“We Will Not Accept Another Ashanti Flagbearer”
The ambition of Dr. Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence to be the flagbearer of the NPP in the 2008 elections is brewing up in trouble in the NPP. A two week survey conducted by the National Democrat in Akyem indicate that most Akyem NPP supporters are not ready to accept another Ashanti man to become the leader of the party and President of Ghana.
2008 is the turn of an Akyem to be leader of the NPP and President of Ghana. It should either be Osafo Maafo or Akuffo Addo who are both Akyems and not Addo Kufuor who is an Ashanti and again a brother of the President. We would not allow another Ashanti again, said a 61 year old retired educationist at Kibi. The vast majority of Akyems this paper talked to seemed to be in no mood to have Addo-Kufuor as the next flagbear of the NPP.
Some argued that the Busia-Danquah is not an Ashanti-based party as is being portrayed but rather an Akyem based party. “My friend, the founder of the party, J.B. Danquah is an Akyem. Others like Nana Ofori Atta of the Big Six fame is an Akeym. Paa Willie too is an Akyem. How then is the NPP an Ashanti party?” In any case, the Ashantis have had their turn with President Kufuor. It is now the turn of others. So, the likes of Addo Kufuor and Alan Kyeremanteng who are Ashantis must stand aside for either Akuffo Addo or Osafo Maafo to stand. We Akyems too have leadership qualities, a teacher at Oda fumed.
With Addo-Kufuor in no mood to drop his ambition at becoming flagbearer of the NPP, even though his senior brother, President Kufuor is said to be opposed to it, the stage is set for another split in the Busia Danquah camp as happened in 1979 that led to the formation of the UNC led by Paa Willie which broke away from the PFP led by Victor Owusu. Dr. Addo Kufuor is said to be campaigning earnestly to chalk success at the NPP National Congress that would elect the flagbearer of the party to replace J.A. Kufuor. Another person who has been working towards this purpose on the quiet is Hon. Hawa Yakubu, whose candidature it is believed would shed off the Ashanti-stigma that hangs around the neck of the NPP like an albatross. The likes of Osafo Maafo, Nana Akuffo- Addo and Alan Kyeremanteng are also reported to be eyeing the flagbearer position.
“If the NPP elects an Ashanti to lead the party, we Akyems would advise ourselves. We are not cows to be milked for the benefit of others”, said a female trader at Asiakwa, an Akyem town which boasts of the presence of the SOS children's village. Political watchers say indeed, an Ashanti flagbearer would be an advantage to the NDC which is seen as a broad-base party.