The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has asked members interested in competing for the 2024 flagbearship position to tone down on their campaign.
This according to Freddie Blay is because entertaining such actions have the tendency to distract Ghanaians from what President Akufo-Addo is doing in terms of delivering on his mandate.
“A lot of the people who may be interested in the flagbearship, particularly individuals who are interested may come from his cabinet or may be appointees who should be working to execute policies and programmes of his government but they may be more focused on nurturing their ambition towards the flagbearship. And that is where it is extremely negative and distracting and therefore the party frowns on that,” he explained.
The appeal from Mr Blay follows numerous media reports of some prominent members of the NPP announcing their decision to replace President Akufo-Addo as the next presidential candidate of the party.
Already, fliers of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanten and Minister for Agric, Dr. Akoto Afriyie have been circulating on social media with many predicting their ability to break the 8-year power swing in Ghana’s political space.
While some articles published from the camp of the Vice President had sought to stress that he was the solution to winning the north over and maintain the Presidency for the NPP, counter-articles from the Alan Kyeremanten camp had clarified why running with the Vice President in the 2024 general elections will cost the NPP its political power.
On his part, the Agric Minister on Thursday, March 18, released a statement distancing himself from reports that he is nurturing a Presidential ambition and therefore distributed some monies during an alleged meeting with high-powered members of the party at his Kumasi residence last weekend.
But touching on this, Freddie Blay told JoyNews, it will be necessary for every individual who has been mentioned to come out and call their fan base to order.
He said, while it is an attractive opportunity to be the flagbearer of one of the biggest political parties in the country, aspirants must know that there are regulations and processes that need to be followed.
“Today, I have read In the news that Dr. Akoto Afriyie has distanced himself from utterances that are apparently going round that he might have made and one or two things that he is supposed to have done. He is denying them and I expect one or two people that allegations are being made that they are interested in the flagbearship to do same. It is important.
“As it is now, by next year polling station elections, constituency elections, regional elections and national elections for the party will go on and people may be interested and prepare for that. You cannot stop them but all that we are saying is, we have regulations as to what to do and when to start these things. This year is too early.”
The National Chairman also used the opportunity to urge supporters to keep calm, as the opportunity to openly campaign and express interest in various positions will soon be declared.
“People in our party know and everybody knows that by the party’s constitution you cannot run for two terms so they think it is an opportunity to campaign. It is an attractive opportunity, so they lace up their boots and get ready to take over the flagbearship of the party.
“In principle, there is nothing wrong in terms of having the ambition to be the flagbearer of an attractive party like the NPP, but the thing is that it has the tendency to distract people from what the president is doing in terms of delivering on the mandate given to him.
“The Vice President and Alan Kyeremanten have not openly come out to distract what the President is doing. We discussed that yesterday and many of them have not sanctioned it. But we expect them to tell their followers to desist from that,” he concluded.