An aspiring Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Odeneho Kwaku Appiah (popularly known as COKA), has stated that the party requires a new direction and leadership to restore it to its status as a formidable force.
He stated that although the party had been winning the popular votes in the Ashanti Region, its performance had been declining over the years while that of the main opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had been increasing.
Using the figures of the last two general elections as a test case, Mr Appiah said the NPP polled a total of 75 per cent of the total votes in 2016 presidential elections and decreased to 72 per cent in the 2020 election.
During the same period, he said the NDC improved its performance from 23 per cent to 26 per cent and so he was of the view that something was not going right and called for a change in attitude towards party activities.
Odeneho Appiah stated this in an interview with the media in Kumasi to publicly announce his intention to contest the Ashanti Regional chairmanship of the party.
With the dwindling numbers of the party at the polls in the region, he gave an assurance that he would move into action and bring all party members together under one umbrella to tackle the battle ahead.
He said for the party to retain power and break the eight, there was the need to change the current leadership of the party and replace it with a new one with the zeal and purpose to help the party achieve its objective.
Under his leadership as regional chairman, he said, there would be the need to adopt new strategies which should translate into the kind of leaders the party would elect even at the national level to run the affairs to “break the eight” as it desired to.
He observed that some of the things that happened during the last constituency primaries affected voter turnout in the December 2020 election.
He said a whopping 517,000 registered voters did not turn out to cast their ballot and added that there was the need to get all those registered voters to come out during election time to vote.
According to him, the number of people who did not turn out to vote in the last election in the region were more than the voter population of the Savannah and North East Regions combined.
He wondered how that large number of voters did not turn out to vote when the voter registration was done just three months before the polls.
According to him, the party ought to pay serious attention to some of the things and ensure that everyone was brought to table to help in maintaining the party in power.
Odeneho Appiah, who is currently the Afigya Kwabre South Constituency Chairman of the NPP, said democracy “is about numbers and we do not have to sideline anyone.”
Aside from voter apathy which he identified as affecting the party, he said former party executives who had finished serving their terms “do not get involved in party activities anymore. We do not have to allow them ‘waste’ away. We need to bring all of them together to contribute their ideas and resources to move the party forward,” he said.
Odeneho Appiah said he would reach out to all those who felt abandoned in one way or the other and bring everybody together and unite the party for victory.