On Monday the 25th September 2023, former Minister for Trade and Industry under the Presidencies of John Agyekum Kufuor and Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyeremateng announced his decision to resign from the New Patriotic Party [NPP]. He also announced his decision to be on the presidential ballot in 2024 as an independent candidate.
Alan Kyeremateng has been a perennial contestant of the NPP's presidential primaries since 2007. He contested in 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2023. After the presidential primaries in 2007, Alan resigned because he alleged that his supporters were being harassed or victimized, whatever that means. As if political contest is a tea party. He was later persuaded to return to the fold of the party against the wisdom of B.J da Rocha, founding chairman of the NPP. In a letter to the party dated Friday April 25 2008, da Rocha stated, “…it is my considered view that it will not be in the best interest of the NPP to receive Mr. Alan Kyeremateng back into the party's fold. He will become a disruptive factor in the party, a stumbling block, a loose cannon. The party has an election to win. We should concentrate our efforts on the task ahead and let him go his way in peace.”
The NPP did not heed the wisdom of B.J Da Rocha, largely because of the hackneyed concept of unity. The suspension of the party's General Secretary and Chairman prior to the 2016 election should tell political parties that politics is about the coalition of the willing. Unity cannot be fostered on people. Those who piss from outside are unlikely to do as much damage as those who piss from inside. The NPP has a few lessons to learn from the NDC in this respect. The NDC at various points in time have chucked out three of the original founding members of their party- Obed Asamoah, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Jerry Rawlings himself. Indeed, in the case of Jerry Rawlings, they actually have an article in their party's constitution that states that he is the founder of the party. Yet in 2012, they labelled him a “barking dog” and proceeded to shunt him aside and went on to win the 2012 election. While I do not discount the importance of unity to the fortunes of a political party, my point is that one cannot unite with people who are unwilling to unite. Unity is a collaborative effort.
Let me get back to Alan. I am not surprised that Alan has a “monarch butterfly” as his symbol. Alan has always reasoned in monarchical terms. Unfortunately, politics is not monarchical. In politics there is no concept of “deserving” and “undeserving.” The dumbest political slogan I have ever heard in my 45 years of living on this miserable planet is “Aduru meso,” to wit it is my turn. I am therefore not surprised that Alan quit after his miserable showing in the super delegates vote. He thought it was his turn and once the delegates disagreed with him, he had to quit. All the excuses Alan put forth for leaving were a ruse. His ambition has always been to be on the presidential ballot. After August 26, 2023, he realized that ambition would never be realized within the NPP. So, his best bet was to quit and get himself on the ballot by other means. All the excuses about vote-buying and intimidation were hogwash. How could anybody imagine that ministers of state, members of parliament and chief executives were induced by money to vote in a certain way. As for his agent in Nalerigu being slapped, it is perfectly normal for brawls to break out during polling events, including even in secondary school elections. I have already stated that elections are not a tea party.
I have absolutely no doubt that Akufo-Addo sympathises with Bawumia and hopes that Bawumia will succeed him. But to Akufo-Addo's credit, he never throughout the contest showed his hand. In any event, for Alan to be the person complaining about presidential support is rich indeed! In the 2007 NPP presidential primaries, Alan flew around the country in military aircrafts. I hope he has not forgotten how he landed in Wa in 2007 with military aircraft with sacks of money. At the time of his landing in Wa, Hackman Owusu Agyeman was meeting with delegates. They promptly abandoned Hackman, trooped out of the hall and went to meet with Alan. President Kufuor dismissed every government official who dared to openly support Akufo-Addo. The most vivid example is the case of Sebastian Bisnab, then DCE for Talensi, who was dismissed even while his wife lay in the mortuary. That was the apex of cruelty on the part of the establishment, all in its bid to ensure an Alan victory. On the contrary, Peter Amewu, Abena Osei Asare and other government officials were openly canvassing for Alan. They would not have survived in the time that the establishment tide was in Alan's favour.
More importantly, what has Alan done since 2007 to nurture a presidential ambition? Nothing! In fact, in line with his monarchical mentality he has always hoped that it will be handed to him on a silver platter. I guess he read Shakespeare's Macbeth in school and believed the line that “if chance will have me king, chance will crown me without my stir.” But chance wont crown you without your stir.
The fact that Ken Agyapong beat him to third place speaks volumes of the fact that ambitions, especially in politics are nurtured. Alan neither picks calls of party faithful, nor does he return them. Party faithful go to his office to see him and they are given appointments for two weeks from the day of their original visit. They never return. Alan should point a single constituency where he donated party logistics for the running of the party. None! So, let us get it straight- even if the so-called establishment supported Alan, he would have lost miserably. The fact that he lost miserably in 2007 should tell him the limitation of establishment support. In part II, I shall detail how Bawumia has nurtured an ambition.
Establishment support played very little role in Bawumia's victory. I shall return.
By Alhassan Yelvuhi
Nayili Fong, Yendi.