ALAN SHAKES NPP
Less than 48 hours after picking his nomination forms to aspire for the flagbearership of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, former Minister of Trade, Industry, PSD and PSI has taken a political stride by becoming the first to return his forms.
The record-breaking speed with which the aspirant managed to get the endorsement from all ten regions in the country is likely to confound many of his contemporaries, but Mr. Kyerematen said it was a mark of good organisation.
Alan, who picked his forms on Saturday afternoon, has thus become the first official NPP aspirant after he submitted his forms, plus a bank draft for ¢250million (GH¢25,000) and an application to contest.
He picked his form with ten other aspirants when nominations opened on Saturday.
But one hour before 'Alan Cash' and his team stormed the party office, DAILY GUIDE gathered that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, one of the forerunners in the race, had quietly picked his form without any fanfare.
DAILY GUIDE was also reliably informed that two other aspirants, Yaw Osafo Maafo, former minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, former minister of Works and Housing will be picking their forms today.
Besieging the Asylum Down headquarters of the party with thousands of his supporters in convoys, Alan Kyerematen said he considered it an honour to be the first to do so.
“Today is the beginning of a long journey towards the 2008 elections, and looking at the speed with which I conducted this, I can say it is with the same seriousness and organizational dispatch that I will move when elected as flagbearer,” he told the press shortly after he had submitted the forms to Nana Ohene Ntow, NPP general secretary.
Responding, Nana Ntow said he was impressed with the keen interest the aspirant had shown in the race. He then handed over the bank draft to the party's national treasurer, Ms. Gifty Santewaa Aryeh.
Earlier at a programme at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to launch his campaign, the aspirant challenged the party's delegates to elect a winnable candidate for the 2008 presidential election, which he said is very crucial.
The programme, which caused vehicular traffic and serious inconvenience to motorists in virtually all parts of the city, started with two separate floats from Mallam and Nungua, accompanied by dozens of hired buses.
Addressing supporters at the Holy Gardens, 'Alan Cash', as he is affectionately called, hinted that he had been consulting with friends about the presidential agenda for well over two years now.
He said even though he had a lot of respect for all the 20 aspirants in the race, he believed he was cut out for the job.
According to him, even though all the aspirants are qualified, delegates must have basis for picking the best among the lot.
In a ten-point guideline, Alan said delegates need to look out for a person whose popularity cuts across the length and breadth of the country.
He said because the party would be calling on the electorate for a third term in government, it needed a new message to be told by a new face.
“The fight before us is like a champion of champions' contest, which needs professional players with international exposure,” he told the fans.
Calling himself the senior prefect of all the new generation leaders in the party, he promised to unify the party after the congress.
He promised economic independence for the country, stressing four key pillars he would put in place to create jobs for the people.
They include industrialization, infrastructure development, information technology and tourism.
The launch was fabulously characterized by a lot of pomp, with songs composed to the honour of Mr. Kyerematen.
Apart from huge numbers of policemen positioned at strategic locations, members of St. John's Ambulance and mobile toilets were put on standby.
A hundred party members, ten from each region, and all of whom must be in good standing, are needed to endorse each aspirant.
Mr. Kyerematen was able to get their endorsement in a record time of 48 hours.