Interesting contest awaits the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the ruling party goes to the polls on Saturday to elect its national officers to steer affairs of the party for the next four years.
The party has scheduled its annual delegates conference for Friday July 6-8, 2018 in Koforidua. It is the highest decision making body of the party followed by the National Council and the National Executive Committee (NEC).
The NPP is undertaking this epoch exercise at a time they are in government. In the 2016 December polls, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was declared winner with an overwhelming margin of victory ever recorded in the Fourth Republican dispensation. The party also won an emphatic victory in the parliamentary elections.
In all, over 6,000 delegates are expected in Koforidua for the three -day event.
So far, the 41 candidates, who have been vetted and certified to contest the various national positions of the party, are traversing the length and breadth of the country canvassing for the votes of the delegates with the hottest contest expected to be the National Chairmanship slot. Three stalwarts of the party are making a stake for the National Chairmanship race with Mr Freddie Worsemao Armah Blay, the acting National Chairman, and Mr Stephen Ayesu Ntim clearly as front runners. Dr Richard Amoako Baah, who is second on the ballot paper,is also upbeat and has declared “With money or no money, I will win the national chairmanship position.”
For the Vice Chairmanship slot, Mr Frank Freduah Antoh, Rita Asobayire and Ken Wuud Nuworsu stand tops to win the three positions at stake. Mr John Boadu and Mr Sammy Awuku also have the edge to win the General Secretary and National Organiser positions respectively.
With the countdown to the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) national delegates conference only two- days away, the national chairmanship race for the NPP has intensified.
As the race heats up, candidates, particularly those contesting for the National Chairmanship slot, are getting all kinds of endorsement from party delegates and executives across the country.
The current acting National Chairman, Mr Freddy Blay, is seeking to become the substantive National Chairman of the party while Mr Stephen Ntim and Dr Richard Amoako Baah are in strong contention.
There is a strong sentiment on the ground that the current leadership that steered the party and led it to victory must as much as possible be maintained going into the 2020 election.
In contrast, there is equally a swelling force of delegates demanding for change, particularly at the national chairmanship level.
Fear delegates mantra?
The question to ask is whether delegates of the NPP will go for continuity and maintain Acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, a National Vice Chairman, FF Antoh, Acting General Secretary, John Boadu and National Youth Organiser now contending for National Organiser, Sammy Awuku or the delegates will vote for Ntim who is touting his key credentials as loyalty and integrity and long service to the party.
Will delegates of the party go for the ‘still maintain’ mantra or it will reward loyalty, long service and proven action and dedication. Once again will the fear delegates mantra prevail?
So far, no report has come out regarding complaints by any aspirant and indications are that, aspirants have spent the past two or more weeks traversing all parts of the country where delegates will be coming from to sell their messages to them.
Know your candidates
For this weekend’s national delegates conference, the aspirants who have been declared eligible to contest the elections are Mr Freddie Worsemawu Blay, Dr Richard Amoako Baah and Stephen Ayesu Ntim for National Chairmanship while Emmanuel Ken Wuud Nuworsu K, Rita Talata Asobayire, Michael Omari Wadie, Vida Agyekum Acheampong, F.F Antoh, George Isaac Amoo and Agnes A. Chigabatia have been cleared to vie for the National Vice Chairmanship slot.
For the General Secretary position, the acting General Secretary, John Boadu, and Richard Ahiagbah will be contesting.
The aspirants for the position of Treasurer are Kwabena Abankwah-Yeboah, Kwabena Oppong Frimpong, Mary Posch-Oduro, Hajia Ruka Ahmed, Abrahim Obeng Amoakohene and Nuhu Bayorbo Mahama.
Sammy Awuku, Tweneboa Kodua Emmanuel and Sulemana A. Sadik Nabicheinga have been cleared for the position of National Organiser.
While for the National Youth Organiser position, Henry Nana Boakye, Kamal-Deen Abdulai, Emmanuel Nana Bediako D. Appiah and Dominic Kwesi Eduah, have been approved.
The National Women’s Organiser aspirants are Kate Gyamefua and Joyce Konokie Zempare.
For the National Nasara Coordinator, those cleared to contest are Abubakari Sulemana, aka Lakulaku, Alhaji Rashid Adam, Ahmed Zaruk Nuhu, Iddrisu Abdulai Dipantiche, Alhaji Shuaibu Musah Sheriff, Baba Gado Ibrahim, Abdul Aziz Haruna Futa, Dauda Abdul Rahman Duodu, Alhaji Aminu Abu, Sulemana Alhassan Atakpo, Abdul-Rahman Diallo, Kazeem Ibrahim, Salihu Yahaya Bo and Ali Suraj.
Last NPP confab
The last time the NPP held its national executive election was in the year 2014 at the Tamale Sports Stadium that saw the election of Paul Afoko as Chairman, Kwabena Agyapong as General Secretary, Otiko Afisah Djaba as Women’s Organiser, and Sammy Awuku as Youth Organiser.
Mr John Boadu, was also elected as the National Organiser while Freddy Blay, Sammy Crabbe and Frank Freduah Antoh were also elected first, second and third Vice Chairmen of the NPP respectively. Kamal Deen Abdulai picked the Nasara Coordinator position.
However, in a major development that rocked leadership of the party and created intense debate sometimes bordering on acrimony within the rank and file of the party, Mr Paul Afoko was accused of acts not in the interest party and that he was working against the chances of then candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo winning the election.
Subsequently, the National Disciplinary Committee of the party, on October 21, 2015 submitted a report to the Executive Committee of the party recommending the indefinite suspension of Mr Afoko as National Chairman.
At its meeting on Friday, October 23, 2015, the National Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the National Disciplinary Committee and subsequently suspended him indefinitely from the position of National Chairman.
Mr Freddie Blay, the First National Chairman, has since been acting as Chairman of the party pending the next election which comes off on Saturday.
Ahead of the Saturday polls, the candidates have been sharing their thoughts with the Daily Graphic on their chances in the election.