Alan Kyerematen, a former trade minister and candidate for the presidency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has shed light on a crucial period in his political career. He says that in 2007, former president John Agyekum Kufuor made it clear that he would not support Alan’s campaign for the position of party flagbearer.
On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, Alan Kyerematen revealed this in a conversation with Bernard Avle, General Manager of Citi News. He was being questioned about whether Kufuor, who had appointed him as an ambassador and a trade minister, thought highly of him.
Mr. Kyerematen claimed that although he had told President Kufuor of his plans to run for the NPP flagbearership in 2007, he had received advice to postpone his campaign and concentrate on his duties as the Trade Minister instead.
“In 2005, all the people who eventually contested, they had started doing underground moves and operations. I had made up my mind at that time, post-2004, 2005, that I would contest. When I went to him to inform him that I have an interest and that my other colleagues have started moves under cover, if he sees that I’m also operating, he should not be surprised about that. His advice to me was, ‘Wait, do your work. If people feel that you are the right person, they themselves would promote you,” he said.
Alan respected this counsel but returned three months later when he observed open campaigning by others. “I said, ‘Big brother, people are campaigning openly, so I want to serve you notice that I’ll be going.’ What he said is that, ‘Well, I cannot stop you, but I want to tell you that I will not support you.’”
Mr Kyerematen however noted that, former president Agyekum Kufuor did not work against any of the candidates, and that it was unfair for people to create the impression that he favoured him[Alan] over others.
On the contrary, he said that President Kufuor was neutral and impartial in the process, and that he would have been happy with any of the four candidates winning the flagbearership.
“[President Kufuor] said, if there are any people that I will support, there are four people: Nana Akufo-Addo – he was the first person he mentioned, Aliu Mahama, Papa Owusu Ankomah and then yourself. Any of you, if you win, bless my soul. I’ll be happy.’ So, it was on that basis that we all carried on,” Alan told Bernard Able.
Disputing claims that he was the favourite, Alan emphasised that President Kufuor did not work against any of the candidates. “It is unfair to President Kufuor for people to have, or are now creating, the impression that because I was a favourite, he did all in his power to, as it were, install me as a heir apparent. It is totally untrue that he was working against any of these candidates,” Alan affirmed.