Though President John Agyekum Kufuor has openly denied supporting any of the 17 presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in their bid to succeed him, some of the party members have stated that his 'long arm' which is overtly and covertly supporting a candidate is undermining the unity and integrity of the party.
They however urged all lovers of democracy to ensure that President Kufuor did not have his way as the party goes to congress on Saturday to elect the flagbearer of the party towards the 2008 general elections, to battle Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to the party members, they would not allow President Kufuor to have his third term in office, by proxy, through manipulating or whipping the Electoral College, stressing that it would be against the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution and also against the core values and beliefs of the NPP.
The Chronicle newspaper said on Tuesday, a resolution signed by Mr. Boye Laryea, president of Friends of the NPP, said, “Now that we have seen the extent to which the President has gone to have himself elected a delegate, ostensibly to be in a position to intimidate the delegates before and during the congress, we shall resist it.”
To this end, he said, “We call on all the true lovers of democracy, to demand from the NPP decisiveness in its disciplinary action, especially now that the long arm of the president is gradually a vampire, threatening to devour and destabilize the camaraderie that we have hitherto enjoyed within the political arena since 1992.”
“We shall resist with every drop of our blood, the untoward actions directed at the dimming the chances of the gentlemen of good standing, as they all belong to the same party and have contributed to its well-being, to the best of their abilities,” he said.
Mr. Laryea, who is also the Greater Accra Regional financial secretary of the NPP, contended that President Kufuor must cease-forthwith, his actions that threaten to undermine the very legacy that he has successfully created within the body politics as the most dynamic Danquah-Busia-Dombo leadership since Ghana attained political independence.
Friends of NPP maintained that it had gone beyond the point of asking for fairness from the leadership of the party, but was quick to say, that was the duty of the National Executives and “we congratulate them so far, for doing their best under circumstances not markedly different from what is being unleashed on the selected delegates.”
According to him, “We the friends of the NPP having observed the ongoing campaign by 17 approved persons, for the position of flagbearer of our great party, the NPP resolved that the National Executive Committee members were put into office to protect the good image, interest and political fortunes of the party at all times.”
Mr. Boye Laryea and his group stressed further that the national executives cannot feign ignorance of the extent to which certain groups of persons were attempting to, and in some verifiable cases, corrupting the system in order to make the process of selection a faux.
In addition the statement said, 'that the political leadership of this country, especially His Excellency the President, is directly or indirectly, through proxies and agents, threatening political appointees and elected delegates with dire consequences, should they choose to vote against, Mr. Alan Kyerematen at the upcoming congress.”
According to Friends of the NPP, in the event of such political gimmicks while throwing dust into the eyes of the general public, “we shall take swift and adequate measures to protect the integrity of the internal electoral process, image and indeed the sanctity of our core beliefs, given that our party constitution stipulates, inter alia, that all members of the NPP are enjoined to protect, project and promote the good image of our party at all times.”
Stressing on his points, Mr. Boye Laryea urged the entire membership of the NPP to be vigilant and protect the gains members have collectively made and "which is under threat by the skins of the very people who benefited from the hard works we put in to weaken the NDC in order for the NPP to attain political power."
Sending a clear signal to the party members, he said, “We the friends wish to send a clear signal to the 2,340 or so delegates of the national congress, to elect the next presidential candidate of the party, to remember that they are not free agents but delegated to vote in accordance with the popular sentiment within their constituencies.”
They noted that the Saturday, December 22 election was neither about the past nor about the present, but about who can win the December 2008 presidential election.