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29.04.2008 Politics

Da Rocha stabs Kufuor, Nana

By The Independent
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Former chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. B. J. Da Rocha has stabbed President John Agyekum Kufuor and others at the back in their effort to woo Mr. Alan Kyerematen back into party.

Political observers, who spoke to The Independent say, Mr. Da Rocha's statement issued on Friday gave the President, the party's flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, and Mr. Peter Mac Manu, NPP National Chairman, a raw deal as they were in a caucus busily finding solutions to the decision by Mr. Kyerematen to quit the NPP.

Party insiders, who believe Mr. Kyerematen wields some considerable influence within the party told The Independent that, Mr. Da Rocha's statement could affect the unity of the party.

They are of the opinion that, since Mr. Kyeramanten's resignation letter was addressed to the party chairman, it would have been appropriate if Mr. Da Rocha had exercised restraint and waited for the chairman's response instead of rushing to react to Mr. Kyerematen's statement released last Thursday.

According to the party insiders, Mr. Da Rocha's statement therefore puts the President and the NPP flag bearer in a tight corner since Mr. Kyeramanten will feel unwelcome to the party if he should rescind his decision to quit the party.

This development, NPP insiders also believe, is very serious as it could affect the fortunes of the party in this year's election, which is a crucial one and urged that, everything possible should be done to keep important and influential people within the party so that Nana Addo's campaign effort will not be unduly affected.

They therefore called on the former NPP chairman to also withdraw his statement so that reconciliation could be achieved and also make way for the party to look into the issues raised by the former Minister of Trade, Industry, PSD and PSI and Former Ghana's Ambassador to the US.

It will be recalled that, on the 17" of April, Mr. Kyerematen stunned supporters and activists of the ruling NPP with his resignation letter, which was addressed to the party's chairman, Mr. Peter Mac Manu.

The letter was delivered to Mr. Mac Manu at the airport where he was awaiting his flight to travel out of the country, but about 30 minutes after delivering the resignation letter to him, it was leaked to the media even before some senior members of the party, including the President, received their copies.

The leakage of Mr. Kyerematen's resignation sparked off tension within the party as spokespersons for both Mr. Kyeramanten and Nana Akufo Addo used strong words against one another.

The ensuing confrontation led to the dismissal of one of Mr. Kyeramanten's spokesperson, Kuuku Welsing Jones.

Barely a week after that development, Mr. Kyerematen issued a press statement to debunk assertions in some quarters that, he had returned to the party.

The press statement angered many NPP stalwarts including Mr. Da Rocha, who had met Mr. Kyerematen twice in an attempt to resolve the impasse, hence his call on the party to stop convincing Mr. Kyerematen to return to the party since it will set a bad precedence.

But angry supporters and activists of the party are not happy with Mr. Da Rocha over his statement as they see it as a move that could scuttle efforts being made at the highest level of the party to woo Mr. Kyerematen back into the party.
Last Friday, President Kufuor, Nana Akufo Addo and party chairman, Peter Mac Manu, were locked up in a crisis management meeting when out of the blue, Mr. Da Rocha shot at them with his bombshell calling on the party not to accept Mr. Kyerematen back into its fold. .

His statement, which received wide publicity, stalled the negotiation process and in the p'rocess gave members of the negotiation team heavy stabs at their backs, but the President did not allow this to discoumge the process and went ahead to constitute a committee to look into Mr. Kyerematen's complaints and address the concerns mised in his letter of resignation.

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