Barring any last-minute u-turn, and all things being equal, the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will name his campaign manager for the 2016 general elections next week.
Nana Addo is therefore expected to meet the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party sometime within the week to present the names of members of the team to it.
Even though party national chairman, Paul Afoko, believes that the campaign team can wait until the party’s manifesto is in place because as he put it, “without manifesto there would be no message to sell to Ghanaians,” the presidential candidate seems to be brushing such position aside and has moved on with the selection of his team.
With the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) messing up big time, including borrowing money to pay interest on loans, Afoko strangely believes that the NPP has no message to tell Ghanaians until a manifesto is in place, the preparation of which would last to the quarter of 2016.
So far, four prominent names have popped up as possible choices for the top job. They include former national chairman of the party, Peter Mac Manu and former national vice chairman, Stephen Ayesu Ntim.
Other persons who have come for consideration are the names of former general secretary, Dan Kwaku Botwe, who had spearheaded two electoral victories and incumbent NPP national organiser, John Boadu.
Even though the name of Dan Botwe appears to be on the lips of the grass root supporters of the party as their preferred choice for the position, indications are that the tables are likely to turn against him in favour of Mac Manu.
Dan was the general secretary of the party when the NPP came to power in the famous 2000 general elections. He is thought to be currently too busy with the work of Parliament, being the Member of Parliament for Okere in the Eastern Region and Minority Chief Whip. He is also saddled with the business of the ECOWAS Parliament.
Mac Manu, a former Western Regional chairman of the party, is thought to be well-versed in election matters – with his vast experience in elections across the globe.
He is also said to be the lead character among those who drafted proposals on the need for electoral reforms on behalf of the party, which was presented to the Electoral Commission (EC) ahead of the crucial 2016 general elections; among which is the need for a fresh voters’ register.
Even though it was during his time that the NPP lost power to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mac Manu is credited with remaining loyal to the cause for return to power; hence, he has been working for the party since losing power in 2008.
Sources, however, hinted that in view of his depth of knowledge in local and grass root organisation, Dan is being considered for the position of a campaign strategist to help draw a comprehensive campaign game plan which would enable the party to win the next election.
Some party bigwigs are said to be seriously pushing for former vice chairman, Stephen Ntim, since he is considered grass root politician, in spite of his inability to win the position of national chairman in the last NPP congress.
Aside that, some political pundits have said his likely selection as campaign manager could influence a lot of voters in his home region, Brong-Ahafo.
In the event of Ntim not getting the substantive position, our sources said he would still be a key member of the team that would be named.
A source maintained that John Boadu would be considered for the position with his organisational skills coming to play. He may be made operations director of the campaign, with Sammy Awuku, youth organiser and Kamaldeen Abdulai, national Nasara coordinator playing key roles.
John rose from the rank of a constituency executive through to the regional and finally at the national level of the party and is thought to have a strong knowledge and idea about winning elections.
Apart from that, he also seems to appeal to a lot of party faithful at the grass root level with his appearance on radio programmes to articulate the party’s positions on both national and internal affairs.
But our sources said like Ntim, even if he does not become the substantive campaign manager, John would also play an active role in the team with his position as national organiser and likely to be in-charge of operations.
Source: Daily Guide