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Battle for frontline NDC positions in VR

BY: Victor Kwawukume
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo — National Chairman, NDC
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo — National Chairman, NDC

The elections for the Volta Regional executives of the NDC scheduled for tomorrow will be a test case for the party in its quest to wrest power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 polls.

From its record lowest votes garnered in the 2016 elections, the party must change gears if it wants to make a significant impact, especially at its “World Bank”.

In 1992, the region had 446,365 votes representing 93.2 per cent, that for 1996 was 690,421 representing 94.1 per cent.

In the year 2000, it was 505,614 rated to be 86.28 per cent and in 2004, the figure was 619,043 representing 84.06 per cent, then in 2012, the party had 734,641 in a percentage representation of 85.47 while that of the 2016 poll recorded a figure of 629,398 which is equated to be 80.97 per cent.

With the ebb that placed the party at 80.97 per cent in the 2016 polls which is indicative of its decreasing number of votes in the stronghold of the party, concerns have been raised by interests in the region.

It is for this reason that the contest for the election of new executives tomorrow will primarily be one between old guards and new faces.

But if an impartial analysis of the reasons why the NDC failed to live up to expectations in the 2016 polls is anything to go by, then the so-called stronghold of the party will be faced with a formidable but not a strange menu of choices to make.

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That is because the increasing numbers of new and youthful voters will look forward to engaging with persons that align with their youthfulness.

Contestants

Contesting the position of Regional Chairman are two former deputy regional ministers, Mr Henry Ametefee and Mr Francis Ganyaglo.

Mr Ametefee is also a former Regional Organiser of the party while Mr Ganyaglo is also a former Regional Secretary of the party.

The third contestant is Mr Frank Afriyie, a governance and leadership coach and the youngest among the trio.

The expectation of a good number of people who sympathise with the party is for a rejuvenated front that will be capable of leading a more vociferous campaign for victory in 2020.

However, sentiments on the ground point to the fact that the two former deputy ministers are spent forces who should pave the way for younger and fresh bloods to take up the mantle going into 2020.

Mr Afriyie’s position is that the party, since its inception, managed to harness the experience of the old while employing the dynamism of the youth, however it has failed to create a harmonised system that uses the experiences of the past with emerging trends of reform, renewal and growth.

Similar dynamics

The same dynamics play out in the contest for the Vice Chairmanship position where Mr E.W.K Aklorbortu, Kofi Lawson, George Loh and Alhaji Bubey Dzinadu are vying.

Mr E.W.K Aklorbortu is a former deputy Volta Regional Chairman of the NDC while Alhaji Bubey Dzinadu is a former District Chief Executive (DCE) for the North Tongu District (now Central Tongu) and also elderly.

That leaves two relatively younger persons in the persons of Mr Kofi Lawson, who is a former DCE for the Ketu North District and Mr George Loh, the immediate past Member of Parliament (MP) for North Dayi.

The case against Mr Loh is the fact that after fighting and securing a placement in Parliament, he failed in his commitment to the party at the constituency level that led to his defeat by a young lady.

Ironically, the same lady, Joycelyn Tetteh, 31 years, who displaced him, has been adjudged the ninth best MP according to a recent study by two senior lecturers of the University of Ghana thereby leading to questions as to what he had to offer at the regional level.

But more importantly, the battle to wrest power from the NPP would not come on a silver platter and with the looming threat of disengagement from the party by the youth who might have to confront old guards, the battle for the frontline positions of the NDC in the Volta Region would be a test of its ability to withstand the scare of another defeat or otherwise.