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Akufo-Addo must ask ministers with presidential ambitions to resign, says Mpiani

Kwadwo Mpiani attributes the jostling for position to a lack of discipline and failure on the part of the current party leadership of the NPP

President Akufo-Addo must ask any minister who has ambitions to become a presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to resign, Kwadwo Mpiani, a chief of staff in the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor has said.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Nana Yaa Mensah on Thursday (18 March), Mpiani said, “The ministers are there because the president appointed them to help him rule the country. So if they have decided to become candidates and not ministers at this stage, sure, he [Akufo-Addo] has every right to ask them to go and pursue their ambitions.

“So that he can appoint somebody to do the work which has been entrusted to him by the people of Ghana. I think that is the legitimate thing for any president to do,” he added.

Mpiani was speaking about the scramble among cabinet ministers to succeed President Akufo-Addo, describing it as a very worrying development in the ruling NPP.

The former chief of staff advised ministers rather to rally behind the president to perform well in his second term.

“Look, if you don’t put the party on a sound footing, if the government doesn’t do well, you may even want to put Jesus Christ there [but] I don’t think He can win. So let’s support the government to do well,” he said.

“You see, the government is in a very unfortunate situation now, because of this COVID-19 and all. The economy is not doing well and it is something universal,” Mpiani said.

“So, our attention should be on how to perform well, so that when we put up a candidate he will not have too much of a problem. Instead of doing that, when the government is not even in place, we are thinking of who will take over from Nana Addo. It’s a misplaced priority.”

Leadership failure

The former chief of staff did not mince his words, describing the infighting as the product of a lack of discipline and failure on the part of the leadership of the NPP.

“I believe the current leadership is not doing well. That’s my candid opinion,” Mpiani said.

He mused on the cause of the scramble, saying: “I don’t know why, but maybe [it’s because of] overambition, or maybe lack of discipline in the party [the NPP]. I think it is so wrong.”

He recounted how the party carried out research to identify which candidates were viable after 17 candidates expressed an interest in the race for the party’s flagbearer position in 2006.

The move, Mpiani said, led to the party placing limits on the number of candidates who could run for the NPP flagbearership.

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