wrong to have suspended its National Chairman, Paul Akofo and his General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong.
He argued that there is no evidence that the suspension of the two, who were said to be working against the party, contributed to the party winning in the 2016 election.
“I still don’t believe the party acted properly,” he stated.
Regarding the NPP retaining power in the 2020 election, Mr Mpiani said the person elected as Chairman will not affect the outcome of the party as it is the government's performance that will.
“I believe the government is performing although they have their difficulties,” he said.
Comparing the performance of the Kufuor administration and the Akufo-Addo government so far, Mr Mpiani said, “we came in at a different time with a different problem so it won’t be fair to compare.”
He believes Mr Akufo-Addo’s 110 ministers are on the high side and he is certain after working with them for some time now, the president will be reconsidering his decision to keep them all.
Lauding government’s Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, he advised that “government should push a lot of emphasis on that to make it a success. I should not only be about numbers but quality.”
He said it will be a big legacy for president Akufo-Addo many years after he is gone.
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