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NPP Presidential Race: Who Makes The TOP FIVE

Source The Ghana Report

The countdown has begun as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) prepares to narrow its list of presidential aspirants from 10 to five on August 26.

This upcoming special delegates conference carries immense significance, as it holds the key to determining the party’s flagbearer for the highly anticipated 2024 elections.

With the date drawing near, speculation and excitement are mounting, creating a sense of anticipation within the political sphere.

The 10 candidates running for this crucial stage of the selection process include Ken Ohene Agyapong, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, Joe Ghartey, Kwadwo Poku, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, Francis Addai Nimoh, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko, and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Each candidate brings unique strengths, ideas, and visions for the future of the NPP and Ghana as a whole.

The party faithful and the general public are on the edge of their seats as they anticipate the outcome of this important conference on Saturday.

The political desk of  The Ghana Report has been following the campaign trail and brings you some of the key points and public sentiments about each candidate.

The names have been provided as captured on the ballot box.

Ken Ohene Agyapong

Love him or hate him. Kennedy is a controversial character who is not afraid of speaking his mind and exposing the ills in society.

Some believe his greatest strength — being very vocal — can pose a stumbling block in his political career.

The critics seem to say to the loose cannon, “We don’t want a candidate who talks too much”.

But the veteran legislator, a ‘Mugabe’ in Ghana’s Parliament, is loved by his constituents, who will go to heaven and earth to defend him.

Despite being a maverick and having a baggage of controversies, the Assin Central Member of Parliament is determined to prove his critics wrong.

He says he is a changed man. He wants the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Ghanaians to put him to the test. He even went on to ask Ghanaians to pray for him.

“Pray for me, no matter the situation we are in today, Kennedy Agyapong as President will make a difference,” he said.

He believes leveraging his philanthropism, honesty, love for humanity, and, most importantly, the quest to develop the country makes him the most suitable candidate.

For him, any attempt by the NPP to field Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia or former Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen will spell doom for the party.

“If they [NPP] go for Bawumia or Alan, it will not be good for the party. I feel I am the one who can break the eight,” he said confidently.

The fifth-time MP is convinced of the internal victory and of beating Former President John Dramani Mahama in the 2024 general elections.

 

Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen

A man who has been in the news for all the right reasons. Calm, charming personality, and fitting to become a president someday.

Perhaps his only problem will be running on the ticket of the NPP.

Some say Alan being part of a government that plunged the country into a difficult economic situation makes him a big part of the mess.

They say it would be unfair to blame others and call him a saint.

In his defence, he headed a thriving Trade and Industry Ministry, so Ghanaians should pardon him.

He urged delegates of the ruling NPP to vote massively for him to lead the party to a resounding victory in 2024.

Alan believes his high approval rating in Greater Accra, Central, Western, and Volta Regions makes him the ideal candidate to sway voters and break the NPP’s cycle of underperformance in these areas.

The NPP has traditionally enjoyed widespread support in the Ashanti Region, sweeping the vote there.

However, the same cannot be said for regions such as Greater Accra, Central, Western, and Volta, where results have been highly unpredictable.

For instance, the NPP triumphed in the Hohoe constituency in the Volta Region for the first time in almost three decades, thanks to the efforts of Peter Amewu, a strong supporter of Alan Kyerematen’s bid for party leadership.

According to Alan, supporting his candidature means the party will not only break the ‘8’ with NPP members alone but also the votes from the masses.

Alan is convinced the stronghold for the opposition NDC will soon be swayed to vote for him.

His campaign is on the theme ‘Great Transformational Plan’, a comprehensive strategy he claims will address the current economic challenges and drive Ghana’s resurgence.

Joe Ghartey

Mr Ghartey has an enviable track record. As a politician, he has served in various capacities.

He is a former Attorney-General (2006–2009), a Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament (2013–2017), a Railways Development Minister (2017–2021), and is currently the Essikado-Ketan MP.

Joe was inspired to join the NPP in 1992 because it espouses strong values that he shares personally — Freedom, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, as well as Private Sector Development, philosophies that are dear to his heart.

He said his desire to lead Ghana as president is not for personal gain but to bless Ghanaians.

“If it’s God’s will, I will be the president of Ghana. I will not force things,” he said.

The Essikado-Ketan MP believes politics is not about what one will get but rather about what one can do for humanity.

He takes inspiration from his favourite scripture, Proverbs 29:2, which states, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn”.

Joe, therefore, sees himself as a leader who strives to uphold righteousness, fairness, and justice. He believes these actions have a direct impact on the overall happiness and well-being of the people they serve.

Kwadwo Nsafoah Poku

Mr Poku is a businessman and energy expert who has worked on various projects for years at different levels in the energy sector.

He also serves as a board director of multinational companies such as Pan African Capital Ghana Limited and FIFC Management and Development Limited.

He was the Country Director for GASOP OIL (GHANA) LIMITED from June 2002 to September 2012.

Mr Poku said he would be disappointed if delegates did not vote for him in the upcoming conference.

