Though the late former National Chairman of the NPP was not in the best shape of health for some time until his demise, The aL-hAJJ can confirm that Jake, as he is affectionately called, died a sad man.
The late Obetsebi Lamptey was reported to have arrived to this conclusion after the NPP National Conference held in Tamale in 2014 in which he was “painfully” defeated as National Chairman of the biggest opposition party.
“Following his painful loss of the position of National Chairman in Tamale, Obetsebi Lamptey had been a worried man, especially about how he had compromised his responsibilities as leader of the party in order to ‘smoothen’ the path for his preferred choice of a flag bearer, only to be embarrassingly and miserably dumped few hours to the election at the 2014 NPP conference,” a family source told this paper.
According to the source, feeling let-down and paid with the wrong coin as result of the ill-treatment and embarrassment caused him, the late Jake developed complications which worsened his already not-too-good health condition leading to his painful demise in the United Kingdom.
Until his death, he was reported to be undergoing chemotherapy in South Africa but suffered a relapse and was subsequently transferred to a London Hospital.
Though immediate family members are tightlipped on what in particular caused his death, it will be recall that, few days after the late former NPP National Chairman’s defeat at the Tamale conference, his special aide and NPP Communication member, Asamoah Gyamfi inadvertently revealed that his then boss, was overwhelmed with grief and shock over how his childhood friend and 2016 NPP flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo and his acolytes stabbed him (Obetsebi Lamptey) in the back when they “dumped” him few hours before the party’s conference in favor of his deputy, Mr Fred Oware, who also contested the National Chairman position but lost to Mr Paul Afoko.
Close associates of the onetime NPP flag bearer aspirant and first Chief of Staff under the Kufuor government, who was also credited to be the brain behind former president Kufuor’s victory in the 2000 elections, said Jake was virtually reduced to just a mere “pedestrian” member of the party after his defeat as National Chairman.
Some of his associates, who do not want their names mentioned, accused Nana Akufo-Addo of betraying his once bosom pal saying, “Jake defied all odds and pushed for Nana Akufo-Addo to be the NPP’s obvious choice for the 2016 presidential election only to suffer humiliation at the last minute during our last congress.”
“Jake spent the better part of his stay in office as national chairman working for Nana Akufo-Addo’s retention as flag bearer. Look, no one will tell you this but I’m telling you for the first time, Jake did what the NPP’s constitution was not required of him to do because Nana Addo agreed to support him for his second term bid. It was a mutual agreement between the two of them, but Jake only realized Nana Addo’s support for him was a sham when we got to Tamale,” a source close to Jake revealed.
Another source told this paper that, unknown to Jake and “those of us on his team”, Nana Akufo-Addo was torn between supporting him (Jake) and Fred Oware, “but do you know what, Nana Addo was pressured to dump Jake for Oware and that led to his defeat.”
“After this painful ordeal, Jake did not give up on Nana Addo’s third presidential bid. He was still prepared to work for the party’s flag bearer…but even doing that was also difficult because those around Nana Addo never allowed him to go near him. They did not involve him in anything…and the most painful aspect was that after he lost the chairmanship, nobody ever called or invited him for any meeting or whatever?” The source fumed.
Adding that, “although Jake was not in the best shape of health, he was nonetheless very disappointed over his non-inclusion in the affairs of the party and the flag bearer’s campaign…even on his sick bed he was still interested in seeing Nana Akufo-Addo become president”
“I can tell you that Jake had a lot of pain in him leading to his death. He felt letdown by his own people. The party leadership succeeded in pushing him into political hibernation and now he is no more. Ever since he (Jake) lost the national chairman post, did you ever see him partake in any NPP activity? ” a grief stricken Jake aficionado told this paper amidst dripping tears.
Similar sentiment was earlier expressed by NPP Communications team member who also doubles as an aide to Jake, Asamoah Gyamfi, in an exclusive interview with The aL-hAJJ immediately after the Tamale congress which his late boss performed abysmally.
Read Asamoah Gyamfi’s interview published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 below.
Q: What is your view on the outcome of the NPP Conference in Tamale?
Ans: The delegates have decided and for me I think in the wisdom of the delegates they’ve done what is right. That basically it is…none of the slates got their way, they decided to vote independently and all the slates that came up, they threw it overboard. My fear initially was that if we don’t take care we were going to have an all Akan executives; flag bearer, General Secretary and Chairman, but the voting has been of regional balance and that is good for the image of the party.
Q: what necessitated the few hitches you spoke of?
