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21.11.2006 General News

Close political combat in Aliu’s homegrounds

By chronicle
Close political combat in Aliu’s homegrounds
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-But delegates call for resurrection of Osafo-Maafo
•Say Allan is a nice man but a `Castle Boy`

The Chronicle's current survey in the Northern Sector which appears to be fluid, supplemented by the Brong Ahafo Coordinating office of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, points to probabilities that the Foreign Minister may become the next Presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), The survey pointed out to several factors that the delegates of the NPP in the impending congress next year are considering before electing Nana Addo to the highest office of the land.

Incidentally, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is also in the race, banking on the three regions as his natural base because he hails from that part of the country.

According to some of the delegates the paper interviewed they would be taking into account what they describe as Nana Akuffo Addo being one of the true and full-blooded members of the party, who has shown maturity after being beaten by President Kufuor in the party's 1998 congress in Sunyani, arguing that it is time now to rate him first from the second slot he placed during that congress. This has been the standard line of FONAA (Friends of Nana Akufo Addo).

They are also saying that during the Culture of Silence, Nana Addo, was among the few Ghanaians who struggled to bring democracy and the rule of law into being.

Some of them referred to the Foreign Minister's role in the struggle for the return of democracy in the 1970s, during the reign of Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and the National Redemption Council (NRC)/ Supreme Military Council (SMC).

“At that time, Nana & Co were the people who struggled against the numerous military regimes in the country and since his agitation for democracy had been achieved I think it is time for us to test him as the Presidential candidate of the party,” one interviewee stated.

Another interviewee sees Nana Addo as the Apostle of rule of law with politics as his career, arguing that since politics was about democracy, that includes freedom of speech, we need to get someone like Nana to lead the party and eventually the nation.

Another aspirant, coming closer to Nana Addo was Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng, Minister for Trade & Industry. He was however, described by a few of the interviewees as a “Castle Boy” being supported by President Kufuor, an indication that they would not want any anointing of a successor by the President.

Although his name has remained dormant for sometime in the NPP Presidential race, some delegates were still yearning for Mr. Osafo Maafo's resurrection. They wondered why the once hardworking minister has remained quiet for sometime now and urged Mr. Osafo Maafo, MP for Oda to come out to pursue his Presidential ambition.

Later in an interview with Nana Akuffo Addo's Brong Ahafo regional Campaign Coordinator, Lawyer Asomah Cheremeh, he told The Chronicle that even before Nana Addo toured the region, there were a lot of signals that he was winning the NPP Presidential slot for 2008.

According to Lawyer Cheremeh, he was not surprised about The Chronicle research findings that put Nana on top of the list, because even in Brong Ahafo Region, their own research indicates that the foreign minister was the most favoured aspirant among the tall list of the Presidential Aspirants in the NPP.

Asked if Nana was disturbed with the huge number of Aspirants, Lawyer Cheremeh told The Chronicle that Nana Akuffo Addo had made it clear with delegates in the region during his recent tours that even pioneers of the party like Dr. J.B. Danquah and others were challenged and for that matter he was not worried at all.

According to the B/A Coordinator, Nana further stated that he (Akuffo Addo) in 1998 challenged President Kufuor and therefore wondered why he should be nervous by other contenders, adding that the NPP was a democratic party and welcome any person's contribution or input into the party.

According to Mr. Cheremeh, Nana Addo sees the tall list of Presidential Aspirants as something to enrich the democracy in the NPP.

The Coordinator disclosed to The Chronicle that Nana Akuffo Addo in September and October had toured all the constituencies in the Brong Ahafo Region and facts gathered shows that he was going to harvest at least 80% of the Brong Ahafo votes.