President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he has not endorsed anybody to take over from him.
He said any such action was an affront to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) democratic tenets and beliefs.
The President, however, said he would campaign vigorously for whoever won the party’s presidential primary towards the presidential race for 2024.
Speaking on Pure FM, a Kumasi-based radio station, yesterday as part of his four-day official visit to the Ashanti Region, the President said he had to hold the balance and build a united party.
At the Manhyia Palace last Friday, the President, while introducing his entourage to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said hilariously that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, and the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, harboured presidential ambitions.
But the gesture has been taken by some people to mean that the President had endorsed the two ministers for the presidential race.
Currently, neither of the two has openly declared his ambition to run for the high office.
Nominations have not been opened for interested persons to declare their intention of contesting the NPP presidential primary.
Ashanti not neglected
President Akufo-Addo also dismissed assertions in some circles that the government which he led had neglected Ashanti, a region considered the NPP’s biggest base for support.
According to him, it was the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that was spreading the false information.
Contrary to that assertion, the President said the Ashanti Region was receiving massive road development unseen in its history, and added that there was more to come.
He said two big projects would start in the region this year, including the construction of a four-tier interchange at the Suame Roundabout.
Answering a question on developments at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), the President appealed to the assembly members to reconsider their threat to reject the nominee for Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Pyne.
He said it was unfair to attach the nominee to an issue that happened at the assembly in the past.
There have been reports of some assembly members threatening to vote against Mr Pyne’s nomination if a long-standing GH¢50 million debt hanging on the neck of the assembly since the period of President J.A. Kufuor is not settled.
In an interview with Accra-based Citi News, the Presiding Member of the KMA, Mr Stephen Ofori, said the assembly members had reached a consensus that they would not approve any nominee unless all their debts were cleared by the government.
According to him, the debts were stalling development in the metropolis.
However, President Akufo-Addo said he did not see how that could be used to stop Kumasi from getting an MCE.
“I don’t think that is fair. That is not the way to go about it,” the President stated.
He urged the assembly members to give Mr Pyne the nod, so that he could deal with the debt.