March 2, 2024

As the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership race intensifies, all eyes are fixed on the Gang of 8 contenders, whose potential exit from the flagbearer race has become a subject of intense speculation. This group of ambitious and prominent party members has been competing for the highly sought-after NPP flagbearer position, setting the stage for a competitive and potentially divisive primary race. However, recent developments suggest that the aspirants are now contemplating the possibility of presenting a united front against Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, whom they view as the choice of the establishment.

Tensions escalated when Boakye Agyako, former campaign manager of candidate Akufo-Addo, disclosed in an exclusive interview on Citi TV that the Gang of 8 has been engaged in closed-door discussions, exploring the idea of rallying behind a single candidate to challenge the perceived candidate of the establishment. The aspirants are believed to be taking into consideration various factors, including public perception, their support base, and the overall cohesion of the party.

The situation reached a critical juncture during the National Council Meeting, where influential party elders and members convened to evaluate a petition by the Gang of 8. This petition called for a departure from the constitutionally established polling centers for the conduct of the Super Delegates Congress when the number of aspirants exceeds five. The meeting was described as a “Make or Break” moment, as it could significantly shape the trajectory of the leadership race.

As of now, no official statements have been released by the Gang of 8, but sources close to the contenders have hinted that they are seriously considering the option of stepping back from the race to avoid a contentious primary that could weaken the party’s chances in the upcoming elections.

Political observers are closely monitoring the unfolding situation, questioning the Gang of 8’s opposition to the decentralized election method, given that many of them were instrumental in implementing the decentralized approach to selecting party leaders in the past. In particular, Ing. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, who served as General Secretary, oversaw a similar congress in 2015.

Richard Nyamah, speaking on behalf of Alan Kyeremanten’s campaign team, has warned of a potential split within the party if the leadership disregards their petition and proceeds with organizing a decentralized election.

The team accuses President Akufo-Addo and his government of advocating for a decentralized election to manipulate the outcome in favour of the ‘establishment’ candidate, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. They assert that conducting the super delegates election at the regional level makes no economic or logistical sense.

A group of hired supporters from Greater Accra and Central Region was mobilized to protest against the National Executive Council’s decision to remain faithful to the party constitution.

The group gathered at the party headquarters and later proceeded to the Alisa Hotel at Ridge, where the National Council (NC) convened a meeting to discuss the arrangements for the upcoming conference.

Yaw Obeng Boateng, the Lead Convenor of the Group, addressed the media after a peaceful protest in Accra, expressing their demand for the conference to be centralized to ensure fairness and transparency.

The NPP leadership is now faced with the task of managing non-existing internal party dynamics, as maintaining party unity remains a top priority for a successful electoral campaign.

Both party members and the general public are eagerly awaiting further updates and official announcements from the Gang of 8 and the NPP leadership as the aspirants’ deliberations continue.

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