All is set for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to hold regional elections across the country from today April 21 to 24 to elect regional officers to steer the affairs of the party in the regions.
The regional elections when completed will pave the way for the national elections of the party to elect national officers to take the party to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary polls.
Greater Accra Region
Barring any last-minute injunction, Abdul Aziz reports that three NPP stalwarts in the Greater Accra Region are slotting it out for the topmost position of regional chairman of the party.
They are Mr Divine Agatumi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Water, Mr Alfred Boye, the Operations Manager of Mahindri Company, and Archibold Cobbina, the Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
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The fourth person, Mr George Amoo, filed to contest the regional chairmanship position but stepped down during vetting period.
He explained to the Daily Graphic in an interview that it was to enable him to contest the national election, considering his experience as an elderly politician.
Regional executive positions
As at the close of nomination, 56 aspirants had filed their nominations to slot it out for the various regional executive positions.
Kwame Baffoe, aka Abronye DC
The positions are chairman, first vice chairman, second vice chairman, secretary, assistant secretary, organiser, treasurer, women organiser, youth organiser and NASARA coordinator.
Nominations were opened on Monday, March 20, 2018 and closed on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
Before the close of nominations last Saturday, regional aspirants of the party were seen making frantic efforts and skirmishes to file their nominations, some amid drumming and dancing.
Donald Ato Dapatem reports from Kumasi that the incumbent Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, will contest the party’s regional primaries unopposed after his close contender, Mr Robert Asare-Bediako, decided to opt out of the race about two weeks to the election.
Thomas Adu Appiah
When it was initially rumoured that Mr Asare-Bediako, who has been the Asokwa Chairman for over two decades, had stepped down, he denied the claims but less than a week later, he came out to confirm that he had opted out of the race.
The National Officer in charge of the Ashanti Region election, Mr F.F. Antoh, confirmed the withdrawal of Mr Asare-Bediako to the Daily Graphic and said all was set for the 800 delegates to converge on the Ejura Agriculture College to elect regional officers who would steer affairs of the party for another resounding victory in 2020.
Chairman Wontumi, who is credited with leading the party to victory and increasing both popular votes and parliamentary seats in 2016, is also building a huge regional edifice to be used to honour the memory of Nana Baffuor Akoto, one of the leading party figures in the region who has passed on to glory.
Mr Antoh told the Daily Graphic that all was set for the elections which would be addressed by some leading members of the party and government officials, adding that the contest would be used to once again exhibit the unity and readiness of the party to win the 2020 election by a large margin.
Horace Ekow Ewusi
He said the party had completed all arrangements with the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure a free, fair and transparent internal regional election.
Timothy Gobah reports that recent polls conducted by Africa Firm for Survey and Research (AFSUR), led by Dr Ibrahim Musah Irbard that projected Mr Robert Kutin Jnr polling 70 per cent of total votes to win the chairmanship race of the NPP in the Central Region has sent tongues wagging in the already-heated campaign in the region.
The accuracy of the report will thus be determinated when the region holds its Regional Delegates Conference at Kasoa in the Central Region.
According to the survey, the Regional First Vice Chairman position was being led by Horace Ekow Ewusi with 99 of the polls, constituting 43 per cent.
The survey which was conducted in all 23 constituencies in the region solicited responses from a total sample of 230 people, made up of 10 executive members from each constituency.
The AFSUR survey further revealed that eight out of the nine candidates in Chairman Kutin’s team were highly projected to win their respective regional positions.
Brong Ahafo Region
Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah reports from Sunyani that 31 people filed their nominations to contest the 10 positions in the upcoming NPP regional elections in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The stage is, therefore, set for a keen contest with all the 31 contestants already criss-crossing the entire region to canvass for votes for the elections today, Saturday, April 23, 2018.
Out of the 31 contestants, it is only Rashid Konlanbiq, the incumbent Regional Organiser, who is seeking to renew his mandate without any challenge.
The chairmanship position is expected to be hotly contested with two people, Francis Opoku Sarfo (aka Chairman Jerry) and Dr Charles Addo, filling their nominations to challenge the incumbent Regional Chairman, Mr Francis Adu Appiah.
If there is any position which will be keenly vied for in the contest, then it is the first vice chairman, which attracted the nominations of five people.
Visible among the five contestants are the incumbent Regional Youth Organiser, Kwame Baffoe, alias Abronye DC. The rest are Dr Emmanuel Opoku-Marfo, Patrick Peprah Appiagyei, Dabie Appiah-Mensah and Shaibu Bamba.
The second vice chairmanship position is being contested by incumbent Josepha Mensah and his only challenger, Ms Jastina Owusu Banahene, while the incumbent Regional Secretary, Kofi Ofosu Boateng, is being challenged by Davis Boakye and John Nketiah.
Upper East Region
Vincent Amenuveve reports from Bolgatanga that barring any hitches, delegates of the NPP in the Upper East Region will on Saturday, April 21, 2018 vote for 52 aspirants who are vying for 10 executive positions of the party. There are seven female contestants in the race.
Already the various aspirants have hit the ground running with serious campaigns to attract the over 300 voters in the region. The municipality, particularly the NPP regional office located on the commercial street, is awash with various posters of the aspirants; including the Notice of Polls ahead of the election, while the aspirants have also pasted their campaign posters on their vehicles. The aspirants are busy criss-crossing the region, and its capital Bolgatanga is buzzing with political activities.
Some of the aspirants have formed campaign teams and are busy working on the ground, while others are using various radio stations to highlight their respective visions for the party.
The vetting committee completed its work on March 29, 2018, paving the way for the aspirants to slug it out come April 21, 2018.
Samuel Doudu reports from Tamale that the race for the Northern Regional chairmanship position of the NPP has switched into higher gear as the five candidates who sailed through the vetting process of the party intensified their campaign across the length and breadth of the region.
The incumbent Northern Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Daniel Bugri Naabu has his banners and posters hoisted and pasted respectively at vantage points in the Tamale metropolis with a new name Abdul Fatawu Bugri Naabu.
According to an aide of Mr Bugri Naabu, the name Abdul Fatawu had been there since he switched from Christianity to the Islamic religion some years back and, therefore, the name was not new.
Although Mr Bugri Naabu enjoyed a lot of popularity among NPP supporters and sympathisers across the region, he has four other strong personalities in the region coming against him in the upcoming regional election.