According to him, he has been assured by the delegates that they will vote massively for him because he has a good message and a better plan for the country.

The astute businessman says voting against him suggests that delegates and Ghanaians are comfortable with the challenges they face due to bad leadership.

“Voting against me will only let me understand that they are comfortable with their standards of living. I know that their situation is not the best. They have told me that their living condition is not good, so they want to change, and that is why I am here,” he stated.

 

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Dr Akoto, like many others, always wanted to be president. He had a dream to transform the country with agriculture.

Unsurprisingly, most of his messages and campaign policies are centred on agricultural transformation. Left to him alone, Ghana will be a ‘farmland’.

If most of the citizenry were farmers, Dr Akoto would win the NPP presidential race and then become the President of Ghana.

Other objectives of Dr. Afriyie Akoto are industrialization, public security and safety, improved human rights conditions, an income boost for the public sector, and direct assistance to households, all geared toward bridging socioeconomic inequalities.

The former Food and Agriculture Minister said a majority of his votes will come from farmers.

“Most of these farmers I met in Upper East, Upper West, and Savannah regions are also delegates and party constituencies executives.

“The one million farmers are the ones who will bear witness to me. Just go to any farmer and ask about the impact I have had on their lives when I was Minister for Food and Agriculture. And they will confess to you, they will tell you. They will vote for me to win,” he said in May 2023.

He said choosing him means choosing a competent person to lead the party.

Kwabena Agyei Agyepong

My Agyepong is a civil engineer and former Press Secretary to former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

He previously contested the party’s presidential primary in 2007 and won the position of General Secretary in 2014 before being suspended.

His message is simple. Don’t allow newcomers to lead NPP in 2024.

The former press secretary believes that party leaders should be those who have worked tirelessly for the party since its establishment rather than individuals who joined through the mainstream and quickly occupied significant roles.

Kwabena said delegates should give those who have toiled for the party the opportunity to lead.

He believes that the country is in a dire state and individuals who caused the problem should not be given the opportunity to serve.

“Our party cannot, therefore, put forward those who led us to this state and expect Ghanaians to embrace them during the 2024 elections. We need a new face, a pair of clean hands, and a leader to reconnect with our base and earn people’s trust.

“It’s a matter of public record that I always availed myself. I’m not a newcomer; I didn’t join NPP through the mainstream after the danger had abated. I have served this party right from the get-go in many capacities. I was there when it mattered most and also when the party was at the peak of its story,” he said.

Kwabena is convinced he is the right man for the job.

Francis Addai Nimoh

He’s run the race before. Lost many times. Francis says not this time.

His message is simple. The NPP needs to satisfy some conditions to break the eight.

The party needs internal unity to improve the performance of the current NPP-led government. He is also calling on the delegates to assess each presidential aspirant thoroughly.

Francis is convinced the NPP retaining power is contingent on three main issues, and he is the new face to satisfy the conditions.

He sees himself as a natural unifier, having an unblemished character and bringing new energy and fresh appeal to sway the people.

Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku

Dr Apraku is an experienced academician and business consultant. In 2008, he was appointed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers as ECOWAS Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research. Dr. Apraku has had an extensive and successful professional career in the private and public sectors.

The former Member of Parliament for Offinso North served as Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD in the President Kufuor administration. He believes he stands very tall amongst all the aspirants vying for the party’s presidential race.

He said he is the best person to lead the party to victory come December 2024. He is relying heavily on his worth of experience.

According to him, the country can only achieve rapid economic growth under the NPP, and he is ready to offer the leadership that would see that happen.

Dr Apraku said if given the nod as flag bearer and, subsequently, as president, his immediate plan would be to restore macroeconomic stability, which would reflect in a stable and reliable exchange rate as a stable Ghana Cedi.

Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko

A banker, economist, and former Minister of Energy established himself at the Bank of New York. He was appointed National Campaign Manager of the NPP in the 2012 presidential election.

He simply wants to use his expertise to serve the people. His passion and love for the country is his biggest motivation.

According to him, there are two types of people who seek public service. “Those who want to be and those who want to do”.

Boakye says those who want to be are those seeking office merely for enjoyment and the thrill. For them, there are simply no responsibilities, obligations, or sacred duties to perform.

However, those who want to do recognize the platform they have been given to serve and churn out policies for the public good.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

The last on the ballot but highly pegged to be among the top five. Some call him the ‘Ordained One’. Others say he is the ‘People’s Favourite’.

Several polls have tipped him as the winner of the NPP presidential race. Global Info Analytics said Dr Bawumia had taken a huge lead, with 50% of the votes in his favour. Pollster Ben Ephson has also given him 60%.

However, critics suggest that taking the lead in a poll does not mean an automatic win. They say the people’s favourite has baggage of controversies and empty promises that no poll can clean. The unfulfilled promises and the gloomy state of the country are what will cause his downfall.

But the Vice President is not perturbed. As the second man of the land, he says he can still do much more if given a little push to the very top.

He expressed confidence that he would win the 2024 presidential election and then become the next president of Ghana after his boss, Nana Akufo-Addo.

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