Interesting contests lie ahead of members and supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as they go to the polls in July to elect national officers to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years.
Five stalwarts of the party are gunning for the topmost position of national chairman of the party.
They are Mr Freddie Blay, current acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Abdul-Rahman (alias Alhaji Short) who is the immediate past Upper West Regional Chairman of the party; Stephen Ayesu Ntim, a former national vice chairman and long-standing contestant for the chairmanship position; Dr Amoako Baah, a lecturer, and David Amankwah Boadu.
The suspended Second National Vice Chairman of the party, Mr Sammy Crabbe, who had declared his intention to contest the position of national chairman, later rescinded his decision.
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At the close of nominations last Thursday, a total of 46 aspirants had picked their forms to contest various positions of the party
National vice chairman
Eight aspirants, including the incumbent, Fredrick Fredua Antoh, (aka F.F. Antoh) Ken-Wuud Noworsu, Agnes Chigabatia, Rita Talata Asobayire (a former National Women’s Organiser), George Isaac Amoo, Vida Agyekum Acheampong and Michael Omari Wadie, are slugging it out for the first, second and third vice chairperson positions.
For the General Secretary slot, the acting General Secretary, Mr John Boadu, and Mr Richard Ahiagbah, a member of the NPP communication team in the United States (US), are slugging it out.
The incumbent National Youth Organiser, Sammy Awuku, (aka ‘Boys Abre) has two other contenders: Nana Bediako and Sadik Nabichienga, gunning for the position of national organiser.
Six aspirants are vying for the national youth organiser position, namely Mr Dominic Eduah, Nana Bediako, Nana Boakye (Nana B), Kamal Deen Abdulai; Bright Essilfie Kumi and Abdul Ganiyu Alhassan, while the national women organiser slot (left by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba) will be a straight fight between Kate Gyamfua and Joyce Konokie Zemparie.
For the position of national treasurer, incumbent Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah will slug it out with Abraham Obeng Amoakohene, Nuhu Bayorbo Mahama, Mary Posch Oduroand Saida Ruka Ahmed.
Fourteen aspirants are also contesting the NASARA coordinator position. They include Abubakari Sulemana, aka Lakulaku, a former Nasara Coordinator; Alhaji Rashid Adam, Alhaji Ahmed Zaruk Nuhu, Alhaji Shumbu Musah Shariff, Abdul Aziz Harunafuta of Accra Hearts of Oak FC fame, Baba Gado Ibrahim; Alhaji Salihu Yahaya Bo, Sulemana Alhassan Atakpo and Ali Suraj.
The nominations which opened on May 3 closed on May 10, 2018 and the submission of forms to the National Elections Committee is expected to be done not later than Tuesday, May 15.
Aspirants paid a non-refundable application fee of GH¢10,000 for the national chairman position, vice chairman - GH¢8,000, general secretary - GH¢6,000, special organs such as women organiser and NASARA coordinator will pay GH¢3,000, while all other positions paid GH¢5,000.
National Elections Committee
A five-member committee, comprises Rev. Prof. Samuel Asante- Antwi (Chairman), Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Madam Agnes Okudzeto (former National Third Vice Chairperson), Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP for Ablekuma West) and Evans Nimako (acting Director of Research and Elections), has been put in place to oversee the conduct of the national elections.
The election has been rescheduled for July 7, 2018 in Koforidua. It had earlier been fixed for June 17, 2018, which coincided with the celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid Ul-Fitr.
Already, the NPP has successfully conducted its polling station, constituency and regional elections.
Once the national elections are over, the party will then shift focus to who leads them into the 2020 election. If President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo decides to seek his second term in office, then he is likely to go unopposed.