A leading member of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, Razak Kojo Opoku, has said The 1998 assurance words of former President Kufuor to then candidate Akufo-Addo would have become meaningless if President Akufo-Addo had not put the needed efforts in helping the party to win the 2000 and 2004 general elections as well as ensuring unflinching support to Kufuor’s government between 2001 to 2007.
According to him, Regardless of ex-President Kufuor statement to President Akufo-Addo in 1998 after the flagbearership contest, Akufo-Addo still never had it easy to secure the mandate of the party in 2007. He was keenly contested by 16 others, including completely new entrants.
‘If any of the aspirants had won the contest other than Akufo-Addo in 2007, that person and his supporters wouldn’t have rejected the victory because of the assurance words of former President Kufuor to Akufo-Addo in 1998 to the effect that, “Akufo-Addo will come after him to lead NPP”. Certainly big No. And there is no way President Akufo-Addo will have lead the 2007 contest in the 1st run with 47. 97%(a great performance compared to his 31.64% in 1998 contest as a new entrant) if he has not vigorously campaign to win the trust and confidence of the delegates of the Party. Through consistent hard work, Nana Akufo-Addo grew stronger in 2010 with 78.89% and 94.35% in 2014, he stated.
‘‘If the promise of former President Kufuor to Akufo-Addo after the 1998 contest was the FINAL DECISION on behalf of the delegates of NPP then why did 16 other aspirants keenly contest Akufo-Addo in 2007? Those aspirants should have sacrificed in the first instance and allow Akufo-Addo to go unopposed in full solidarity of former President Statement to Akufo-Addo that he will come after him’’.
‘Those Presidential aspirants should not have wasted the time of the delegates and resources of the party in 2007, 2010 and 2014 if indeed former President Kufuor assurance statement to candidate Akufo-Addo in 1998 was the absolute decision of the party’’.
‘Since former President Kufuor’s assurance statement to Akufo-Addo after the 1998 flagbearership contest could NOT automatically guarantee an unopposed ticket for President Akufo-Addo in the 2008 general elections in accordance with the participatory democratic principles of Danquah-Dombo-Busia family, certainly the same way Akufo-Addo’s statement to Alan John Kyerematen after the 2007 Flagbearership contest that he may come after him to lead NPP shall never guarantee an unopposed ticket for Alan Kyerematen, and it shall practically means nothing to the ears of the 2023 delegates of NPP if ”Alan Cash” and his team do not work very hard enough to win the trust, loyalty and confidence of the delegates of NPP’.
‘Akufo-Addo worked very hard over the years yet unable to secure 50%+1 vote for one-touch victory in 2007 largely due to the insignificant votes pulled by the other aspirants except Alan who had 32.3% as the first entrant. Therefore, it should not surprise “Alan Cash” and his team if Dr. Bawumia manages to garner 50%+1 as a new entrant in 2023’.
‘Former President Kufuor could not choose a Presidential Candidate for NPP in 2007 and ahead of 2023 flagbearership contest the endorsement of President Akufo-Addo shall never guarantee victory for any of the Presidential aspirants. The delegates of 2007 shall certainly not be the same as the delegates of 2023 and the number of delegates in 2007 shall obviously not be the same as that of 2023’’.
‘The delegates of 2023 shall make their own respective ultimate decisions in the election of 2024 Presidential Candidate. It will be in the interest of potential Presidential aspirants to work very hard in support of Akufo-Addo’s government and the party in order to win the trust, loyalty and confidence of the delegates and Ghanaians at large. The endorsements of former President Kufuor and current President Akufo-Addo shall be inconsequential on the 2023 flagbearership contest since none of them can influence or decide for delegates.
Above all things, meritocracy and current relevance shall be the eventual benchmark for the election of 2024 Presidential candidate and not old or new endorsement videos from either President Akufo-Addo or former President Kufuor’’.
Razak Kojo Opoku