19.04.2008 Politics

Varied reactions greet Alan’s resignation

By The Times
Varied reactions greet Alan’s resignation
19.04.2008 LISTEN

The bombshell resignation of Alan Kyerematen, defeated presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party from the party on Thursday, continues to receive mixed reactions both from the leadership of the party and the public.

There have been accusations and counter-accusations within the rank-and-file of the party following the resignation.

The resignation of Mr Kyerematen, founding member of the NPP and a former Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, took many people by surprise, having pledged his support for the party's flag-bearer; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, after his defeat at the party's congress last December and later accepting to be part of Nana Addo's campaign team.

In his resignation letter, Mr Kyerematen is said to have cited intimidation and alienation of his supporters after the congress as his reason.

Messrs Charles Sam and Kuuku Welsing-Jones, spokespersons for Mr Kyerematen, have said that all those who openly supported Mr Kyerematen at the congress felt intimidated and therefore, he decided to resign to save the party's unity.

Mr Sam for instance, called on the leadership of the party as a matter of urgency, to look into the allegations of intimidation, saying "we tried to solve this problem in-house. Mr Kyerematen is the person who will not jump to hasty conclusions. His concerns were not addressed."

He, however dismissed speculations that Mr Kyerematen will join another party or form his own party. "At the moment, Mr Kyerematen has nothing against anybody but I can assure you that he is not going to join or form any political party."

Mustapha Hamid, an aide to Nana Akufo-Addo, admitted that there were still reported cases of intimidation within the party after the congress but said that even people perceived to be sympathizers of the flag-bearer were also victims.

He cited Ms Christine Churcher, a former minister and known supporter of Nana Akufo-Addo, who he said had to abandon the filing of her parliamentary nomination due to intimidation from people believed to be Mr Kyerematen's supporters in Cape Coast.

"The issue of intimidation is across board, but it is something that needs the collaboration of all in the party to be able to check."

He said after the congress, there have been efforts to integrate all followers of the 17 presidential aspirants to ensure that Nana Akufo-Addo wins the December elections, adding "we have people who openly campaigned for Mr Kyerematen but who are now working with us to ensure total victory".

Mr Hamid described the resignation of Mr Kyerematen as "a huge loss", and said the party will work hard to get him back to its fold.

Nana Ohene Ntow, General-Secretary of the NPP, said the leadership of the party was in firm control of the situation, even though Mr Kyerematen's resignation came as a shock to the party.

He, however, declined to comment on efforts being made to persuade Mr Kyerematen to rescind his decision.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, a former minister and one of the presidential aspirants whom Mr Welsing-Jones accused of intimidating some perceived Kyerematen supporters in Koforidua, dismissed the allegations saying "the party cannot be built on lies and untruths".

“Although politics is about numbers, Mr Kyerematen's resignation will not affect the party's chances of retaining power in the December polls. A true and genuine Danquah-Busia (loyalist) will never resign from the tradition," he affirmed.

Besides, he said, the constitution of the NPP is supreme and above every individual member's interest.

"The resignation will not affect the unity of the party because the NPP has the track record to manage internal crisis," he added.

According to The Times, while some NPP supporters were critical of the party's executive for allowing the issue of intimidation to persist after the congress, others blamed Mr Kyerematen for what is happening.

Joseph Kyei Arhin, a shoe-seller at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, said: "The party executives have allowed this problem to fall flat in their face and we all look upon them to address it."

But Abigail Tsotsoo Lamptey accused Mr Kyerematen of abandoning the party "at a time when we need him most," adding "he is trying to tell us that he does not care about what happens to the NPP after 2008."

From Tema, The Times' G. Blay Gibbah reports that a cross section of politicians there, too have reacted to the news of Kyerematen's resignation with mixed feelings.

Mr Obeng Fosu, chairman of the Tema East Constituency of the NPP said they received the news with a lot of surprise because they had no prior knowledge of any attack on supporters of Mr Kyerematen by the supporters of Nana Akufo Addo.

He therefore called on the leadership of the party to investigate the matter and resolve whatever differences there may be.

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