A flagbearer hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto has said that the loss of any member of a political party to another political party is bad news to deal with, especially when going into a crucial election like the 2024.
“Even to lose a polling station executive is a potential disaster for any political party in any given election,” he added.
He has, therefore, cautioned the leadership of the NPP, especially, the Presidential Elections Committee chaired Prof. Mike Oquaye, to work assiduously and bring credibility into their operations so that the final outcome of the November 4th presidential primary will be acceptable by all.
This, he noted, will make it easier for all the contesting candidates to rally around the eventual winner to execute a united, stronger, and peaceful campaign to break the eight-year governance cycle in the 4th Republic.
The former Minister of Food and Agriculture noted that currently, there seems to be uneasy calm in some of the candidates due to the widespread perception that the whole electoral process has been skewed to favour a particular candidate, a situation he noted, is regrettable.
Discussing his chances in the November 4th NPP presidential primary and related matters with some selected media in Accra on Thursday, October 5, 2023, Dr. Afriyie-Akoto said politics is about numbers, and for that matter, the more you lose your members, the clearer your chances to lose in an election becomes even more pronounced.
“You can’t downplay it. We are looking for numbers, and politics is about numbers. So, one person turning his back for me is a disaster. We are all in this game together, and together, we must fight and win. That is my attitude”, he asserted.
Commenting on the exit of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, a former Minister of Trade and Industry, the former two-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region noted that it is sad and regrettable that the party could lose such a stalwart at this very crucial time in its political journey.
“It tells clearly that something is not right. Alan has raised some critical issues, which are the reason for his exit, and I think those issues are germane. Prior to the August 26th Super Delegates elections, we had worked closely with the Presidential Elections Committee and came up with workable rules and regulations to govern the entire selection process. The problem we have now has been the implementation. We observed that all the implementation processes have gone to favour one candidate, and that to me is unfortunate”, he underscored.
The NPP presidential hopeful added that “Several of the contestants in the Super Delegates’ Conference that took place on August 26th had a cause to complain that delegates are being whipped to tow to a certain line in favour of a particular candidate. The playing field was not even, and the rules and regulations were flagrantly abused with impunity. Camping of delegates overnight took place across the regions coupled with bussing of delegates, including open display of ballot papers.
These, the Cambridge scholar believes, are the legitimate concerns raised by the contestants that the Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye Committee must address to the satisfaction of all to facilitate a level playing field”.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto, Ghana’s longest Minister for Food and Agriculture in the 4th Republic on Monday, October 2, 2023, announced the suspension of his campaign tour to the Ashanti Region following the demise of the former First Lady of the Republic, Theresa Kufuor, whose sad event occurred on Sunday, October 1, 2023.
At a press conference held in Kumasi, Dr. Afriyie-Akoto said the suspension of his campaign tour was a sign of respect for the loss of the former First Lady.
The former Food and Agriculture Minister had officially scheduled October 2 – 6, 2023, to begin his week-long tour to the Ashanti Region by holding strategic meetings with key party members at different locations in the region.
This was to scale up efforts in rallying support for his presidential bid.
The NPP goes to the polls on November 4, 2023, to select a presidential candidate who will lead the party to the 2024 general elections.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto is number 3 on the ballot paper. He placed 4th in the Super Delegates Conference held on August 26, 2023.
About 210,000 delegates are expected to vote in the National Delegates Conference on November 4, 2024.