Former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Six out of seven surviving founding fathers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti region have overwhelmingly endorsed former Agriculture minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s candidature.

The elders of the party pledged their support to Dr Akoto when they paid a courtesy call on him at his residence at 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 ponder with him over 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 Ghana in general, considering his track record for the party and when he became a cabinet minister (Minister of Food and Agriculture) under President Akufo-Addo’s administration.

Last Saturday’s visit is one of several other meetings Dr Akoto has had with the Founding Fathers of the NPP in the Ashanti Region, when he started his campaign for the flagbearer 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 of the country.

Just last month, constituency chairmen at 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 to 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.

He 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 the 19th of September, 1994 performed certain rites for the creation of the National Liberation Movement, made up of the Northern Peoples Party, led by the late S.G Dombo, the Togo Congress and others from the Anlo Youth Organisation and the Greater Accra region came together to form the United Party 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’ is a clear demonstration that that the party wants a result-oriented person to lead the party to the 2024 general elections.