Inspite of the grumbling within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the presidential ambition of the President's brother and the imminent electoral danger it poses for the party, Dr. Addo-Kufour has waxed defiance, saying he is not perturbed.
The candidature of the man who is the longest serving Minister not to have experienced a reshuffle has stirred nationwide controversy with concerns being expressed that the ruling party was not an extension of his 'Apedwa' clan.
Over the weekend, the Western Region hosted Addo-Kufuor where the issue of his presidential ambition vi_ a vis his blood relations with the sitting President once again exploded in his face.
At a secret meeting held by the Minister with both constituency and regional executives of the party in the Western Region, a constituency chairman wanted to know why he still harboured the ambition to contest the presidency in the face of widespread concerns that had been raised and the risk his ambition posed to the party in the next general elections. The Chronicle learnt that Addo-Kufour responded by saying the controversy surrounding his ambition to contest the NPP presidential race was personal and that his relationship with his brother, the President, had nothing to do with his presidential aspiration.
He reportedly asked, “If your brother were contesting for an election and you know very well that you can contest the same elections and win, what would you do”?
To him, his blood relation to the President Kufuor should not be a matter of concern or the subject matter for discussions, but rather his achievements as a Defence Minister is what must be examined critically and used as a yardstick to consider whether he should be given the mandate to lead the party or not.
He noted that the warm reception accorded him by the executives was ample evidence that he would be endorsed to lead the party as its flagbearer in the 2008 elections.
The meeting, held at the Takoradi Beach Hotel, started around 4pm and ended late in the night with the Minister giving ¢200, 000.00 to each of the constituency and regional executives as 'morale boosters'.
The meeting was attended by all the regional executives, including Messrs Nana Owusu Ankomah and Kojo Acquah, regional chairman and regional organizer respectively, except three who were absent on the excuse that they were tied up with assignments.
The Chronicle has however learnt that Mr. Acquah, for example, is the cheerleader for professor Frimpong Boateng, whose candidature is massively supported by the two-time regional organiser. The meeting was told that the chairman had not been able to attend because he had been on a trip through the region and was therefore exhausted. But this paper can report on authority that the regional executives do not support the President's brother in his bid to lead the party.
Another executive who was absent from the meeting was the financial secretary, Mr. Paa Payne. The regional Organizer, Kojo Acquah, had also openly declared support for Professor Frimpong Boateng, one of the presidential hopefuls of the party, and this was widely reported in the media.
Padmore Kofi Nyonkopa, 1st regional vice chairman of the party who chaired the meeting, told Mr. Addo-Kufuor that the party had seen his achievements as a Defence Minister and that if the Central and Western regions supported him, he would get the nod.