By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
CRACKS in the Ashanti Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party is threatening the very foundations of the party in its stronghold as the NPP prepares to elect its presidential candidate for the 2012 elections.
In the centre of the storm is the regional organiser of the party, Mr Kennedy Kankam, a known supporter of flag bearer hopeful, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who had gone public to castigate the Regional Chairman, Mr F.F. Anto, and Regional Secretary, Mr Sam Payne, for leading a crusade to get Nana Akufo-Addo maintain a stronghold in the region ahead of the presidential primary.
According to Mr Kankam, he had audio recordings of a meeting the two held with others from the Nana Akufo-Addo camp at a filling station in Kumasi belonging to Mr Anto.
He alleged that the meeting was to strategise for Nana Akufo-Addo, which the organiser described as a negative move.
He further said some former NPP gurus were behind the prosecution of Dr Richard Anane and others for causing financial loss to the state in an attempt to weaken the Alan camp since the suspects were all supporters of Alan.
Both Mr Anto and Mr Payne have dismissed the allegations, accusing Mr Kankam of creating trouble in the party.
The matter was therefore referred to the disciplinary committee, which had since started investigations into the issue.
As the disciplinary committee of the party in the region meets to take a decision on Mr Kankam and others including former Kwadaso MP, Ms Josephine Hilda Addo, there are strong indications that stiff sanctions would be meted out to them.
A party source told the Graphic that it would not be surprising if some of them were sacked from the party.
However, the big question is whether the NPP should take such drastic measures at a time it is fighting to build a united party for the 2012 battle.
The Ashanti Region has become the notorious trouble spot for the NPP and if recent developments are anything to go by, then the party has a huge task ahead of it in the next elections.
Meanwhile, the National Organiser of the NPP, Alhaji Moctar Musa Bamba, has called for calm among the rank and file of the party, assuring them that the national executives were working at settling all internal wrangling, report David Owusu-Antwi and Leticia Afua Ayeh from Berekum
According to him, the NPP needed unity now more than ever so they could adequately focus their energies into strategising to wrestle power from the National Democratic Congress in 2012.
“Let us bury our differences and seek our common interest of coming back to power to make life better for Ghanaians”, he said.
Alhaji Bamba said these when he inaugurated a Peace and Unity Club of the party in Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He urged members to soften their stance on whatever issues and positions they were harbouring, saying, “at the end of the day what we all want is for the NPP to recapture power.”
“What we must be busy about now is getting our message to the grassroots; getting the people to love us again and become more interested in voting for us in the next election”, he said.
In his opinion, everything that could divide their front must be eschewed.
Alhaji Bamba was very grateful to the organisers of the club for the good work they did in drawing many members into the club.
He expressed the hope that the club would be replicated throughout the country to further help in efforts being made to brighten the party’s chances in the 2012 general elections.
The NPP Constituency Chairman for Berekum, Mr K.O. Agyei, added his voice for peace in the party.