Three individuals hoping to lead the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) as its flag bearer during the 2024 presidential election were vetted yesterday.
They are a former Minister of State and Economist, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku; the immediate past Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and a former Attorney-General and
Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey.
Yesterday’s vetting brings to nine the number of flag bearer hopefuls who have been through the process.
Last Monday, which was the first day of the committee’s sitting, the Immediate past Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; a businessman and energy expert, Kwadwo Poku, and Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, went through the process.
On Tuesday, a former Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, a former General Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, were vetted.
Yesterday’s process was not characterised by any funfair in the form of a large number of supporters thronging the party’s campaign office in Kokomlemle, where the exercise was held, to cheer on their candidates.
Rather, each candidate was accompanied by a few attachés and members of the inner circles of their respective campaigns.
The campaign office in Kokomlemle where the event was held was calm and serene throughout the entire exercise.
There were also no traders at the venue to try cashing in on the event by peddling party paraphernalia along the streets as was normally seen during the picking and filing of the nomination forms.
At about 9 a.m. members of the vetting committee arrived and called in the first presidential hopeful, Dr Apraku, who completed his vetting before noon. He was immediately followed by Dr Afriyie who arrived ahead of schedule, and then around 2 p.m., Mr Ghartey went in.
A former MP for Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh, would be vetted tomorrow.
Mr Apraku did not address the media. However, in a statement released after the process, he said he was committed to restoring macroeconomic stability as reflected in a stable and reliable exchange rate and stability of the nation’s currency.
“Ghana was not too long ago classified as the 10th fastest-growing economy in the world. It can only be done with the NPP in power.
“I am ready to offer the Leadership that will bring about that,” it said.
Dr Akoto, who is an Agricultural Economist, said his team would continue with their campaign across various regions while they await the verdict of the committee.
“They have realised we are very aware of their situations and they are confident that under my leadership, the party will grow from strength to strength and then finally break the eight,” he said in response to a question about the reception of his message to delegates.
Mr Ghartey reiterated his conviction of being a part of the first five after the Super Delegates Conference, which would be held in August, adding, “Everything is going according to plan. In life, you don’t do what everyone is doing. You execute your plan.”
“I am not going to spend my time thinking about other candidates. I am going to spend my time thinking about Joe Ghartey and the people of Ghana and what will happen if by God’s Grace come January 7, 2025, I’m sworn in as president,” he stressed.