The Presidential Vetting Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has rejected claims of giving special treatment to some candidates.
The NPP presidential vetting Committee stated that it gave fair hearing to all flagbearer aspirants, who appeared before it during the vetting process.
The nine-member NPP presidential vetting Committee is chaired by Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye.
Other members of the NPP presidential vetting Committee are Frank Davies, Lord Oblitey Commey, Osei Bonsu Amoah, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Stephen Abankwa Sekyere, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Rita Talata Asobayire and Adelaide Ahwireng.
The Director of Elections, Evans Nimako, is the secretary to the committee while Mr Amoah is its spokesperson.
Some media reports earlier claimed that some aspirants were unhappy with the process and had, therefore, called on the Party’s hierarchy to ensure a level-playing field for all candidates.
Addressing the media after the completion of the vetting process, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Spokesperson for the NPP presidential vetting Committee, debunked the assertion, saying the Committee stuck to its mandate of ensuring that only qualified aspirants progressed to the next stage of the process.
Mr Amoah added that: “As far as we are concerned, everybody who appeared here will attest to the fact that we were candid to each person, we were fair, and had all the opportunity in the world to respond to questions, and we asked the relevant questions for each of the aspirants irrespective of the fact that you are a former minister, you are a sitting vice president or a former MP or whatever status.
The Vetting Committee yesterday ended its mandate after successfully vetting all ten aspirants, who are hoping to lead the Party in the 2024 election as flagbearer.
Mr Amoah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwapim South, said the Committee would on Monday, July 10, 2023, submit its report to the Council of Elders of the Party after, which any disqualified aspirant was expected to appeal within 14 days.
He indicated that the Party was committed to go by its timetable as put out.
“As I said, we were given a week within, which to conduct this process and submit a report. Based on our report, the Party will follow on with the timetable, and as it has been put out, when they will ballot and when they will do the Electoral College, all has been spelt out by the Party,” he said.
The 10 vetted candidates
Three flagbearer aspirants faced the vetting committee on Monday July 3, and were subjected to hours of ‘grilling’ by a nine-member Vetting Committee of the Party at its Campaign Office at Kokomlemle, in Accra.
They are Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, a former Trade and Industry Minister, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Mr Kwadwo Poku, an Energy Expert.
On Tuesday July 4, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament for Assin Central; Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, a former General Secretary of the NPP and Mr Boakye Agyarko, a former Energy Minister, were also subjected to hours of “grilling”
Mr Kofi Konadu Apraku, an Economist, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a former Minister of Food and Agriculture and Mr Joe Ghartey, a former Minister of Railways, also appeared before the vetting committee.
Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh, a former Member of Parliament for Mampong, took his turn on Thursday, July 6, 2023.
Mr Kyerematen, who was the first to be vetted, was accompanied by Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa, a member of Alan’s campaign communication team and a former Director of Communications of the NPP.
Addressing the media after completing the process, Mr Kyerematen announced plans to begin tours in the Greater Accra region on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
The former Trade Minister also indicated plans to deploy innovative approach in the conduct of his campaign, including the clustering of constituencies, bringing party executives together not only within their own constituencies but also in other constituencies within the cluster to energise the Party.
“I have decided that I will introduce an innovation into my constituency tour by clustering constituencies for the purpose of bringing my party’s executives together, not just within their own constituencies, or in a few other constituencies in the cluster that will help energise the rank and file of our Party,” he said.
“It’s all about making sure that we work together as a Party in our march towards victory 2024.”
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
The Vice- President Dr Bawumia was also in the company of Mr Fred Oware, a party stalwart.
After the vetting expressed gratitude and waved at a large crowd of his supporters before boarding his vehicle and driving out.
Mr Opoku who was accompanied by members of his campaign team shrugged off suggestions that some candidates were being favoured, saying the delegates are the only ones who could determine who would lead the Party as flagbearer come 2024.
“I don’t think anybody’s being favoured. If two, three people are favouring one person, those two, three people have three counts.
“There is going to be 230,000, if 230,000 people favour one person, then that person will win,” he said.
Speaking with the media after his vetting, Mr Kwabena Agyepong called on Party delegates to vote for a candidate with values, principles, dedication and who had sacrificed for the Party.
“Our delegates know that they have their birthright; they are voting for generations unborn so, it is time for them to vote for values, principles , dedication and sacrifice.
“These are new tenets that should be the backbone and foundation of politics in Ghana, not monetisation,” he said.
Mr Agyepong indicated that he was confident of sailing through the vetting and emerging as flagbearer of the Party, saying his message of “ushering in a new dawn, direction and dimension” had resonated positively with Party faithful and Ghanaians.
“I have confidence that they will choose someone who has shown a life of dedicated service and sacrifice to this political tradition, which I have seen, it’s been manifested to each and everyone the role I have played from 1992 during the Adu Boahen campaign as the face and voice of the NPP,” he stressed.
Agyarko, Agyapong did not grant interviews
Mr Boakye Agyarko and the MP for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong did not talk after going through their respective vetting.
Dr Afriyie Akoto
Addressing the media after taking his turn before the vetting committee, Dr Afriyie Akoto said he was confident about his chances to lead the Party as flagbearer into the 2024 election.
The former Food and Agriculture Minister said his campaign message had resonated well with delegates of the Party, stressing that, that gave him confident about his chances.
“The message is going well with the delegates, they have realised that we are very much aware of their situations, and they are confident that under my leadership the Party will grow stronger and break the eight come next year,” he said.
Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku
Dr Apraku, in a write-up, said the most critical issue of concern to him was to restore macroeconomic stability, ensure reliable exchange rate and stability of the local currency.
“To do so, I will review immediately current Government expenditures, thus reducing the structure of Government, including cutting down the Government machinery,” he emphasised.
Mr Ghartey said his campaign was on course, stressing that, he was unperturbed by the support other aspirants had received from some leading members of the Party.
“In life and in campaigns, and in everything you do, you don’t do what everybody is doing. You execute according to your plan. I am at a place where I wanted to be at this time. I prefer to be with people who are committed to the course and I am very confident,” he said.
“I’m going to spend my time thinking about what would happen if, by God’s grace, 2025, I’m sworn in as President of Ghana. I’m going to spend my time thinking about the fact that teacher’s son from nowhere has become President.
“I’m going to think about the hope it will give to the millions of people who come from homes such as mine,” Mr Ghartey said.
900 delegates to vote at special delegates conference
The NPP has set August 26, to hold its special delegates conference with 900 delegates to trim down the number of candidates to five, provided the Committee approves more than four out of the ten candidates to contest for the position.
The Party has also set November 4, 2023, for its National Congress for the election of a flagbearer for the 2024 election.
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