Ans: Basically, there were wrong signals sent that Nana Addo was initially backing Jake and on the eve of the election he changed his mind to say he was supporting Fred Oware and the delegates felt that they couldn’t be toyed around like that and that if you don’t like Jake then why Fred Oware because they’re the same people. Why do you like Sir John…? Because they’re the same team so if you don’t like the leader of the team then all the players too are not good…so the delegates decided to vote independently and that was how come we got a reflection of that.
Q: Is it true that Nana Addo was initially backing Jake but later had to dump him for Fred Oware?
Ans: ooh yeah…he was backing Jake then he dumped him for Fred Oware base on pressure…as a result of pressure from people around him.
Q: People like who?
Ans: Most of the people around Nana Addo including MPs and leading members like Boakye Agyarko and those around him. Most of the people around Nana Addo didn’t want Jake to be the Chairman.
Q: Why were they against his candidature?
Ans: They pushed for Nana Addo to dump him. Well I don’t know but one of the reason was that Jake said that the campaign center…usually it is Nana Addo who set up the campaign center which run parallel to the party so Jake said when he wins he will make sure the campaign center doesn’t come on board and what that meant is that all those around Nana Addo will become jobless so they decided that they won’t go for him, they’ll rather go for Fred Oware who they think is weak and not too strong in the party and would allow them to continue to do what they are doing.
Q: Why was Nana Addo favoring Jake initially?
Ans: Well, he thinks that he went into an election with him and they believe that the election was rigged and if the election was rigged why do you sacrifice the Chairman? So he felt that he needed to stand by Jake and indeed, he stood by Jake but when so much pressure was brought on him and he decided to go his way at the last minute and that also infuriated the delegates.
Q: Would you say that was the cause of Jake’s abysmal performance at the conference?
Ans: Ooh yeah…on the night before the voting, MPs and all leading members of the party; all of them went against…all the pro-Nana Addo people that night campaigned against Jake for Fred Oware.
Q: Who were some of the notable MPs that campaigned against Jake?
Ans: Kennedy Agyepong, you know…he was one of such people who led the campaign against Jake.
Q: Kennedy Agyepong was supporting Ntim or? Ans: Yes! He also felt Fred Oware was not good so he went in for Ntim, but he campaigned against Jake anyway.
Q: Is Jake bitter because of this treatment? Ans: No…Jake is not bitter…absolutely not…no no, no, he is not bitter at all. He thinks that you’re looking for a job, you apply for it and that is the grade they give you, you only move on.
Q: Does he feel betrayed?
Ans: I don’t think so…but if you ask me personally I think that yes, Nana Addo’s camp has betrayed Jake. Yes it is a betrayal. This leadership gave Nana Addo a lot of room and all of them worked together and it looked like Nana Addo was the captain of the party when he (Jake) was supposed to be the chairman…he gave him that room but they paid him with the wrong coin that is why I’m sad and I’m saying that Nana Addo’s group stabbed Jake at the back.
Q: As an aide to Jake what role would you play in the party going forward?
Ans: Well I think the buck stops with Nana Addo and he decides the things to do …he still has the support of the rank and file of supporters…this happen but with time you brush it off and you move on.
Q: Don’t you think the people around Nana Addo would not allow Jake and people like you around him going forward?
Ans: Well is for Nana Addo to decide whether he wants to be president or he wants to listen to those around him…is for Nana Addo to decide, the buck stops with Nana Addo. If they’ve misled him and he still wants them to be around him, it is for him to decide. There is one thing being popular in the party and there is one thing Nana Addo having a team of excellent people and experience people who can allow floating voters to vote for you. So if Nana Addo wants to be president then he must begin to asses all those around who gave those funny-funny results that Jake was not popular and that Fred Oware was popular.
Q: Would you say if Nana Addo had supported Jake he could won the election?
Ans: Absolutely…all those who went out that night telling people about Fred Oware if they had thrown their weight behind Jake, Jake could have won and their campaign against Jake for Fred Oware that made the delegates angry and they began analyzing the whole situation …if you say Jake is not good then why Fred Oware or Sir John?
Q: Would you support Paul Afoko?
Ans: oooh why not… the party has decided…I respect the party so I have to work… I have to work with everybody. You must see the bigger picture not yourself.
Q: Is Jake quitting politics?
Ans: No-he is not, he has decided to write a book and that desire I’m aware he has had long ago…that he will write a book so now that he is not the party’s chairman, he has decided to take a break. That does not mean he is quitting politics. He has made it clear that he will support Afoko all day because the bigger picture is 2016 it is not about him being a chairman.