Barring no last minute hitches, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology will tomorrow play host to the second in a series of seminars for presidential candidates to outline their energy policies ahead of the 2008 elections.
Organised by Energy Centre and the Public Lectures Committee of KNUST and dubbed "Flagbearers on Energy”, the seminar is aimed primarily at providing a platform for each of the Presidential Candidates to present their ideas for energy sector development.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party and John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress are billed to take their turns this week, after Paa Kwesi Nduom, flagbearer of the Convention Peoples Party and Edward Nasigre Mahama of the People's National Convention took their turns last Friday.
But, contrary to ground rules agreed on by representatives of the four parties that only the flagbearers of the various parties would be given the opportunity to articulate their energy policies, information reaching this paper indicates Ghana's largest opposition party, NDC, have for “strategic reasons” decided to send their newly-minted running mate, John Dramani Mahama, to the Kumasi forum.
Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, Koku Anyidoho, Communications Director affirmed that although the NDC flagbearer was in town, the party felt it was better to send Mr Mahama.
This stance is in clear contravention of rules agreed to by the party's representative at the negotiation stage, Ato Ahwoi. The NPP was represented by Boakye Agyarko, an aspirant in the party's flagbearer race last December.
Checks made by The Statesman with the organisers of the event indicated that all the parties had agreed that only flagbearers would be allowed to address the forum. As a result, when the NPP flagbearer was unexpectedly engaged outside the country last week, the organisers declined a request for someone else to represent him and rather asked the flagbearers of the PNC and CPP to address the forum.
But, with the NDC choosing to send John Mahama, the question is, who is the real power (flagbearer) of the NDC? And, why send John Mahama, when the party had earlier indicated it would send its spokesperson on Energy, Kwame Ampofo, MP for South Dayi?
Koku Anyidoho also indicated that NDC's changed plans had been communicated to the organisers. But both the Chairman of the Public Lectures Committee of KNUST, Prof Asiamah, and the Provost of the College of Engineering, Prof Momade told this paper they were not aware of the change in the NDC's plans. "The NDC have indicated that they will be adequately represented," Prof Momade told The Statesman yesterday.
In a related development, the campaign team of CPP flagbearer Paa Kwesi Nduom, in an emotive reaction to our front page headlined ED MAHAMA 'OUTSHNES' NDUOM, have described the story as "part of the grand design of the tottering Akufo-Addo team to derail the anticipated alliance of the CPP and the PNC which for now remains the dream of every Ghanaian voter." The derailment plan, the team said had "backfired."
Stay tuned for more on this issue in subsequent editions of The Statesman.