Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Ben Ephson, has suggested that Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, could cause an upset in the flagbearership race of the governing New Patriotic Party.
In an interview on pro-NPP Asaase Radion, Ephson explained that the MP could come in second only behind Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
He explained that Agyapong stood the chance of beating Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen, citing the lawmaker’s popularity and active material support for the party structures nationwide.
“I think Kennedy Agyapong has entered the race and if [I’m telling you exclusively] he beats Alan Kyerematen to third place, don’t be surprised because this is an election by people within the party, Alan Kyerematen peaked 15 years (ago); so if you are a delegate and you are below forty years you might not remember Alan.
“Kennedy Agyapong has been a Member of Parliament and this is his sixth term; don’t be surprised if Alan places third and Kennedy places second. I’ve interpreted this because I know what is going round and this [Kufuor’s comments] is a jab in the arm for Bawumia,” he emphasised.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor at a Father’s Day event over the weekend spoke highly about the dedication of Bawumia and his loyalty to the NPP.
The comments were widely reported by the media and across social media. Even though Ephson hinged his analysis on it, the former President’s office on June 22 issued a statement that clarified that his comments about Bawumia were strictly apolitical and that there was no need for a spin to be put on it.
“The attention of the Office of Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has been drawn to erroneous reportage in some sections of the media, especially on social media, to the effect that President Kufuor has endorsed an aspiring candidate for the NPP flagbearership over several others who have expressed interest to contest in the race.
“The office wants to emphatically deny that any such endorsement took place on the said occasion and bemoan the fact that what transpired has been seriously misconstrued,” the statement signed by Dr. Kwabena Osei-Adubofour, a senior aide and spokesman read in part.
The NPP is expected to hold elections to elect a flagbearer to lead the party into the 2024 General Elections.
Between Agyapong, Kyerematen and Bawumia – only Agyapong has formally declared his intentions to contest. Former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko is another candidate who has declared his ambitions.
Agric Minister Afriyie Osei Akoto and former Minister Joe Ghartey are all rumoured to be eyeing the slot. The winner will take over from President Akufo-Addo who is ineligible to contest after his second term ends in early 2025.