With the dust barely settled on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) polling stations elections, one more heavy weight has come forward to stake his claims for the National Chairman position.
The new entrant is Alhaji Abubakari Abdul-Rahman, affectionately known as Alhaji Short, who has stated that he is poised to win the contest to provide the exemplary leadership that will connect with the people at the grassroots level.
Despite the scramble for what may appear as auxiliary positions up to the constituency level, it is the race for the National Chairman position, mainly considered as the embodiment of the party, that is gaining a lot of currency.
This brings to four the number of heavyweights that have expressed their willingnesss to contest the chairmanship slot
The first three to declare are the former First Vice Chairman of the party and a founder member, Mr Stephen Ayensu Ntim, the acting Chairman, Mr Freddy Blay and a new entrant, Dr Richard Amoako Baah.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman shared his thoughts, his political experience and vision for the party and why he thought he was the best suited and preferred candidate to occupy the National Chairman seat.
He explained that when given the mandate to chair the party, he would provide a strong party leadership at the top which was needed to plan and execute the party’s activities on the ground more effectively.
"We need the right party leadership to effectively address party issues and engage our partners and associates abroad as required," he stated, adding: "we need to seize the opportunity to reach out to our NPP associate sympathisers who voted massively for us and bring them on board by giving them membership cards and involving them directly in our party activities", he asserted.
Alhaji Short noted that to achieve results, a party-government collaboration should not only remain at the top. As the national chair, he would work to achieve massive grassroots mobilisation to a level never experienced before in the party circles.
He stated that he would work with all the elected executive members right from the polling station level to the regional to double the size of NPP's membership at the grassroots, as part of a nationwide membership drive intended to capitalise on the party’s broad appeal.
"As a grassroots person, I have the requisite grassroots temperament and experience to address the grassroots problems facing the NPP", stated Alhaji Short, who also said he was very passionate about the philosophy and ideals of the NPP. The candidate also promised that he would provide the necessary party leadership as envisaged by the founding fathers of the party, while remaining true to its centre right liberal conservative values and cooperating closely with its sister parties around the world.
Touting his credentials as the most credible person to occupy the chairmanship position of the NPP, Alhaji Short said he was the Upper West Regional Chairman of the party in the 2016 elections, where he was able to marshal resources to ensure the success of the NPP in the region, which is considered the second most loyal stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Alhaji Short has an immense leadership acumen that exemplifies his role as the ‘Dean of Chairmen’ within the NPP. This title is not an empty designation; it is a dual role that carries the weighty responsibility of being a liaison between regional chairmen in addition to acting as their spokesperson. And, for what it’s worth, Alhaji Short's role as a member of the disciplinary committee, which sailed the troubled ship safely ashore during the 2016 election, is ample testimony to his mettle as the leader needed in challenging times as well as in normal situations.
According to a member of the party: "While others come into this race on the basis of a wobbly loyalty and being a previous candidate, this splendid grassroots man comes with the best possible credentials - solid, hands-on, fresh-off-the-field, in-house experience, and a track record of selfless service, unalloyed loyalty, and dedication to the cause of the NPP spanning the life cycle of the party.”
"If the NPP is looking to raise its stock, so to speak, it should be quick to choose this man as its National Chairman. The profile of Alhaji Short fits the bill and the NPP has its man," the member concluded.
His supporters believe he is the best person to lead the party as he has served from the local and community level, to the regional and now the national stage. They believe his experience, spanning all the various hierarchies of the party structure, has given him a firm grasp of the party’s essence, ethos and workings thus making him a formidable candidate. They are confident that Alhaji Short has the expertise, the know-how and the experience to bring everyone on board to solidify and cement the NPP’s presence on the ground and position the party as an unbeatable political machine capable of winning every election in the present day political environment.