Six out of seven surviving Founding Fathers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region have overwhelmingly endorsed Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto as the party’s surest bet for its flag bearer position.
The elders of the party, who many describe as the ‘Big Six’ in contemporary Ghanaian politics because of their influence, pledged their support for Dr Akoto when they paid a courtesy call on him at his residence in Danyame on Saturday, August 5, 2023.
Led by their Chairman, Kofi Obiri Yeboah, the Founding Fathers of the UP tradition had gone to Dr Akoto to interact with him, listen to his vision for the party and Ghana in general, and also discussed with him what they could do to rekindle the spirit of togetherness in the party going into the 2024 general election.
The other members of the group were Akwasi Gyeabour Asante, William Asafu-Agyei, George Appiah, Nicholas Kofi Nyantakyi and Peter Kwabena Anokye.
The seventh man, Owusu Badu, who could not join the team, had sought permission from the Chairman.
The ‘Big Six’ as they are affectionately called, are convinced that Dr Akoto has demonstrated without any iota of doubt that he is capable of managing the NPP and the country in general, considering his track record in the party, and when he became a Cabinet Minister (Minister of Food and Agriculture) in President Akufo-Addo’s administration.
Last Saturday’s visit was one of several other meetings Dr Akoto had with the Founding Fathers of the NPP in the Ashanti Region when he started his campaign for the flag bearer position of the NPP.
The endorsement of the ‘Big Six’ follows similar endorsements by some constituency chairmen of the party in the Greater Accra, Volta and Central regions.
Just last month, constituency chairmen in Ashaiman, La Dadekotopon, Shai Osudoku and Prampram publicly showed their unwavering support for Dr Akoto’s candidacy, and urged delegates in those constituencies and beyond to show their love for the former Food and Agriculture Minister when they go to the polls on August 26, 2023 to exercise their franchise in the Special Delegates Conference.
Commenting on the gesture, Dr Akoto said he was elated by the support shown him by the Founding Fathers and assured of contributing more to the progress of the NPP to justify their confidence reposed in him.
“I am elated by the endorsement of the Founding Fathers of the NPP in the Ashanti Region.
The promise that their votes will be for me, come August 26, 2023 signifies the confidence they have reposed in me, and I am very grateful to them for expressing such huge support for my candidature to bear the flag of the NPP”, he noted.
Dr Akoto added “this show of support by the Founding Fathers is very significant to me because as you know the origin of the party started with the intervention of my father, Baffour Osei Akoto, who together with others, on September 19, 1994, performed certain rites for the creation of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) in collusion with the Northern Peoples Party, the late S. G. Dombo, leader of the Togo Congress, and others from the Anlo Youth Organisation and the Greater Accra Region came together to form the United Party (UP) soon after independence in 1957.
So, the Founding Fathers in the Ashanti Region are using the spirit of the time that is the foundation laid by my father to give their full support to me”.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP and Coordinator for Team Akoto in the Ashanti Region, Allen Gyimah, also commenting on the endorsement of the Founding Fathers of the party in the region said the action by the ‘Big Six’ was a clear demonstration that the party wanted a result oriented person to lead the party to the 2024 general election.