By Emmanuel Oti Acheampong
The dust will soon settle as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primaries, slated for November 4, 2023, draw nearer.
The build-up to this election grew saucier after the results of the Super Delegates Conference, where the horns of some party bulls were plucked and some mice got in charge as the cats of the game couldn’t return home after hunting.
Ten Party stalwarts entered the race, with the majority of them serving or having served under the Akufo-Addo government. The number was reduced to six at the super delegate conference on August 26, 2023, awaiting a run-off between former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko and Francis Addai Nimo until the former bowed out.
Shocks threw in its weight when former trades and industry minister Alan Kyerematen, who was majority-tagged as next in line, resigned from the race and eventually exited the New Patriotic Party for the second time.
The ‘Breaking of the Eight’ as posited by the NPP is currently seen carried shoulder high by two of the contestants, namely Current Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia and Assin Central Member of Parliament, Ken Ohene Agyapong.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia carries around a strong signal poised to change the narrative of the party, while Ken Ohene Agyapong is positioned to give a showdown, seeking to surprise Ghana and the entire NPP with a resounding victory just as he did with his results during the super delegate conference.
As the day gets closer, we feature the two contestants in a side-by-side comparison to ascertain if Ken Agyapong will show down the signals of Dr. Bawumia or if the signals will still stand strong.
Coming into this election, the Vice President has been speculated to have systems within the party skewed in his favour, a major reason that accounted for the withdrawal of Alan Kyeremateng and Boakye Agyarko from the race after the Super Delegate conference. Dr Bawumia, seeking to beat all odds of the “old logs of the party” to become the new breeze, faces lots of accusations from his fiercest contender, Agyapong. Rising from the days of being a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana to the running mate of the current President and defending the party in the popular 2012 election petition hearing
Analysts share the view that his stints during the Court hearings solidified his feet in the hearts of party members, and by that, his support garnering from the ranks and file of the party is no miracle. But the question remains if it will indeed accord him the necessary votes to become the Flagbearer for the party. As the head of the Economic Management Team and assessing how the economy has taken a nosedive, the opposition finds lots of loopholes around him to clamp him down should he contest against them.
Ken Ohene Agyapong, on the other hand, defied all odds that surrounded him and rose to the second position during the Super Delegate conference. That, according to many political analysts, became his catalyst and has been gaining strong roots in the minds of both Ghanaians here and in the diaspora. He boasts of his business experience and how involved he is with the grass-roots rank of the party. He also shares the ideology of transforming the country through the empowerment of the youth.
The Maverick Businessman and Politician, comes into this election with over 20 years of active party politics, with his direct and indirect involvement leading to the success of the NPP in capturing seats in some of their orphan constituencies and regions. He is known as the grass-roots man and is believed to be loved by the last unit of the party. Many share the view that he deserves to be rewarded for his loyalty to the Party.
Aside from all his experience, the majority of Ghanaians and party sympathisers believe that his daily attacks on his own party with different accusations will come back to shoot him in the foot. The opposition finds him a meltwater with his previous attacks and utterances to campaign against him should he lead the NPP.
As the election gets closer, Global Info Analytics has released the results of a survey conducted, and the outcome favours the Vice President over the rest of the candidates. But will it still hold, or will the term coined by the former and late General Secretary of the party, fear delegates, come into play?
The question still remains: “Will there be a Showdown or will the Signal will stand strong?“
We wish them the best and a violence free election as we keenly follow the activities that precedes the main event.