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Desist from starting race ahead of time - Obiri Boahen to NPP presidential aspirants

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Nana Obiri Boahen - Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party
Nana Obiri Boahen - Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has indicated its readiness to crack the whip on presidential aspirants who are peaking before the time and warned that they may be sanctioned if they don't desist from starting the race ahead of time.

The Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen who gave the hint in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM said the party will not hesitate to crack the whip if the need arise.

However, he said until the said aspirants formalise and make their intensions openly known, the party cannot sanction them as some of those "testing water" moves could be by party supporters or even non party members who are agitating for such persons to show interest.

"Once the ban [on internal party politics for positions] has not been lifted people should not... people should not steal start," Obiri Boahen said.

He said the time was not ripe for such a campaign and therefore those "testing the waters" should know better.

He however acknowledged that some of the moves being currently out-doored may not be with the approval and consent of the said aspirants.

Using himself as an example, he said he sighted a poster with the inscription, "Nana Obiri Boahen [for] General Secretary. I have sighted it yesterday and I don't know the person who did that, so are you going to suspend Nana Obiri Boahen?" he questioned.

He said until the aspirants formalise their intentions ahead of time, that is when the party can come in to sanction them. 

Even though the race for a replacement for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the NPP for the 2024 presidential election is far away, some names such as Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto and former Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey have come up.

In some instances, posters of the said aspirants have been pasted on walls.

Some leading party members of the NPP have expressed concern about the development saying such acts were likely to affect the government's programme and concentration, considering that the decision for a replacement will be made in 2023.

Just this week, it has emerged that the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto met with some party members in Kumasi in what some have said was in relation to his interest in the flagbearership.

Dr Afriyie Akoto has however reacted and said “it is... unfortunate for anyone to seek to create the impression that I held a meeting to announce my bid for the flagbearership position of the party.”

In a press statement, Dr Akoto confirmed meeting some NPP executives in Kumasi and explained, “I decided to go to Kumasi and have some rest during the weekend and try to recover from a fever I was running after I attended the budget reading in parliament on Friday 12 March, 2021."

"As a former member of parliament in the region and as a senior member of this government, I accepted to grant audience to some party executives who had been making calls for a meeting to discuss matters concerning the welfare of the party. However, such meetings end with an amount given as a transportation to guests who came from far and near.”

“I believe in decent political discourse devoid of insults, lies and mudslinging.”

“I will therefore encourage each and everyone, including the media, to refrain from acts that have the tendency to derail the historical gains made by the government” and ensure continuation in development," he stated.

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