Ntim’s perseverance worthy of emulation
Stephen Ntim, the newly elected National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), is my man of the moment. After eyeing the NPP chairmanship for 20 years, Mr Ntim has finally won his heart’s desire.
His perseverance alone is inspiring and a subject for study by all, especially the youth of today. He is what I will call a perfect example of “hard work pays” and an embodiment of the motto of my alma mater, St Augustine’s College, “Omnia Vincit Labor” which translates “Perseverance Conquers Victory”.
The Ntim story is one that needs to be told over and over again. This is because many of us will easily give up having failed so many times to realise our dreams and loyalty to a cause.
Trial and error
In 2005, he contested the then incumbent, Haruna Esseku, and Peter Mac Manu. At the eve of the election, Mr Esseku withdrew from the contest, leaving him and Mac Manu. Mac Manu won the contest with 711 votes while Ntim polled 635 votes.
Mr Ntim attempted the chairmanship slot again in 2010. This time around, he contested four other candidates — Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Sammy Crabbe, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby and Felix Kwasi Owusu Adjapong. He lost again to Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey who polled 2,030 votes. Ntim polled 1,804 votes while Sammy Crabbe, Dr Wereko-Brobby and Felix Owusu Adjapong polled 43, 29, and 25 votes respectively.
Desirous of becoming the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Ntim attempted the chairmanship slot for the third time in 2014. He contested three other candidates, including the then incumbent, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. The other contestants were Paul Afoko and Fred Oware. He lost this one too. Mr Paul Afoko won the contest with 2,032 votes. Mr Ntim polled 1,500 votes while the incumbent, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Fred Oware polled 66 and 1,135 votes respectively.
Not perturbed by the various defeats in the chairmanship race, Mr Ntim contested the slot for the fourth time in 2018, with two other candidates — the then acting Chairman, Freddie Blay, and Dr Richard Amoako Baah. As fate would have it, he lost it again to Mr Blay. Mr Blay polled 3,021 votes to defeat the 2,515 and 18 votes of Mr Ntim and Dr Amoako Baah respectively.
Mr Ntim, who had won the second position in his bid to win the chairman position on four consecutive times, won it on his fifth attempt with 4,014 votes, beating his closest competitor, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, by a whopping 3,004 votes. The other five chairmanship contestants — George Kwabena Abankwah-Yeboah, Gifty Asantewa Ayeh, aka Daavi Ama, Sammy Crabbe, Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi and Akwasi Osei-Adjei — had respective votes of 294, 44, 32, 101 and 20.
Contests and quotes
For Ntim “I have always put the interest of the party before all considerations and I will not indulge in any activity that will mar the image of the party and or that of any member of the party,” he declared ahead of the 2005 elections.
“It is strictly Ntim for Chairman when it comes to neutrality of my candidature and I’m prepared to work with anybody chosen to be a member of the NPP national executive position or the flag bearer of the party,” he said ahead of the 2010 election.
Accepting the results of the 2018 elections, Mr Ntim further stated that even though it was unfortunate that he had not been successful for the fourth time, that would not affect his loyalty to the party.
"I need to do research. Every action that I take is based on research findings; that is what I am going to rely on," Mr Ntim stated in response to a question posed by the media as to whether or not he would run again, after losing to Mr Blay.
Despite all the electoral setbacks spanning almost two decades, Mr Ntim still did not give up on his ambition to lead the NPP and constantly pledged his support and loyalty to the NPP.
Lo and behold in 2022, at the party’s National Delegates Conference held in Accra, his long cherished dream came to pass.
He finally became chairman when he won by a landslide, beating his closest competitor, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, with a whopping 4,014 out of over 6,000 votes.
It therefore came as no surprise when in his victory speech he said he would cherish the chairmanship of the party such that it would become enviable for anybody in the party to aspire to.
“After 20 years of wandering in the wilderness before getting this far, I am going to cherish the chairmanship, I will value the chairman position and I will make sure that it remains enviable,” he declared.
What's the moral lesson in this Ntim story? It is obvious that patience, loyalty to a cause, biding your time, sacrifice, are the virtues to uphold in life. Also, success will not always come easy but with perseverance and hard work eventually success will come and if it does it will be emphatic as it happened in the case of Ntim. Some have described it as sympathy votes. But sympathy or not, this feat achieved by Ntim cannot be described as ordinary. It is really a feat worth emulating.
After all, Ntim’s show of not giving up against all odds is very inspiring. He did not see his falls as failures but remained focused and loyal to a cause, worked hard it to achieve the ultimate good end.
Now that he is national chairman of the ruling party, there is the wise saying “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. He needs to rise up to the challenge. As a long-standing member of the NPP and before eyeing the position of National Chairman, serving as the party's first Vice National Chairman between 2001 and 2005, Ntim needs to be more humble, bearing in mind that he does not know it all. As a leader he must endeavour to build consensus.
Ghana is for all of us and in the supreme interest of the country and his party, he must encourage more dialogue. It will not come easy as a leader. Indeed, leadership is a difficult position which comes with many interferences and influences.
But if Ntim thinks of Ghana first and party and work to build a nation of truth and integrity, as well as harness the time, talent and treasure from all, he will succeed eventually.