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17.03.2009 NPP News

Battle for NPP flagbearershipAKUFO-ADDO IN DILEMMA...Ponders over division in party

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle

Barely twenty-four hours after arriving from his holidays in Europe, the 2008 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo is reported to be in a fix as to whether he should contest the party's flagbearership or not.

According to our information, the 2008 Presidential candidate, who received a rousing welcome at the Kotoka International Airport on Sunday, has told party bigwigs who visited him yesterday at his Nima residence that he believes in unity as the underlying principle for him to contest the 2012 elections

. A reliable source close to the former flagbearer told this reporter that he was not interested in leading a divided party to contest future elections.

“He is not ready to impose himself on the party, he is not ready to lead a divided house and he is basically concerned about the unity of the party. He wants a party that is united to fight the ruling party,” the source who was at the meeting told The Chronicle.

“He has not ruled out running for the flagbearership race, but he thinks that he does not want to impose himself on the party.

The fact is that he is not ready for any big tussle within the party. He needs a very strong party leadership to fight for the party's victory, but should any cracks appear on the front of the party, then he is likely to back out,” the source said. Reports from the meeting indicated that Nana Akufo-Addo, the former Foreign Minister and the ex-legislator for Abuakwa North constituency in the Eastern Region, was emphatic that he was not afraid of losing the primary, but was concerned about how to unite the party for future elections.

Nana Akufo-Addo was also reported to have expressed disgust over the bitter struggle for leadership within the party, which according to him could split the party to the advantage of its opponents.

The 64-year old politician received party legislators, regional executives across the nation, some members of the council of elders of the party and a host of others, including serial callers like Appiah Stadium to his house on Sunday.

He has been under serious pressure from the rank and file of the party to lead the NPP in the 2012 elections, since his name has become a household one in the country, but some opponents are kicking against his retention.

The Chronicle can report that regional executives from the three Northern Regions, Greater Accra, Western region, Eastern and some from the Ashanti region have declared their intention and support for the retention of Nana Akufo-Addo.

Unfortunately, the hopes and aspirations of most party gurus, who have been pressurising him to run for the presidency have been dashed, because of his conditional position to contest, only if there was unity in the party.

Meanwhile, this paper has learnt that some top NPP leaders met last week to deliberate on whether to accept Nana Addo as their flagbearer on consensus basis, or to organise a congress to elect the party's leader.

Chronicle sources at the said meeting came to an agreement that Nana Addo should be declared as unopposed.

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