The newly elected Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, says his election to the new role, like that of others who were successful in their bid, is a call to duty to lead the party to success in 2024.
He said the overwhelming endorsement from the delegates was a great responsibility which could not be taken for granted, saying it required the support of all to execute the ultimate plan of returning the party to power.
He thus called for unity, emphasising that the losers should also see their loss as a call by the party faithful to serve in other capacities.
“We are not taking the confidence for granted. Ghana is in crisis and the NDC is also at the crossroads. What we need is unity; we pledge that, on my own behalf and on behalf of the new executives.
“Our first assignment is to work to unite the party and bring everybody on board, even as we march forward to defeat the Elephant and set the nation on the path of progress and prosperity again.
“The path will not be smooth, but we will sacrifice to ensure that we succeed. We are prepared to sacrifice everything, including our lives, to achieve victory,” Mr Asiedu Nketiah said in his acceptance speech after he had emerged victorious in the chairmanship contest at the congress held at the Accra Sports Stadium last Saturday.
Elections, landslide victories
The 65-year-old chairman, popularly known as General Mosquito, who, for 17 years, was the party’s General Secretary, challenged the incumbent Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, in what was deemed a two-horse race from the onset, despite having two other opponents — a former Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashitey, and a former Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Yaw Adusei.
When the votes were cast and the results declared by an official of the Electoral Commission, it was a landslide victory for the new chairman, as he garnered a whopping 5,569 votes, against Mr Ampofo’s 2,892.
Mr Adusei and Mr Ashitey secured 52 and 38 votes, respectively.
There was yet another landslide victory in the second most hotly contested election to choose a new General Secretary, with a former Minister and MP for Ketu South, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, clinching the new role with a staggering 4,543 votes over the current Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, and the incumbent Deputy General Secretary, Dr Peter Boamah Otokunor, who had 1,408 and 2,595 votes, respectively.
About 9,000 delegates voted to fill eight national executive positions, which were contested by 81 candidates.
Apart from the National Chairman and the General Secretary, the delegates also voted to select the First, Second and Third National Vice-chairpersons, a Deputy General Secretary, a National Organiser and a Deputy National Organiser.
Staying the course
Mr Asiedu Nketiah said his call for unity and to duty was because they had a charge to fight impunity, indicating that “wherever impunity becomes law, resistance becomes a duty”.
“Looking at the array of executives elected today, I have no doubt the party wants us to carry the battle to the Elephant. We cannot let the party down,” he said.
Ahead of the polls, the former General Secretary had bade farewell to his members and urged all to forgive any transgressions that might have emanated from his office while serving as the chief scribe.
“Let me say a word of farewell to you as I step down today as your General Secretary, having served in that position for the past 17 years. I thank you for your cooperation and thank everybody. Those I’ve offended, may the Lord touch your hearts to forgive me. The credit I’ve made so far is shared and attributed to the foot soldiers of this country and this party,” he said.
Voting to elect the national executive started around 6 p.m. last Saturday and ran into the next morning, as had been anticipated.
About 9,000 delegates from all four corners of the country cast their ballots, one at a time.
As a result, there were long queues at the entry points to the voting arena, as crowds of delegates surged to exercise their mandate.
Other elected executives
Three persons were elected to the vice-chairman positions — Abanga Yakubu Alhassan (864), Dr Sherry Ayittey (1,820) and Awudu Sofo Azourka (2,757).
The results for the others were: Sherif Abdul-Nasiru, 787; Seth Ofori Ohene, 355; Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho, 832; Alhaji Habibu Adramani, 817, and Evelyn Enyonam Mensah, 331.
For the Deputy General Secretary position, two persons — Barbara Serwaa Asamoah (3,834 votes) and Gbande Foyo Mustapha (1,861 votes) — were elected.
The other contenders were: Francis Lame Guribe (324), Catherine Deynu (652), Kwame Zu (1,717), Bradi Paul Opata (62) and Evans Amoo (83).
The National Organiser contest saw Joseph Yammin beating the incumbent, Joshua Hamidu Akamba.
Mr Yammin polled 3,730 votes, as against 2,035 by Mr Akamba.
The results for the others were Henry Osei Akoto, 158; Mahdi Mohammed Gibrill, 535; Sidii Abubakari, 657; Solomon Yaw Nkansah, 302, and Chief Hamilton Biney Nixon, 1,173
In the Deputy National Organiser contest, Kobby Barlon and Elikem Eric Kevin Kwame Kotoko recorded 4,700 and 1,815 votes, respectively, to win.
Habib Mohammed Tahiru and Alhaji Yaw Kundow polled 953 and 1,053 votes, respectively.
The Communications Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, however, went unopposed.
Two persons were elected Deputy Communications officers — Godwin Ako Gunn (2,163) and Malik Basintale (3,388).
The other contestants were Adongo Atule Jacob (614), Kwaku Boahen Anthony (1,138) and Mohammed Naziru (758).
In the Zongo Caucus Coordinator contest, Mamah Mohammed Cole Younger emerged winner with 2,706 votes.
Others were Abass Zulkarnain Kambari (625), Alhaji Babanlamie Abu Sadat (1,748), Abdul-Aziz Mohammed (1,819) and Yakubu Mahmud Mudi (1,530).