The NPP Presidential race which is scheduled to take place in November 2023, has brought a heated debate on who should be the flag bearer for the party in the contest ahead. Unlike the 2008 presidential primaries that saw seventeen (17) contestants of which two out of the seventeen came to the spotlight with convincing campaign messages such as “cash for the people, jobs for the people” from Honorable Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and “I Believe in You” from the sitting President who was then a flag bearer hopeful. This time, the party is seeing ten (10) aspirants with three (3) of them in the persons of Honorable Ken Ohene Agyapong, the sitting Vice President coupled with Honorable Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen on the limelight and campaigning on issues of who has sacrificed for the party the most.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia on his tour in the Ashanti Region, recounted on sacrifices he rendered during the 2012 election petition at the Supreme Court of Ghana. According to him, he left his lucrative job due to the election petition to give a witness account. One would recall that, the Vice President was then the running mate for that particular election and a complainant for that matter, and would not expect any individual to take up that responsibility. This should not be a campaign message and thus needs to be discarded.
On the other hand, he made mention of his loss of job. There were many other party faithfuls who lost their lives in that particular election and others whose lives were endangered. What about them? Those who have sponsored this party with their money and life, don’t they qualify too? Can’t any of them be fit for President? If anyone could recall, the Vice President has been the only running mate who was chosen by the flag bearer on three consecutive times, a favourable condition no individual in the party has ever enjoyed, and so must show gratitude to the party.
Working tirelessly as a Vice President for the implementation of the digitalization policy was good, but a Vice President requires more responsibility than just a digitalization policy. Using this as a trump card to seek votes from party delegates calls for proper interrogation, as one can not dispute the fact that he has made a tremendous contribution to the actualization of the aforementioned policy for socio-economic transformation through investment, and providing institutions with the appropriate framework for access, easy conduct of institutional activities and affordability. On the other hand, digitalization has indeed become the buzzword in policy circles, driving change in terms of service provision. That notwithstanding, using this policy as a benchmark to outsource votes from party delegates may not be enough reason, not to forget the failed economic revolution.
COVID-19 APP which was introduced by the Vice President could not yield any results for the country but rather caused financial problems to the state. Looking into the four divisions in the Lands Commission, for instance, the Public and Vested Land Management Division, Land Valuation Division, Survey and Mapping Division coupled with Land Registration Division which used to function separately, are encountering numerous loopholes in the system, for instance, two million, three hundred thousand Ghana Cedis was not accounted for under digitalization, the ports and so on.
It is therefore humbly requested of the Vice President to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate a more concrete appeal to cement his Presidential quest. If there was any individual in the NPP who has got opportunities in this party without actually toiling so much comparable to our forefathers, then it should be the Vice President.
Other aspirants have suffered very much in building the party right from the get-go. Hon. Alan Kyerematen for instance, if for nothing at all, was leading a financial mobilisation drive from 1993 to help solicit funds for the party. Under the Young Executive Forum(YEF), he played a pivotal role in ensuring that, money and other logistical support were being mobilised for the party in the early stages of its formation.
Another personality in the race who has suffered the most vitriolic attacks and torture from the hands of the main opposition party, NDC, is Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong. When the party was in opposition, there were deliberate and conscious efforts by the powers that be to collapse his businesses. Almost all the contracts he won on competitive tender during the Kufour’s administration, were abrogated by the NDC government and re-awarded to different contractors.
At some point, he was arrested and charged with treason for standing up to defend his party, the NPP.
Hon. Agyapong was nearly imprisoned had it not been the competent and experienced lawyers he had to defend him in court.
Anytime the NPP went into opposition and the spirit of the party people go down, Hon. Ken has been one of the few personalities who revive the party through radio, TV appearance to represent and discuss matters, attendance of constituency and university/college Tescon programmes among others.
He also single-handedly deployed a security apparatus that was picking intelligence on the ground, regarding plots by the NDC to rig the 2016 elections using Charlotte Osei and making same revealed in the public domain with the view to foiling these evil ploys. This contributed immensely to the 2016 victory of the NPP.
Hon. Ken fully financed NPP’s 2014 congress in Tamale. The former General Secretary of the party, Sir John wrote a letter in 2014 requesting that each region holds its own congress because the party was unable to finance a joint event at the time. Because of Hon. Ken’s devotion to the NPP, he personally decertified to finance the entire congress for the party.
A party that has stayed in power for eight years and been behind for eight years was so much broke that, they couldn’t fund their congress?
The donations Hon. Ken has made to the party during opposition days and in government, are also enormous.
To make a long story short, we are not saying none of the aspirants has contributed to the growth of the party, each of the aspirant has done his bit to help but the Vice President should not use the Supreme Court witness and the accidents he got involved in 2012 as a trump card to get votes. The sacrifices other aspirants have made, far outweigh his and were even more deadly.
By: Prince Adjei – Guy Gee, a member of the NPP