NPP aspirants iron out differences
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has resolved all outstanding issues tabled by the four presidential hopefuls.
Assin North Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Ohene Agyapong; Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto and a former MP for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh, have also signed an undertaking to accept tomorrow’s presidential primary results and to support the winner for victory in the 2024 elections.
They all attended the meeting and appended their signatures to the document.
They also pledged not to resign if they lose, to promote peace and cohesion, ensure the enforcement of the mechanism established by the party and work within the timeline instituted by the party before the results are declared.
It was also attended by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, members of the National Council of Elders, national executive members and members of the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC).
The General Secretary of the NPP, Justine Kodua Frimpong, announced this after what he called a fruitful meeting with the four aspirants and leaders of the party in Accra yesterday.
Over 200,000 NPP party faithful, making up the electoral college, will vote tomorrow November 4, 2023, at 277 polling stations across the country to elect one out of the four to lead the NPP for the 2014 presidential election.
Organised by the National Council of Elders, the meeting was held to rally the aspirants together and iron out all differences.
Mr Frimpong announced that because constituency council of elders and constituency council of patrons were not part of the electoral college, the PEC had decided to make the chairmen of the two organs to oversee the constituency elections.
“They are the ones to supervise the elections at the constituency and no officer of the party, be it constituency officer or regional officer will have any power to interfere in the work of this committee. The police, the Electoral Commission and the aspirants will be dealing directly with this committee,” he added.
He said suspended members of the party whose cases had not been dealt with by the disciplinary committee would be allowed to vote.
However, if the committee had recommended sanctions and same upheld, the person would not be allowed to vote.
Mr Frimpong noted that there would not be any congregation of supporters on the day of voting; no wearing of candidates’ paraphernalia; no entry into the voting screen in groups; no person would be tolerated directing delegates who to vote for, while no one would be allowed to take picture of their vote.
He announced that all members of the party, whether they had paid up their dues fully or not, must be allowed to cast their ballot.
Kennedy Ohene Agyapong
He is an outspoken politician described by the National Democratic Congress Party’s Director of Legal Affairs as “unconventional”, but Kennedy Ohene Agyapong’s stock has proven perhaps underrated until now.
The Assin Central Constituency legislator has taken the NPP presidential primary by storm, defying his backbencher status to inject greater energy into what political watchers initially thought would be a stroll in the park for Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The 63-year-old changed the dynamics of the contest with a second-place finish in the first round of the race that had 10 candidates in contention.
It was during the early periods of voting on August 26 that he promised to give Dr Bawumia and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a “showdown” in an open ranting about alleged mistreatment of his agents during the poll.
The “showdown” appears to have been packaged in a grassroots campaign that has seen massive patronage of his “Showdown Walk” in Kumasi and Cape Coast.
Records on the website of Parliament suggests he has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics obtained in 1996 upon completing ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level in 1981 and 1983 respectively.
He is the Chairperson of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, and a member of the Judiciary Committee.
The entrepreneur takes no prisoners, in discussing those who cross his path. This has courted controversy for him, including a clash with a judge when he sought to impugn bribery to his work.
He owns Net2 TV and Oman FM, two pro-NPP media platforms, where he airs his views without restrain.
He openly discusses his 22 children with different women, including the MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sara Adjoa Safo.
He has been an MP since 2000, but suddenly, the dream of becoming a flag bearer has gained momentum into tomorrow and perhaps, into the future.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
He became the running mate of the then presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in 2008 after he was nominated and endorsed at a meeting held on Thursday, August 14, 2008, by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.
That was how Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President and a flagbearer hopeful of the NPP, was ushered into the political arena of the country and the governing NPP, which he is seeking to lead in the 2024 general election as its presidential candidate.
After the party lost the 2008 general election to Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, now deceased, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Bawumia was maintained as the running mate of the NPP for the 2012 and 2016 election.
The party again lost the 2012 general election to former President John Dramani Mahama, who led the NDC to complete an eight-year ruling cycle upon the demise of President Mills.
Dr Bawumia was the lead witness for the petitioners in the 2012 Presidential Election Petition, which challenged the declaration of John Mahama as the winner of Ghana’s 2012 presidential election.
The NPP maintained the Akufo-Addo-Dr Bawumia ticket for the 2016 general election, and this time around won with nearly a million votes more than their main contenders.
Dr Bawumia is reputed to have played a significant role in the 2016 electoral victory of the NPP with his lectures on the economy, and since then has remained one of the known figures within the party.
