Wednesday, 01 February

NPP race: I can’t take sides – Akufo-Addo

Mr Alan Kyerematen (L) and Vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia (R)

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he has no favourite in the flag bearer race of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“My duty is in two folds: one is; first of all, to hold a balance to make sure there is a level playing field for all of them [flag bearer hopefuls] because the decision has to be the decision of the party and whoever the party elects as its flag bearer for 2024, that person is the one I will support and campaign for the person to become president”, the president told a local radio station in Kumasi where he has been touring.

A few days ago, there was a gust of laughter at the Manhyia palace on Friday, 1 October 2021, when President Akufo-Addo, while introducing his entourage, with whom he visited Asante monarch Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, threw in – jovially – the presidential ambitions of his Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Trade. 

“I am here with the Minister of Transport, Minister of Works and Housing, the National Security boss, Chairman One – Wontumi, the Food and Agriculture Minister, Owusu Afriyie, who wants to be President; I also have here with me someone who has long eyed the presidential seat, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten; a very hard-working man. All of them are doing a good job”, the president said, which sparked laughter from the Asantehene and the whole palace.

The president took the opportunity to express gratitude to the Asantehene and Asanteman for supporting the New Patriotic Party and his candidature in the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

“I am here to show my gratitude to you and Asanteman for your support in the last elections. You have supported the NPP since time immemorial, and in the last elections, but for your unshrinking support and that of Asanteman to me and the NPP, we would not have been in government,” the President said.

He continued, “I am here to show you and the entire kingdom my gratitude for that solid support that has seen us in power.”

President Akufo-Addo, in explaining the rationale for his visit to the Region, indicated that he is in the Region to familiarise himself with the numerous developmental projects going on in the Region, and listen for himself the concerns of residents, the traditional authority and opinion leaders.

The President also used the opportunity to assure the people of the Ashanti Region that he will not take their support for him and the NPP for granted, stressing that it is for this reason that several developmental projects have been done, with many still ongoing in the Region.

“There are many ongoing projects. We can all attest to the fact that Kumasi and Asanteman have not witnessed such massive road infrastructural projects in our political history. Other projects like the 1D1F, the ongoing Kumasi Airport construction which is 77% complete and by June next year, it will be completed after which its international status will be achieved’’ he said.

President Akufo-Addo also assured Otumfuo Osei Tutu II that, even though there were delays with respect to the Boankra Inland Port project, plans are far advanced for the project to take off. 

For his part, the Asantehene praised the President for his commitment to the development of the region and the country.

He also praised the President for his tour of the country, adding that, “if you stay in your office, your appointees will tell you what you want to hear. This tour will help you verify what you hear and know the truth.”

“I know you and you do not disappoint. I trust you and I know you will honour Asanteman,” the Asantehene said.