…Over who replaces ‘One Term’ President Akufo-Addo
Even though President Akufo-Addo is still in the process of forming government, his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and immediate past Member of Parliament for Mampong, Francis Addai Nimo, are embroiled in fierce ‘fight’ over who succeeds the President after his first term in office, The aL-hAJJ can today report.
The two NPP stalwarts, this paper’s intelligence revealed, are cashing-in on classified information indicating President Akufo-Addo will not seek reelection after his first term in office in 2020 to push their presidential ambitions.
Sources in government and the NPP told this paper, “days after Nana Akufo-Addo’s victory, there were high-level confidential meetings during which Nana made it clear that he will do only one term and bequeath the mantle to Dr Bawumia…
“One such meeting was held in the Volta region during Nana’s thank-you tour after the election…in that meeting Nana repeated his position that he will do only one term and allow Dr Bawumia to continue,” our source revealed.
This succession plan by President Akufo-Addo is said to have irked some NPP kingpins who are also interested in leading the party and have since been using surrogates to thwart attempts to prepare grounds for Dr Bawumia to take over.
There are also reports of intense infighting among Dr Bawumia, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, and Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Dr Anthony Akoto Osei over who calls the short in the management of the country’s economy.
Though the President has assigned Dr Bawumia as head of the Economic Management team, The aL-hAJJ has gathered from credible source at the presidency, Mr Osafo Marfo, Ken Ofori Atta and Dr Akoto Osei are wrestling over who determines “what to be done to put the economy on strong footing.”
Dr Bawumia, a sourced revealed, is fighting a battle of his life to assert his authority on the management of the economy, and at the same time elbowing presidential hopefuls posing threat to his ambition.
Though the internal bickering amongst supporters of the various NPP flag bearer hopefuls has been simmering for some time now, the issue came to head recently at a meeting of some women’s group at the party’s former headquarters at Kokomlemle.
What was supposed to be a cordial “family meeting” of NPP women turned into trading of insults among loyalists of Dr Bawumia and Ing Addai Nimo when the issue of who steps into President Akufo Addo’s shoes after his exist came up.
“The issue of who succeeds Nana was not part of the agenda for the meeting. But in the course of discussions, one of the women said Nana will not contest the 2020 elections and that Bawumia will step in his shoes…this resulted in heated argument between those opposed to Bawumia taking over from Akufo-Addo and those in favour,” a source at the meeting narrated.
“Dr Bawumia is our candidate for the 2020 elections. Who is Addai Nimo? He will never be our flag bearer for the 2020 elections,” an obvious President Akufo-Addo/Dr Bawumia loyalist yelled at a colleague NPP member who suggested that Ing Addai Nimo is the ideal successor to President Akufo-Addo for the 2020 elections.
Those kicking against Dr Bawumia’s 2020 presidential bid believe it is an attempt by President Akufo-Addo to consolidate his control of the party. “If he (Nana) is not interested in seeking reelection, he should allow us to select someone we want to lead us. He cannot impose Dr Bawumia on us. We will resist any such move,” a furious Addai Nimo loyalist bellowed.
“There must be level playing field for all candidates. We will support any candidate delegates choose to lead us but we will resist any attempt to impose a candidate on us,” the lady angrily added.
But those in support of the “Dr Bawumia agenda” rebuffed this, insisting “Dr Bawumia is our best bet for 2020. That ‘your’ Addai Nimo will not be allowed to destroy the NPP…we will not allow it.”
It took the intervention of a very senior executive of the party (name withheld), who had invited the women to advise them to desist from criticizing the President’s appointments, to avert what would have otherwise resulted in bloodbath.
Mr Addai Nimo lost the party’s 2016 flag bearer bid to Nana Akufo-Addo and subsequently lost the party’s Mampong constituency primary to a protégé of the President, Mr Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong.
Ing Addai Nimo’s 2020 presidential bid, sources say, is being championed by some powerful Ashantis in the NPP desperate to snatch control of the power from President Akufo-Addo and his Akyem controlling force.
“The Ashanti sect of the party, for some time now, have been projecting Addai Nimo after it emerged that Nana will do only one term. Nana’s government is less than two months old but that is what is happening now,” a worried insider told this paper.
Long before Akufo-Addo became president, rumors were rife; he was preparing the grounds for his twice failed running mate; now vice President, Dr Bawumia, to lead the NPP when he eventually bows out of mainstream politics.
The aL-hAJJ has gathered that NPP big shots with presidential ambitions have seen through the strategy by the President and his henchmen to lay “red” carpet for Dr Bawumia to ride to stardom, and have been working to checkmate any threats this may pose to their chances.