Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Assin Central Member of Parliament, has recounted a bitter experience he had with former President John Agyekum Kufuor during which the latter sacked him from his house over an alleged lie told by a young man called Ato Eshun.
According to him, President Kufuor was not patient to listen to his side of the story. Therefore, a very good relationship with the former president when he, the latter, was in office has turned sour.
Speaking to Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday, Mr Agyapong said prior to the 2008 general elections where the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had 17 aspirants who wanted to succeed him, “this Ato guy” had told Dr Richard Winfred Anane that he [Kennedy Agyapong] was going to support Nana Akufo-Addo instead of President Kufuor’s preferred candidate, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen.
He explained that he had met Ato Eshun at Minister Kofi Ada’s office over money he was “chasing” and he entered into a conversation about the chances of the 17 presidential aspirants.
Kennedy Agyapong said he told Ato that when he was going to America, Alan Kyerematen was leading all the aspirants but upon his return, the support for Alan Kyerematen had shifted with frenzy excuses.
“Alan had raised about 13 billion [cedis] and some people didn’t understand why, and were using that against him. So, I said because of the fundraising, now Nana Addo is slightly ahead of Alan,” he recounted.
This observation, Mr Agyapong believes, was reported differently to Dr Anane and he also reported to President Kufuor.
“Until last year, I thought it was Alan who had called President Kufuor to tell him not knowing it was Dr Anane who told him [Kufuor] that I don’t support Alan… the way the man loved me to death, he sacked me from his house without giving me any chance,” Agyapong recalled.
Agyapong said he was hinted by the former Central Regional Chairman of the NPP, Joseph Danquah Smith, popularly called Chairman Butey, that there was a problem so he should see President Kufuor and solve things with him.
He explained that when he got to President Kufuor’s house, he [Kufuor] went straight to his kitchen saying; “I’ll go and prepare my own tea.”
Agyapong added, “He didn’t give me a chance. He didn’t know but I think now he’s realized I never did anything of that sort. I never campaigned against Alan until he [Kufuor] sacked me from his house.
When asked the exact words of President Kufuor, the Assin Central MP recalled, “You small boy, anybody you asked me to give the position to I did but you one thing, you can’t do for me and you are opposing me.”
Agyapong explained that he did not know what the said Ato Eshun went and told Dr Anane “and I don’t know today what Dr Anane told President Kufuor that destroyed the relationship. I have never done anything like that, so I came out and said if he doesn’t want to give me a chance then hey, I’ll support Nana Akufo-Addo. I was quiet till the last minute when I asked the delegates to vote for Akufo-Addo,” Mr Agyapong narrated.
2008 NPP Presidential Primaries
Several appointed officials of the Kufuor administration wanted to succeed him as NPP leader for the 2008 December polls.
The 17 presidential aspirants were: Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Kwabena Agyepong; Professor Mike Oquaye; Hackman Owusu-Agyeman; Dr Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah; Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey and Daniel Kweku Botwe.
Others were Alan John Kyerematen; Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Papa Owusu Ankomah; Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko; and Dr Kobina Arthur Kennedy.
The rest are Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng; Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama; Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor; and Felix Kwesi Owusu-Adjapong.
Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen were the two leading candidates according to the pundits. However, Akufo-Addo won with 1096 votes representing 47.9%, whilst Alan Kyerematen won 738 votes representing 32.5%. Alan Kyeremten conceded defeat to Akufo-Addo, thus eliminating the need for a second ballot, but he [Akufo-Addo] went on to lose the presidential election to Prof. John Evans Atta-MIlls, after a run-off election.