Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo To Run For NPP 2016
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is certainly going to announce his decision to run for the presidency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 polls when he addresses a major press conference at his residence this morning.
The announcement will receive a deafening applause from the rank and file of the party who would not have a “no” for a response from their political leader, following their persistent demand that he runs for the topmost position for the third time.
It has been a long wait by party supporters whose demand for such an announcement before today’s press conference was met with an equal insistence that it could only come after a consultation with God during his six-month vacation in the United Kingdom.
Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to unfurl his vision for the country in the face of fresh challenges the economy is mired in – six months after his departure from Ghana.
He is also expected to speak about the importance of unity in the party if the ruling party is to be uprooted from the Presidency.
Such a remark would be a welcome one, against the background of an intensive campaign among those vying for party offices and a so-called factionalism among some supporters.
His seismic campaign slogan – ‘Free SHS’ – condemned by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the last political campaign season, but now adopted by the party paradoxically, will certainly receive mention by Nana Akufo-Addo.
He has already expressed satisfaction at the major turnaround by President John Mahama, who no longer condemns the mantra as impossibility as he did earlier, but as a constitutional demand on governments.
Prior to today’s press conference, Nana consulted with key personalities, including Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, in whom he confided his final decision about his political future. When he, for instance, engaged with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey at his office yesterday, he formally informed him about his arrival back home and his decision regarding his political future.
The spiritual leader prayed for God’s blessings for Nana with an admonition that as he had always done, he should put God first in all his activities. Accompanying him to the office of the Moderator was William Ofori Boafo, MP for Akropong.
At the residence of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, as part of the wider consultation and accompanied by Sheikh IC Quaye, former MP for Ayawaso Central and former Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, he announced his arrival from the six-month trip to the United Kingdom and about his political future ahead of today’s press conference.
Sheikh Sharubutu, on his part, gave thanks to Allah for Nana Akufo-Addo’s safe arrival to Ghana and urged him to remain focused and be guided by his vision for the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo also visited the Osu Mantse, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, at his palace where he exchanged greetings with the traditional ruler and formally announced his arrival and his future political plans.
Nana Addo stressed that the Osu Mantse, being his “landlord and brother-in-law,” should have been his first point of call after arriving from London. He, however, indicated that circumstances beyond his control had prevented him from calling on him immediately after his arrival.
Nana’s wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, comes from Osu while his office is also there.
Nana Addo, who was the NPP’s flagbearer for the 2012 elections, last Wednesday, hinted in Kumasi that he would finally bring to closure the intense speculations around his political future.
Indeed, his spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid, recently told DAILY GUIDE that Nana Addo was likely to contest on the NPP’s ticket for the third time. “…knowing who Nana Addo is, I guess that chances are that he would run. The likelihood that he would run is greater than the likelihood that he would not run,” Mr. Hamid told DAILY GUIDE.
According to Mr. Hamid, Nana Addo’s intention was borne out of popular sentiments for him to run again on the party’s ticket, “…he is somebody who likes to listen to majority opinion within and outside of the party and I can see that the majority of the sentiments within the party is that he should run.”
Information being picked up by DAILY GUIDE indicates that some of those nursing ambition for the party’s flagbearership may back down if Nana Addo declares his intention today, as calls for him to go unopposed intensifies among the ranks of the party’s hierarchy.
Meanwhile, the Amalgamated Youth of the Upper East Region has joined the calls for Akufo-Addo to declare his “intention to lead the New Patriotic Party” to victory in the 2016 elections.
The call came days after the Northern Regional Youth of the NPP issued a plea to Nana Addo to be prepared to lead the party once again.
Members of the group, comprising NPP youth movements from “Holland Base, Atlantic Base, Zongo Youth, Tescon, Young Patriots of Upper East and the entire youth of the Upper East Region,” believed there was a big leadership vacuum, not only in the country, but in the NPP, that needed a person like Nana Akufo-Addo to fill.
Tension In Kumasi
In Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, tension is mounting among supporters of the NPP over Nana’s Nima declaration.
Scores of NPP supporters that spoke to DAILY GUIDE said they were sitting on tenterhooks as Thursday gradually approached.
The NPP supporters said they did not know what Nana Akufo-Addo would say and that was causing panic among them.
Afia Konadu of Ash Town, an NPP supporter, said she was feeling jittery, the same way she did when the 2012 election results were about to be declared, because she was not sure of what Nana had to tell Ghanaians.
Kojo Poku on his part said he loves the NPP but he loves Nana Akufo-Addo more, adding “I am afraid Nana might resign from politics.”
He said he would be the happiest man on earth if Nana decided to give the presidential race another trial in 2016.
Issifu Mohammed said he was tensed up, praying that Nana Akufo-Addo would listen to the cry of NPP supporters and contest again.
Meanwhile, some NDC supporters, who spoke to the paper, said they were monitoring Nana Akufo-Addo’s actions with keen interest.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran & I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi