.. NPP insiders give reasons behind his bad performances
The much-trumpeted popularity of former Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) appears nonexistent, having placed third with a paltry 95 votes representing 10.29percent of the total valid vote cast at the super delegates’ conference on Saturday.
Even a new entrant in the NPP flagbearer contest, Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP) Kennedy Agyapong came in second with 132 votes, representing 14.30percent of the total valid votes of 923 out of 927 votes cast with 4 rejected ballots.
Mr Agyapong and Mr Kyerematen are, therefore, billed to face Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who garnered a massive 629 votes, representing 68.15percent on November 4, 2023.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, former Agriculture Minister is the fourth person in the race.
While, Joe Ghartey, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, Kofi Konadu Apraku and Kwadwo Poku, failed to obtain enough votes to qualify for the next stage of the NPP presidential race, a run-off will be held on Saturday, September 2, to decide the fate of Francis Addai-Nimo and Boakye Agyarko, both of whom got nine votes in the Special Delegates Conference.
Ahead of the contest, The Herald had picked up signals that Mr Kyerematen, was completely detached from the base of the ruling party and lost touch of the grassroots therefore, has no base in the party unlike Nana Akufo-Addo, whose numbers kept increasing since 2007, when he emerged as flagbearer and gone ahead to win two more slots ahead of the 2012 and 2016 general elections.
NPP insiders tell The Herald that Mr Kyerematen, is never seen around the party until the next flag bearer contest. There were also claims that he does not warm up to people easily, hence has no constituency in the party. He was further mentioned as having a poor human relations. He is simply not accessible.
While, Dr Bawumia had inherited incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo’s structures in the NPP, Mr Kyerematen, who was tipped to at least place second in the contest after the Vice President, has not been able to keep and maintain the structures ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor left him some 14 years ago, when he first contested for the NPP flagbeaer slot with 16 others.
Strangely, even in the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of the NPP where many had hope that he was going to spring a surprise, being the son of a Fante woman and an Ashanti father, Mr Kyerematen, got only 10 votes against Dr Bawumia’s 97 votes.
Additionally, Mr Kyerematen, is thought to have surrounded himself with disgruntled members of the NPP, most of whom feel bitter at President Akufo-Addo for either not giving them appointment in his government or retaining them in their portfolios they served after his first term.
Amongst them are; Catherine Ablema Afeku, a former Tourism Minister, Hopeson Adorye, one-time National Security rep at the Kotoka International Airport, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, ex-MP for Adenta, Boniface Abubaka Siddique, ex-Minister for Zongo Developmen,t as well as MP for Madina, Nana Ohene Ntown, an ex-General Secretary of the NPP, ex-MP for Obuasi Edward Michael Ennin
But also on the list of Alan Kyerematen supporters are; the Minister for Railway Development and MP for Hohoe, John Peter Amewu, the Deputy Trade Minister and MP for Akwapim North, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Adjei, Abena Osei-Asare, the MP for Atiwa East in the Eastern Region amongst others.
Many of these NPP elements, especially Mrs. Afeku, an ex-MP the Evalue Gwira Constituency in the Western Region, sought to distance themselves from the Akufo-Addo government, including their own stewardship and that of Mr Kyerematen’s cabinet job as the Minister of Trade and Industry in the current administration.
Mrs Afeku, a member of the campaign team for Kyeremanten, defended comments her candidate made about challenges being faced under the Akufo-Addo government, saying even the president, has conceded that there are challenges confronting his government, hence she does not see what is wrong in stating the obvious.
Her comments, followed earlier suggestions by John Boadu, former General Secretary of the NPP that Alan Kyeremateng’s confession of challenges in the economy put the party in a wrong light and suggest that they can’t stand up to defend the ruling government.
She indicated that there is nothing wrong with the admission by Alan’s campaign team because there are challenges that cannot be overlooked, ones that are reflective of the current economic situation.
In an interview on Asempa FM, Catherine Afeku said; “Even our leader, our defacto leader, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, has admitted that we have challenges. So, if John Boadu comes to say that when we [Alan campaign team] say we have challenges, so we have not spoken well.
“…what is there to defend? Is the cedis not at 12 cedis? Was it not at four?” she said.
Meanwhile, supporters of Kennedy Agyapong, have been excited that their candidate emerged second out of the top six candidates in Saturday’s Super Delegates Conference, securing a spot in the NPP’s Presidential Primaries in November.
Before the results were declared, Mr Agyapong threatened to expose President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Bawumia, over attacks on his agents in the super delegates congress.
In a viral video, the presidential hopeful was seen angrily speaking on the phone and calling out the president and vice president’s names after his agent was allegedly chased out of a voting centre, threatening to take action against them.
He was heard saying, “President Akufo-Addo, I will give you a showdown in this country, I swear to God. Vice President, I will give you a showdown for chasing my agent away. I swear to God. You will hear what will happen here. I swear to God, I will challenge President Akufo-Addo big time.”