The NPP is such an interesting party. They are going around giving all manner of promises to delegates. Akufo-Addo may seem not to be promising much but he is.
His main promise is that he is healthy and at 70 he can be as competent as the 72 years old Alassane Ouatarra if he is elected. His second promise is that he will bring back Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
It is a clever move, because Nana, the experienced politician that he is knows that Bawumia draws additional support to their ticket. Nana may appeal to the NPP grassroots and others, but Bawumia also brings additional support. So Nana is promising to stay healthy and strong and to give the people Bawumia again.
What about the six people who also want to be president. I am sorry, but, all the six people contesting against Akufo-Addo know they cannot beat him. People like Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Kofi Osei Ameyaw and Stephen Asamoah Boateng (Asa Bee) are now calling regional and constituency chairmen pleading with them to just give them enough votes to make it as one of the five for the shortlist. It has become that desperate, I tell you.
Their biggest fear is that they are afraid of being humiliated on August 31 when the special electoral college of about 800 people will vote. So now, the competition is about saving face and not winning. In fact, so bad is the situation that there is even a grand scheme to see how they can avoid altogether the August 31 election and move straight to the National Congress planned for October 18.
Initially, the plan was to pack the contest to force this special electoral college and use the smaller number to influence the delegates and bring down Akufo-Addo's votes to send a signal to the larger party that he can be beaten. But, the mass endorsements that are following the 2012 presidential candidate for the NPP wherever he goes has made the others panic. Activate Plan B.
Alan Kyerematen's way of dealing with this, his Plan B, has been to promise other aspirants positions in his government. Yes, his government. Investigations that I have done show he has promised two people at least, Joe Ghartey and Osei Ameyaw, the vice presidential slot.
Why Joe Ghartey? Alan, according to my findings, says the two of them are good looking and that the women will vote for them! But, what about the Akan tag? Joe Ghartey is a Fante from Western Region. Alan Kyerematen is an Ashanti with a Fante mother from Central Region. Oh, he reasons that will not matter to the women at all!
Also Alan is of the firm belief that NPP needs to consolidate the Fante vote. He believes the two of them, with his unproven capacity to attract floating voters, is a combination carved for victory.
But, my information is that the Second Speaker of Parliament is not impressed by this promise. As Attorney General, he supported Alan in 2007 but Joe believes he is more intelligent than the former Trade Minister. Yes, oh! He thinks Alan has lost it! Lost what, I really don't know.
Osei Ameyaw for Veep? Well, at least the MP for Asuogyaman has Ewe blood in him and he has a very tall ambition, and have very little respect for what is real. So, he might fancy this royal mirage!
Alan has also promised Apraku that he's gonna make him Finance Minister. Apraku, another man, who believes his American accent puts him closer to Obama than all the others, likes the idea but believes he has a better chance of winning floating voters than Alan.
Alan has also promised Asamoah Boateng the Foreign Minister portfolio. Asa Bee actually fancies himself there. He says he knows abroad more than any of the other candidates and he is closer to Ghanaians in the Diaspora. In fact, Foreign Minister Asa Bee may sit better with Kwesi Pratt than His Excellency President Asa Bee. But, he is yet to consult either the Managing Editor of the Insight or his spiritual father, T B Joshua on that, so Alan may just have to wait.
And, we have Addai Nimoh, the man who only came to public attention when he announced he was running for president. He has kind of agreed to Alan's call and said, as for him, he will take any cabinet position. He is one of those politicians who believe they can only gain prominence by saying they want to run for president. If Arthur K succeeded then why not an MP?
In fact, so afraid is Addai Nimoh of losing the 2016 parliamentary primaries in his constituency, Mampong, that only a cabinet position will suit him. His problem is that hardly any of his colleagues in parliament really believe that he deserves a ministerial position. His biggest motivation, I heard in the lobby of the House once, is that people say the post of president will suit him. He looks the part.
Alan's plan is to hope that two of the aspirants will take the bait and drop, reducing the number to five and removing the need for the special electoral college. This hope is shared by all seven. The trouble is: who will drop for who to benefit?
They have calculated that if they go and perform badly on August 31, they will struggle to raise any money for October 18. Nobody will mind them. So let us kill off this thing altogether. That is why Alan is making all those promises.
But, the problem with this Alan strategy is that those that he is making the promises to don't believe that he can win! If you can't win, how can you deliver?
Dr Apraku, the former Trade Minister, is known to work harder than any candidate in trying to get people to work with him or support him. If efforts alone could win, Apraku would be the clear favorite. His latest strategy is to call constituency chairmen who have declared for Akufo-Addo and insist to them that Akufo-Addo is sick. The chairmen say, "no we do not think so, he looks very fit to us". Apraku will insist, "no, I say he is sick!"
People in NPP find it strange this is coming from Apraku. This is the man, they say, who forced himself to build such useful contacts with relevant security personnel that they all lobbied for him and Akufo-Addo renewed his faith in him to put him in charge of security in 2012. Even when his position was kept quiet because of security reasons he made sure that on the day of the elections, December 7, 2012, he issued a press statement saying nothing really except to announce that he was director for security!
Yet, when it came to the crunch he was not to be found. The very day that Dr Afari Gyan announced the 2012 presidential results and the NPP supporters were angry and pouring onto the streets, what did Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku do? He picked up his passport, got a ticket and left for London. When there was tension on the streets of Ghana he was spotted by Ghanaians in Milton Keynes, London. Those who called Ghana to say they spotted Apraku in Milton Keynes were perplexed. When desperate telephone calls were made to him he finally responded by saying he needed to rush to London for an emergency surgery.
Today, Apraku is going around saying to NPP people that they should not vote for Nana because Nana is sick. That is the irony of NPP politics.
It appears what is rather happening is that Nana Akufo-Addo is making the aspirants sick and desperate.
Alan Kyerematen, after his fantastic promise to put party people on salaries has gone a step further. Now he is promising all constituency chairmen that if he wins he will make them DCEs. Hmmm. Are these NPP people interested in building Ghana for you and I? Whether a constituency chairman is qualified or not you say he will be DCE? Whether he wants it or not you say he will get it?
Now, if you are even able to fulfill your promise you risk putting square pegs in round holes where the person has not the skills to perform there. Over a dozen constituency chairmen from the North left their meeting with Alan disappointed and angry for being insulted, according to reports that I received.
This promise may be as good as Chairman Paul Afoko's promise to provide a pick up for every constituency. So well planned was this that Afoko had bills of lading to show during his campaign rounds. Now, where are the pick ups? What Alan is doing is to build an expectation he may have no intention of fulfilling only to create mass dissatisfaction for an NPP government led by him. How was he to find the money to pay all party officers? Even a quarter of the over 140,000 out there? These are the things that create the environment for corruption. What shows that the NPP would not be as reckless as the NDC is accused of now, if this is the thinking of those aspiring to lead it?
Alan should learn from Asa Bee. From his campaign in the Central Region, where he was once MP and twice defeated, he has developed a sympathy-winning strategy. He goes around kneeling before constituency chairmen, pleading with them, almost in tears, to give him "just one vote". Kwesi Pratt can empathize with that request: 'Just One Shot!'
It remains to be seen whether the move to chop down the numbers for August 31 will succeed or we should all prepare to see who will be humiliated the largest. Whatever happens, the pantomine in NPP gives us all a helpful escape from the hardships that our President says he is working hard on to alleviate. It appears, some NPP aspirants need a bail out more than Ghana!
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