Nana Akufo-Addo, in a rather unusual manner, has ridiculed his one-time fierce contender for the flagbearership position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, who is still hoping to succeed him as President of Ghana.
The President, drew a wild laughter, while introducing a team that escorted him to visit the Asantehene, OtumfuoOsei Tutu II, as part of his 4-Day tour of the Ashanti Region, also Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Food and Agriculture Minister, and Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen on their presidential ambitions.
In the presence of Otumfuo and his elders, the President said, "I am here with the Minister of Transport, Minister for Works and Housing, the National Security Boss, Chairman One; Wontumi, the Food and Agriculture Minister; Owusu Afriyie, who wants to be President. I also have here with me someone who has long eyed the presidential seat, the Minister of Trade and Industry; Alan Kyeremanten, a very hard-working man. All of them are doing a good job".
The comments by the President in the Manhyia Palace on Friday, October 1, 2021, got everyone in the room laughing, including the Asantehene.
The 71-year old Dr. Afriyie Akoto, the son of Baffaour Osei Akoto, a chief linguist of Otumfour, was once the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kwadaso Constituency in the Ashanti Region, but was kicked out over non-performance, poor language and naked arrogance. Many say he is not in the race at all, unlike Alan Kyerematen and Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawuamia.
Campaign posters of Dr. Akoto, emerged on social media, heightening speculation on his presidential ambitions.
Aside from him, there has been some support for potential presidential bids by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen.
A Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana ObiriBoahene, however, criticised persons who have started campaigning for some potential aspirants for the NPP flagbearship ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Campaign activities are yet to be sanctioned by the National Executive Committee and the National Council of the party.
The governing party is expected to hold its presidential primary in 2023.
Welcoming the President to the region, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II urged him to strive to leave behind a befitting legacy.
He said this when the president paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace on Friday, October 1, 2021.
"We say things as they are. You can judge for yourself if you are toeing the right direction."
"We believe you can get things done, so we urge you not to rest on your oars. Try to leave a lasting legacy, befitting of your status. We will keep you in prayer," he urged the President.
President Akufo-Addo, inspected ongoing projects as part of his tour of the region.
The consultant for the Kumasi Airport Expansion, Nana Ametepe, gave August 2022, as the deadline for the completion of the project.
"We need to migrate the airport from the terminal and bring it here to function. That area will then be demolished to allow for the buildings to be erected."
"We believe that by August next year, the airport will be ready to be commissioned."
"If you stay in your office, your appointees will tell you what you want to hear. This tour will help you verify what you hear and know the truth", the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, told President Akufo-Addo.
Last month, the Ashanti Region Caucus in Parliament, pledged its relentless commitment to drum home development and infrastructure to ensure the region gets a lion's share of the national cake.
Deputy Chief Whip of the Caucus, Vincent Ekow Assafuah, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo Constituency, assured intense lobbying to draw development into the Region, which feels neglected and despondent.
"To whom much is given, much is expected, so we can't negotiate the infrastructural development of Ashanti Region especially Kumasi for anything because the region has been holding the party down since 1992."
Most roads in the region, especially Kumasi, have become very deplorable, however, the Kyebi township and other parts of the Eastern Region, have seen massive facelift to the envy of many.
"The Year of Roads" declaration and its sloganeering has vanished from the lips of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo.
In its place, is the "Agenda 111" slogan, which according to the government, will see the construction of districts, specialised and regional hospitals across the country.
Speaking on Akoma FM's current affairs and political show, GhanAkoma on 3th September 2021, MrEkowAssafuah, told host of the show that "as a deputy chief whip for the caucus of Ashanti MPs, I am aware of a strategic plan to lobby for more developments as a form of reward to the region for maintaining NPP in power".
The Ashanti Region during the just ended 2020 elections, gave the NPP a massive 1.7 million votes, an overwhelming number that cancelled more than nine regions won by the party's archrivals, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
There has been surging agitations within the region over what some describe as total neglect by the government in the face of developments and physical infrastructure.
But the Old Tafo MP, has allayed those agitations and promised that the 43 Members of Parliament from the NPP's World Bank, have unanimously decided that, in their individual capacities, they will ensure a larger part of the national cake is directed to the region.
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