President Akufo-Addo has stated that neither he nor the government he leads will support any candidate or foist anybody on the party during the race to elect a presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He described as untrue claims “being made by some few members that “my government is “intimidating” and “coercing” party faithful to throw their support behind one of the presidential aspirants, the Vice-President. It is a false and malicious narrative.”
President Akufo-Addo stated this when he met communicators of the NPP at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
He was responding to an appeal by the NPP Director of Communications, Richard Ahiagbah, in relation to the party’s election of a flag bearer for the 2024 polls, and added that the party could not afford to allow what happened to it in 2008 to recur in 2024.
“The history of the NPP tells us that no President can foist a candidate on the party against its wishes.
The NPP is not that kind of party.
“We have never subscribed to a cult personality.
Indeed, our highly-respected former President, the first NPP President, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, in the aftermath of my election as NPP presidential candidate, by the 2007 National Congress, told the Congress that ‘the party has its spirit’, a spirit that cannot be ignored.”
He indicated that the derailing of the achievements chalked up by President Kufuor by the successor NDC government, from 2009 to 2017, in which John Dramani Mahama featured so prominently was obvious to all.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the eight years of the successor NDC government were marked with dumsor, mismanagement of the economy, wrong and dangerous energy contracts, and wanton corruption that dissipated any hope the Ghanaian had for sustained economic development, adding that “ Never again should we allow this to happen.”
He noted that with the start of the final leg of an internal contest of the NPP, some actions by a few members of the party were making the front pages for the wrong reasons.
“We are expending some of our energies hurling invectives at each other, instead of at our opponents, and, in the process, taking digs at our own Government.
It has been an anxious time for all who love our party, and who see us as the party that can bring progress and prosperity to our nation,” he said.
He said it was for this reason that as President and de-facto leader of the NPP, he wanted to ensure that certain actions of yesteryear, which contributed to the party’s loss in 2008, were not repeated because “We cannot afford an internal campaign based on ethnic or religious considerations.”
President Akufo-Addo told the communicators of the party that he could beat his chest and say, without any fear of contradiction, that there was no one in the party who could say that he, President Akufo-Addo, had asked him or her to support this or that aspirant.
“I have not set out to dismiss any MMDCE or political appointee from office for supporting any particular aspirant; no Minister or Deputy Minister has lost their job or been threatened for openly campaigning for their preferred presidential aspirant.
“Neither has any caveat emanated from Jubilee House to the party across the length and breadth of the country demanding that candidate A should be supported over candidate B.
I know that this is not the way to go,” the president stated.
He gave the assurance that whoever was elected would be chosen freely and transparently by an Electoral College of some 250,000 people, “and not by President Akufo-Addo.
I have just one vote, the same as any polling station executive anywhere in the country.”
He indicated, however, that he would “cast that vote for an aspirant who, I believe, can best unite the party, and above all, who can win the presidential election of 7th December 2024, and inflict a third successive defeat on the perennial NDC presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama.”
President Akufo-Addo reassured the party communicators of victory for the NPP in election 2024, and handing over to an NPP presidential candidate to be elected as President by the Ghanaian people, were what he was working for, and he expected all members of the NPP to share the same goals.
“I assume that we all want our party to win the 2024 elections decisively, our parliamentary candidates to win, again, the majority of seats in Parliament, and our flag bearer to become the president of the republic.
I expect and accept arguments on how we prosecute this agenda.
But I do not expect and do not accept that party members would do anything to jeopardize the goal we have set ourselves of winning the 2024 elections, and I will work with all who seek this objective,” he added.