REPORTS AVAILABLE to The Chronicle indicate that all is set for the former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Dan Kweku Botwe, to roll up his sleeves to vie for the presidential slot of his party.
The former Minister of Information, according to our reports, has come to this conclusion following his successful consultations within the rank and file of the party members and also to restore the hopes of his peers and party members who have been putting much pressure on him to lead them into but a resounding victory in the 2008 general elections.
This latest information picked by the paper has contradicted speculations that Mr. Botwe would not be contesting the presidential race for the party after all. However the paper's political survey can authoritatively report that the gentleman has actually hit the ground.
The 49-year-old political technocrat has so far embarked on consultations, which was synonymous to overtly and covertly campaigning to canvass support.
Mr. Botwe, one of the few principled and dedicated astute politicians within the rank and file of the party, has stepped out of the cold and gone to the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern regions to campaign for votes.
In his bid to assess his chances, the youthful political dynamo, who fits into the agenda of the new generation to succeed President John Agyekum Kufuor, has received an overwhelming support from most of the constituency executives across the nation and top party officials who matter in determining the future and the direction of the party.
Dan, as he is affectionately called by party members and peers including those in opposition parties, has targeted three strong areas as his priorities should he lead the country, this paper has gathered.
Apart from other pressing issues of the nation, the NPP presidential hopeful has education, health and agriculture as his main focus areas.
The former NPP General Secretary, who led the party into an unprecedented two successive victories and who continues to keep his teeming admirers in suspense, is currently agonizing over the fate of teachers who now use strike actions as their trump card to render their displeasures about disparities in the salary structure.
This paper can report further that at the meeting with party faithful in the Northern region from where he returned last Friday, he was told in no uncertain terms to come out and lead the party to victory.
Mr. Botwe flew out of the country last Saturday night to Kenya under the auspices of National Democratic Institute (NDI) to help in capacity building for political parties in Kenya.
He also intends to form an economic think-tank to help him resolve the economic problems confronting the nation.
Our reports indicate that the former General Secretary was not perturbed about the emerging or increasing number of aspirants and hinted that there would be no division within the party as others were pre-empting.
According to sources close to Mr. Botwe, the party could rather break up if there were only two contenders.
The former Information Minister confirmed his consultation trips to the three regions, but diplomatically refused to disclose the basis of his consultations.
According to our intelligence, his presence has caused a great stir and even some panic among the aspiring candidates who fear Mr. Botwe is a threat to them.
In a brief chat with this paper, he indicated that although he had received various calls from party faithful, his afore duty now as the Chairman for the Research Committee of the party was to work to achieve the vision and the objectives of the Committee.
Uncle Dan is currently engaged in farming but is also managing to keep his political ambitions closed to his chest.
Signals picked by The Chronicle's political desk indicates that should he contest for the position, he would actually run a youthful administration by ensuring that the youth, who are the future leaders, identify their talents early.
Another signal picked indicated that he was likely to pencil in the NPP's Iron Lady, Mad. Hawa Ogede Yakubu, first Vice National Chairman of the party, who is currently recuperating outside Ghana, as his running mate.
He would not be worried at all, according to our signals, if he did not get the backing of Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, one of the leading contenders.
Party faithful in the top echelons of the party welcomed Dan's move and described him as not only the winnable candidate, but also one with a unified force.
Mr. Botwe would be battling with big fishes like Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, MP for Ofinso-North, Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Water Resource, Works and Housing, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Vice President, and Prof. Frimpong Boateng, Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, should he decide to vie for flagbearership.
Others are Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister of Communications, Mr. Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade, Mr. Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko, and Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence.