The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto who has been nurturing a presidential ambition on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has taken his moves to a new level.
During the weekend, he initiated a private meeting with some top-notch power brokers of the New Patriotic party (NPP) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
At the said meeting, he made his presidential ambition known to those who gathered, which included some constituency chairmen in the Ashanti Region, Graphic Online has been told by some sources.
Dr Afriyie Akoto, a close pal of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and a son of the late Baffour Osei Akoto, who was a chief linguist of the Manhyia Palace, and a prominent member of the pre-independence National Liberation Movement (NLM) has been interested in becoming president for sometime but kept it to himself with the exception of close associates who knew about it.
The weekend's meeting in Kumasi where he disclosed his intention to the top-notch party members was reportedly held at his house at Danyame, near the Parks and Gardens.
He is said to have explained at the meeting that there has been incessant calls on him to enter the presidential race to replace President Akufo-Addo in 2024.
Dr Afriyie Akoto served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for two terms representing the people of the Kwadaso constituency in Kumasi from January 7, 2009 to January 6, 2017.
He made his first move towards Parliament in the year 2000 at the then Bantama constituency challenging Dr Richard Anane who was seeking re-election after his first term.
When Dr Akoto was unsuccessful at the primary to run on the ticket of the NPP, he went independent and lost the Parliamentary election at Bantama to Dr Anane.
In 2004, the then Bantama constituency (which was popularly referred to then as Florida) was divided into three – Nhyiaeso, Kwadaso and Bantama and Dr Akoto attempted the bid at Kwadaso but lost to new entrant Hilda Josephine Addo at the NPP primary.
He relaunched his campaign in 2008 and defeated Hilda Addo who failed the re-election bid.
In 2015 however, the new entrant and young lecturer, Dr Kwadwo Nuamah defeated him at the NPP primary.
For the two terms that Dr Akoto was in Parliament – 2009 to 2013 and 2013 to 2017, he served as the Minority Spokesperson on Agriculture.
The 71-year-old Dr Akoto is a farmer himself with plantations at Manso Nkwanta in Ashanti and owner of Plantation Resources Company Limited and holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cambridge University, UK.