Leader of the Movement for Change, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has named four persons who had the endorsement of former President John Agyekum Kufuor to lead the party in the 2007 flagbearership race.
The former Trade Minister and a presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in an interview with Bernard Avle, the General Manager of Citi News, said that President Kufuor explicitly stated his inability to exclusively support Alan’s flagbearership bid while listing individuals he thought were viable candidates.
Mr Kyerematen said that he was one of the four persons who had the blessing of Mr Kufuor, along with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who eventually won the contest and became the president of Ghana in 2016, Aliu Mahama, who was the vice president under Mr Kufuor, and Papa Owusu Ankomah, who was a former Minister of Education and Attorney General.
The revelation came as Alan reflected on the political landscape in 2005 when, according to him, clandestine manoeuvres were already in play among party members eyeing the flagbearership position.
“When I went to him to inform him that I have an interest and that my other colleagues have started moves undercover, if he sees that I’m also operating, he should not be surprised about that. His advice to me was, ‘Wait, do your work. If people feel that you are the right person, they themselves would promote you,’” Alan recounted.
However, Alan revisited President Kufuor three months later, expressing his intent to enter the public campaign arena. President Kufuor’s response was unequivocal: “Well, I cannot stop you, but I want to tell you that I will not support you. If there are any people that I will support, there are four people: Nana Akufo-Addo – he was the first person he mentioned, Aliu Mahama, Papa Owusu Ankomah, and then yourself. Any of you, if you win, bless my soul. I’ll be happy.”
He also dismissed the claim that Mr Kufuor was working against any of the candidates or favouring him over others. He said that it was unfair to Mr Kufuor for people to create such an impression, because he did not interfere in the internal affairs of the party or influence the outcome of the election.
“I may not be able to speak for him, but it may not necessarily be untrue. However, it is unfair to President Kufuor for people to have, or are now creating, the impression that because I was a favourite, he did all in his power to, as it were, install me as an heir apparent. It is totally untrue that he was working against any of these candidates,” he noted.
Mr Kyerematen contested for the NPP flagbearership three times: in 2007, 2012 and 2016. He lost to Nana Akufo-Addo on all occasions.
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