All hopes of a record 3rd term victory for the NPP after the 2nd term office of President John Agyekum Kufuor, fizzled out rather painfully in 2008. Then NDC candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills nicked current President, Nana Akufo Addo to the presidency in a run-off.
After a close race that ended in stalemate, the two leading contenders in the presidential election–Nana Addo and Prof. Mills had to settle for a second round voting to determine which one of the two, became the next President of the Republic. And Ghanaians settled on the NDC’s John Mills.
Many had believed that after a stellar performance in his 1st term office, President Kufuor would have continued same to ensure that the NPP continued its hold in administration, even with a different candidate in the driving seat for the 2008 general elections. President Kufuor’s two term office run from January 7th, 2001 to January 7th, 2009.
The NPP presented current President, Nana Akufo Addo as its presidential candidate in the 2008 polls after defeating a field of 17 other candidates who vied for the NPP presidential nomination in 2006.
President Kufour was heavily let down in his 2nd Term by his team of Ministers, most of who were obsessed with their own ambition of having a shot at the presidency. There seems to be a re-enactment of the Kufuor 2nd Term bug, although in this case, President Akufo Addo, is not even sworn-in for his 2nd Term office.
With Nana Akufo Addo winning the 2020 elections, a way is paved for him to run for another four-year term; and just as it happened in the Kufuor 2nd Term, already potential Akufo Addo successors are beginning to circle; testing the internal party structures of the NPP with their potential candidature.
Their supporters have begun throwing up their names in traditional and social media to generate conversations about their preferred candidates. Names like perennial flagbearer aspirant, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen and Vice President, Alhaji Mahmudu Bawumia seem to be leading the pack.
Alan has been the number one rival of President Akufo Addo for the NPP nomination since 2007. Dr. Bawumia is said to be the choice of the current NPP establishment led by the President himself; same way Alan’s candidature had President Kufuor as the major driving force behind in the 2007 NPP presidential nominations.
In the case of Railways Minister, Joseph Ghartey, he has given every indication yet, that he would run again for the NPP presidential slot when the party opens nomination. Joe Ghartey came third in the last nominations, losing out to Nana Akufo Addo and Alan Kyerematen in that order.
Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh are all in reckon as the new entrants, just as the Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Osei Ameyaw. Ameyaw who is about to renew his interest after a poor showing the last time he stood against Akufo Addo and others in the 2014 NPP presidential nomination.
Similar to the current underground maneuverings, key Ministers who helped President Kufuor to achieve high marks on his governance rating in his first administration, paid less attention to their public duties, setting up their campaign teams and offices to stoke up their presidential bids in Kufuor’s 2nd term.
In effect, as many as 17 parallel potential presidential structures were created by the aspiring presidential candidates many of who were Cabinet Ministers; thus leaving their core executive duties/functions to suffer.
It’s significant to note that these Ministers did not resign their positions and pretended to be working. That affected the 2nd term administration of the President. The ruling party itself suffered from internal partisan blocs and that affected the collective effort needed to back the President to succeed.
With the fledging blocs, President Kufuor then came to appreciate how the individual presidential quest was affecting his administration. That compelled him to give an executive order for all those vying for the NPP’s presidential nomination to resign.
The only person within the individual blocs whose position was secure under a constitutional cover was then Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama. He was the only aspirant who campaigned while still serving as the Vice President of the Republic.
Others like Nana Akufo Addo, Yaw Osafo Maafo, Alan Kyerematen, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor and Kofi Konadu Apraku, all resigned.
Others were Dan Botwe, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Prof. Mike Oquaye, Jake Obetsi Lamptey and Prof. Frimpong Boateng.
The rest were Boakye K. Agyarko, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, F. Owusu Agyapong, B. Adjei Barwuah and Dr. Arthur Kennedy.
By Richmond Keelson