Contest for NPP Bono Chairman position: Rasheed challenges Abronye
Electing the right people to lead the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Bono Region to reclaim its lost seats will be at the centre of the party’s regional delegates conference on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
With a commanding 11 out the 12 parliamentary seats it had from the 2016 election, the NPP lost five seats and ended up with only six during the 2020 general election.
What worsened the party’s plight was when it lost the Wenchi seat which was once held by the Prime Minister of the Second Republic, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, a doyen of the NPP tradition.
Currently, the NPP holds the Sunyani East, Sunyani West, Berekum East, Berekum West, Dormaa Central and the Dormaa East seats while, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) holds the Jaman South, Jaman North, Banda, Tain, Wenchi and Dormaa West seats.
In the 2020 presidential election, the NPP garnered a total of 292,604 votes as against the NDC's 203,373 and the party is hoping to improve on this performance in 2024.
Thus, many people have shown interest in the regional executive elections to ensure that the right people are elected to champion the agenda of the party in the region.
One of the positions to be keenly contested for will be the chairmanship where the incumbent Bono Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye is being challenged by the incumbent Regional Organiser, Konlaabig Rasheed.
In addition, the incumbent Regional Secretary, Mr Kofi Boateng, is being challenged by two others, namely Franklin Osei-Antwi and Ebenezer Asare-Baffuor.
All the other incumbents who are seeking re-election are being challenged in an election which is expected to be fiercely contested.
The atmosphere in the region is calm as the various candidates criss-cross the 12 constituencies to sell their messages to the delegates.
There are no billboards as the candidates are using radio to discuss their messages, while also displaying their messages and pictures on social media.
About 324 delegates are expected to gather at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Sunyani for the regional delegates conference with the election as the main agenda.
The maverick incumbent chairman, Mr Baffoe, from obscurity as a serial caller, has become a household name in the NPP in particular and the country in general.
He emerged from the 2016 general election a hero because of how vocal he was in championing the cause of the NPP.
As a former youth organiser of the party, he was able to mobilise the youth in the region and ensured that the erstwhile Brong Ahafo Region garnered massive votes for his party in 2016.
It was, therefore, not surprising that when he vied for the position as a vice-chairman with four others before the then Brong Ahafo Region, he beat them all.
When the Bono East and Ahafo regions were created and the remaining area was named Bono Region, Mr Baffoe, who was the first Regional Vice Chairman automatically became the regional chairman for Bono.
Supporters of Abronye are convinced that he will emerge victorious in the contest, saying his contributions to the party not only in the region but throughout the country is his trump card.
However, his critics fault him for the loss of five seats to the NDC during the 2020 general election.
They see him as a young man incapable of leading the NPP in the region.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the incumbent Bono Regional Organiser, Rasheed Konlaabig has filed to challenge him.
Mr Konlaabig's message centres on his slogan: "New vision, New direction, The right person, At the right time, For the right reason".