The New Patriotic Party has set for itself n unprecedented target in the history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
The party is seeking to break an 8-year power rotation jinx between itself and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC, on the other hand, is very confident of snatching power on December 7, 2024, when Ghana goes to the polls.
For the NPP, it is more important to go into the election adequately prepared if it will ever witness their now popular “Breaking the 8” mantra become a reality.
As part of their preparations for the election, the NPP must tick several boxes including selecting the right candidate.
Even before President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s second term had become certain there were attempts to weigh in on who steps into his shoes as the NPP’s flagbearer.
Amongst several names, serial contender, John Alan Kojo Kyeremanten and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia dominated a list of candidates the NPP could eventually settle on.
It was a certain race between the two as the main contenders, with other persons as outliers, until some months ago, when Kennedy Kwame Akompreko Agyapong, a very popular politician representing the people of Assin Central in Parliament on the ticket of the NPP, joined the contest.
Kennedy Agyapong’s future as a possible NPP flagbearer contender may have been obvious to some people in the past except the man himself.
Despite having personally touted his potential to be president, Kennedy Agyapong, about some 7 months ago, was emphatic that he had no plans of becoming President of Ghana.
Fast forward to some few months later, Kennedy Agyapong has not only flipped the script but also made himself the third force in the NPP flagbearer race with his popularity in the contest soaring by the day.
GhanaWeb takes a look at the three candidates and their selling points.
Alan Kyerematen, until recent developments, was thought of as the natural successor to President Akufo-Addo, having battled it out with him for the NPP flagbearership in times past.
He enjoys a stronghold within the rank and file of the party having been on the scene since the inception of the NPP in 1992.
He has served the party in various capacities including being a diplomat. He has also held national positions and is currently the Minister for Trade and Industry having served already in the first term of President Akufo-Addo.
He contested the NPP flagbearership in 2007, 2010 and 2014 and came second runner-up in all instances, losing to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Having been active on the campaign front on all occasions, Alan Kyeremanten also enjoys some popularity amongst the larger populace.
His political nickname, Alan Cash, which he explained resulted from his emphasis on creating jobs and “real cash” for the people still resonates with the Ghanaian electorate.
Within the circles of the NPP, Dr Bawumia is still regarded by his critics as being new on the block.
He however makes up for that in his history with President Akufo-Addo who brought him into the NPP ahead of the 2008 presidential election as his running mate.
Dr Bawumia went to the war front with Nana Addo and lost presidential elections twice as his running mate in 2008 and 2012.
The duo made a breakthrough in 2016 when candidate Akufo-Addo won his first term and subsequently won a second term in 2020.
Having been in the trenches with Nana Addo and winning two presidential terms, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has not only earned the approval of the NPP base but also has a valid claim to a presidential ambition.
An economist by profession, Dr Bawumia’s selling point will be his role as Vice President and head of the Economic Management Team during the successive terms of President Akufo-Addo.
This is aside from his rather calm persona which he complements with burlesque when he is on a political attack against the opposition.
A successful businessman and a politician, Kennedy Agyapong is a man of many features with the most evident being his candidness.
Kennedy Agyapong has an enviable record as a Member of Parliament who has represented the people of Assin Central from the 3rd Parliament through to the current 8th Parliament of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
He is a known financier of the NPP who is said to have supported the organization of the party in the diaspora during its formation days.
Kennedy Agyapong appeals to the base of the NPP and by extension, the larger Ghanaian electorate, being known for his philanthropic works.
His hallmark of candidness which has earned him a cult following has equally courted him several controversies over the years.
His campaign for the presidency is said to be anchored on the principles of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline.
He aims to build Ghana through discipline in the public sector as well as tourism and agriculture as economic boosters.
His biggest challenge will be getting the leadership of the NPP who are currently split between Dr. Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen to buy into his campaign as he already enjoys a good following at the party’s grassroots level.
GhanaWeb Poll on who breaks the 8 for NPP
Meanwhile, in a recent GhanaWeb Poll, 87,561 participants representing 71.61% voted for Alan Kyerematen as the right candidate to help the NPP break the 8.
A total of 122,268 persons voted in the poll.