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12.03.2006 General News

Race for NPP 2008 Presidential Slot hottens

By the SUN (By Dominic Jale)


PROF. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nation's Premier Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu has intensified his campaign to wrestle the NPP presidential slot for 2008 from the armstrongs of the leading party's aspirants.

Among the likely presidential hopefuls that Frimpong Boateng is gathering momentum to battle them are Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports and also MP for Akim Oda and Prof. Aaron Michael Ocquaye, Minister of Energy and MP for Dome-Kwabenya. Other likely aspirants are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and MP for Abuakwa South and Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, MP for New Juabeng North. Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD and MP for Offinso North, Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng, Minister for Trade and Industry.

Two US based Ghanaians namely Mr. Agyakor, vice President of the Bank of New York, Dr.Kennedy and a host of others who are all nursing the ambition for to lead the party, The Sun can report.

However among the tall list those with ministerial portfilio are doing it on the quiet, with the formation of their campaign teams and footsoldiers who are combing constituencies after constituencies to sell their candidates to the party executives with ocassional visits by the candidates at any least opportunity under guise of official asignment.

With the campiagn hotting up 'The Sun's contactman at Tarkwa in the Western Region reported that on March 9, Prof. Boateng stormed the mining town of Tarkwa where he formally announced his decision to contest for the NPP presidential ticket to party constituency executives drawn from Wassa Amenfi East, West, Tarkwa Nsuaem, Prestea-Huni Vally and Mpohor-Wassa East and other Western Regional constituencies.

Before the Tarkwa declaration, Prof. Frimpong Boateng has also been combing around some constituencies in the Western region and other parts of the country to announce his plans.

In the case of the Tarkwa the whole thing was made to look like a health workshop when the Heart Surgeon took time to lecture the audience on health topics.

The Sun contactman said Prof. Boateng was impressive on health topics he delivered and after the excellent delivery dropped his 'hidden' agenda to market himself to the constituency executives.Meanwhile, Prof. Boateng was reportedly told the gathering that he was the best material to salvage the country after the exit of President Kufuor.

The Sun gathered that most of the foot soldiers of Mr. Ayensu Ntim, the defeated NPP national chairman seem to be leading the campaign of Prof. Frimpong Boateng.

One prominent name in the Prof's campaign team is Mr. Felix Fonder, Cardio Centre at Korle-Bu and a director of Fonder Ltd fame. Several efforts by The Sun to reach Prof. Boateng to clarify some bordering issues proved futiled.

However, The Sun can report that Prof. Boateng has made a lot of contacts with power players in the Ghanaian political landscape including the the selling of his agenda to a section of clergy not forgetting some media practioners who would be used to help truimpeting his ambition.

Apart from Prof. Frimpong Boateng other interested candidates who want to take over from President Kufuor after his exit have intensified their grass root campaigns. What is left to be seen among those ministers who are nursing an ambition to run for the presidency is an open declaration.