The jostle for the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after President Akufo-Addo has left the scene has begun even as the President’s supposed victory at the polls is being challenged in court by the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama.
As the Ashanti bloc within the ruling party quiet flaunts the opinion that its time has come again to lead the elephants, permutations insiders are also pointing to permutations that indicate Akufo-Addo’s moves to ensure the Akyem bloc continue to remain at the helm, Whatsup News is gathering.
According to sources from within the party, President Akufo-Addo has decided to back Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to lead the party into the 2024 elections. The reasons are that his first choice and nephew Ken Ofori-Atta is seen to have messed up with too many dirty scandals linked to him.
And so even though Bawumia too will be a tough sell to voters on account much-criticised reputation for not being truthful, he is a better gamble than Ofori-Atta, whose nomination as Finance Minister many in the NDC are keenly expecting to be frustrated by the party’s majoritarian MPs on the Appointments Committee.
Akufo-Addo, it is said is also looking at a Bawumia candidature as an opportunity to have a puppet that will be loyal to him.
Additionally, the elevation of the Mamprusi man to the flagbearership of the NPP will serve to deodorize the party’s image as an ethnocentric and primitive Akan party.
Because of these variables, sources say President Akufo-Addo has anointed his Vice to succeed him as party leader and has already been taking the plunge with the tone of his appointments.
Akufo-Addo is keenly aware of the fact that the NPP is nothing without Ashanti Region and is therefore being very careful in order not to upset Ashanti sentiments with his choice.
Consequently, he is watering the ground with the placation of Ashantis ahead of the internal elections for the 2024 flagbearership of the NPP.
Out of the 46 Ministers he has nominated, nine are Ashantis and among them is one that the President is allegedly positioning to set up as a running-mate for Bawumia: Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
Dr. Opoku-Prempeh’s movement from the Education Ministry to the juicy Energy Ministry is to enable him to build the financial war chest for the Akufo Addo assault in 2024.
However, sources say some people within the Akyem bloc feel that the Akufo Addo’s apparent sidelining of Ofori-Atta from the NPP’s Presidential ticket is going too far given the banker’s invaluable contribution to the return of the NPP to power.
The counter proposition is that Ofori-Atta at least is made to partner Bawumia on the 2024 ticket, so that if they fail, Ken will still has a leg in the game for 2028.
The President is said to be ambivalent about that proposition and also, has his eyes set on the alternative of having Ursula Owusu-Ekuful partner Bawumia for 2024 so that through her, the Akyems will still have a kindred in the flagbearership.
Meanwhile, within the Ashanti bloc, Alan Kyeremanten is seen as the star kid with Francis Adai Nimo trying to push from the fringes into contention as a worthy presidential material that the bloc can push.
Even though Alan is beloved within the Ashanti bloc, many are saying that he is behaving as though he has lost his steam for the presidential ambition he had nursed for such a long time.
Sources tell WhatsUp News that some Alan loyalists have already jumped ship to the side of Adai Nimo out of a sheer desire to hit the ground running.