A flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has asked the leadership of the party to ensure a level playing field, devoid of biases and open support for a particular candidate in the upcoming National Delegates Congress in November to determine the one who ultimately bears the flag for the party in the 2024 General Elections.
He said all aspirants would wholeheartedly accept the outcome of the November 4th contest if they believed the election was fair and not manipulated to favour a particular candidate. They would also support the winner should a level playing field for all the candidates was provided.
“We will need each other. Therefore, all must be treated well,” he noted.
Speaking in an interview with a cross section of the media at his campaign office in Accra on Saturday, September 9, 2023, Dr. Akoto further charged the leadership of the elephant family to trigger the conflict resolution mechanism within the party and help to build bridges by bringing everyone on board in their forward march to breaking the eight-year governance cycle in 2024.
He said events leading to the Super Delegates Conference and its aftermath, where several concerns had been raised going into the November 4th National Delegate’s Conference cast a slur on the party’s image.
Dr. Akoto, who has worked in the UN Systems for over 18 years, noted that the earlier those concerns were addressed, the better.
For instance, he argued that reprisal attacks on supporters of aspiring flagbearers must be condemned by all, while the leadership of the party moves to unite the presidential hopefuls, even before the November 4th election was held.
“The chances of our great NPP going into election 2024 are clear. We stand to win the election. Therefore, acts of intimidation, reprisal attacks on individuals, and machinations against one another must cease forthwith. As I have already alluded to, we can’t go into the 2024 election on a limping leg. We must close our ranks now,” he noted.
It was the first time Dr Akoto Afriyie was publicly commenting on the party’s flagbearerrship polls, having placed 4th in the Super Delegates Conference held on Saturday, September 26, 2023.
Commenting further, the former two-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso constituency said he was worried that the unity of the party ahead of the 2024 general elections was in limbo, noting that it was about time all efforts were put in place to address it.
He posited that much as the situation places a lot of burden on the national executives of the party to address it, all those who matter in the party, including all flagbearer hopefuls, must also give a helping hand toward uniting the UP tradition.
“Acts that seek to provoke opposing flagbearer contestants should not be entertained. All our campaign messages must be decorous to attract floating voters. Let us preach what we can do to develop NPP and Ghana, not things that will bring us down,” Dr Akoto underscored.
By Stephen Odoi-Larbi