Dr Bawumia, as the sitting Vice-President, chairs the Economic Management Team which is broadly responsible for shaping the government’s economic policies and guiding their implementation.
He is at the forefront of a broad, inclusive development strategy in Ghana involving, among others, the leveraging of digitised government services to transform the delivery of public services and digitalising the economy, with an overall objective of building Ghana’s digital economy. His efforts have seen the ongoing infusion of technological innovation in every-day Ghanaian life and the rapid growth of the Fintech industry in the country.
Dr Bawumia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Buckingham University, UK, a Master of Science Degree in Development Economics from Oxford University, UK, and a Ph.D in Economics from Simon Fraser University, Canada.
He has held academic positions as Assistant Professor of Economics, Baylor University, USA; Visiting Scholar, University of British Columbia, Canada; and Visiting Senior Research Associate, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University, UK.
He has also served as Visiting Professor of Economic Governance at Central University, Ghana.
As an Economist and Banker, Dr Bawumia has had a prestigious career, which includes serving as the Deputy Governor of Ghana’s central bank from 2006 to 2008, and as the Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Zimbabwe in 2011.
He has authored several journal articles and has numerous publications to his credit, including “Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform in Africa, Ghana’s Experience”.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto
He was a Cabinet minister in the Nana Akufo-Addo administration, serving as Minister of Food and Agriculture before resigning on January 10, 2023, to pursue his presidential ambition.
The two-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who is aspiring to be the presidential candidate of the governing NPP, comes from a political background, with his father, Baffour Akoto, being the Founder of the National Liberation Movement (NLM), an offshoot of the NPP.
Although he belongs to a generation of party members who trace their roots right to the very birth of the UP tradition, he does not bestow on himself any sense of entitlement in the current NPP leadership race. Rather, his zeal to realise the dream of the founders of the party is his biggest motivation.
Dr Afriyie Akoto holds a Master of Science and doctorate degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Cambridge, England.
He worked as an Economist, Senior Economist, Principal Economist, and Chief Economic Advisor over a period of 18 years at the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) in London, England. He has also worked as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations on Soft Commodities (Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar).
Between 1995 and 2007, he was the CEO of two international commodity companies, Goldcrest Commodities Limited and Plantation Resources Limited, both based in Ghana.
In 2008, when he entered Parliament, he served as Deputy Ranking Member and subsequently the Ranking Member for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs until 2017.
In 2017, he was appointed the Minister of Food and Agriculture, during which he spearheaded the design and implementation of the government's agricultural flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). He came to acquire the nicknamed "Mr Planting for Food and Jobs".
In 2019, Ghana was ranked fourth on the African continent by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
In February 2019, Africa Seeds, which is the intergovernmental seed agency of the African Union, conferred on Dr Akoto the title of Seed Champion of Africa.
He is the current Chairman of the Board of the Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO), a pan-African organisation promoting the interest of coffee producers on the continent.
Born on March 23, 1965, Francis Addai-Nimoh represented the Mampong Constituency in the Ashanti Region as a member of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic on the ticket of the NPP between 2008 and 2016.
A native of Mampong-Nyinampong in the Ashanti Region, Mr Addai-Nimoh seeks to lead the NPP in the 2024 general election.
This is the second time the 57-year-old engineer is attempting to become the NPP flag bearer. He finised in third position when he contested the 2014 race.
Mr Addai-Nimoh describes himself as a unifier and the best choice with the requisite competence and ability to help the NPP “break the 8”, the party’s mantra to win a third successive term.
He says he has a history of service, an unblemished character, new energy and most importantly a natural unifier.
Mr Addai-Nimoh says he has a comprehensive socio-economic transformation plan that will make the country food sufficient and a net exporter of agricultural produce, engage in massive infrastructure and build a world-class health and education system should he become president.
He also says he has a blueprint to turn the country into an industrialised nation with adequate support for businesses and entrepreneurs to generate massive employment.
The engineer of 30 years standing proclaims he is the aspirant who has not served the Nana Akufo-Addo administration but has the wealth of knowledge in governance, and believes that it is time to give back to the country through service in the highest office when given the nod by the party’s delegates, and subsequently by Ghanaians to serve as President.
After losing the NPP flag bearer bid in 2014, he attempted re-election in the parliamentary primary of the NPP in 2015 and lost.
Mr Addai-Nimoh attended the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1993.
He also attended the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and obtained an Executive Master's degree in Public Administration.
Mr Addai-Nimoh is a development planner by profession.