Diasporian News of 2014-01-15

The NPP-USA Congress

The NPP-USA Congress
Guided by article 4.2 of the by-laws of NPP-USA, the USA fraternity of the “Great Kukurudu” party gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina to uphold the spirit and letter of the stated by-law provision. The branch was therefore mandated to elect new executives and table out its financial report among others. The congress was held under the theme “Unifying the Party and Empowering the People to Secure Victory”

As early as 10:00am of Friday, 10th of January 2014, members of NPP-USA from most of the states started arriving at the Embassy Suites in Charlotte, North Carolina. The energy and enthusiasm with which members showed up were encouraging. However, there was some level of anxiety hanging in the thick cloud, since delegates were anxious for the outcome of the electronic voting started three days earlier, which were yet to be announced. Those who traveled from hundreds of miles went into slumber after checking in, whiles others hang around at the lobby of the suite to socialize and exchange pleasantries.

At about 8:00pm on the day of arrival, a “welcome dinner” was ready at the residence of the chairman of the organizing chapter, Mr. Fred Kyei Asamoah. It was fun. We had enough to eat and drink.

On the next day, the 11th of January, the real business began. Whiles breakfast was ongoing amidst registration and networking at the suite’s cafeteria, the congress hall was set for the business of the day.

After Christian and Muslim prayers from Rev. Emmanuel Boakye-Yiaom and Ali Suraj respectively, the Charlotte chapter chair, and 1st Vice Chairman-elect, Fred Kyei Asamoah delivered the welcome address. He welcomed members to the Queen City, and reiterated his commitment to work assiduously with his team to make the congress a success. Thereafter, NPP-USA chapter chairpersons took the stage to relay greetings and well wishes from their various chapters to delegates under the moderation of Prince Adjei, Vice Chairman of the Charlotte Chapter.

Chairman Nana Agyei espoused the conference theme, purpose and expectations, briefly.

After an hour break, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong took to the podium and spoke about one of the themes for the congress “Unifying the Party”. He iterated the need for party members to be honest to each other to avoid unnecessary antagonism. He called on members to desist from factionalism, and choose leaders based on competence. Amponsah Stonash added some more to what Hon. Ken said about the theme.

Hon. Adwoa Safo talked about “Empowering the People”. Her delivery was superb. She called on delegates to join forces with the mother party, and help in the development of various structures of the party. After her presentation, Dr. Afua Sarkodie-Mensah, the NPP-USA Women Organizer also took turn, briefly, to talk about “Empowering the women” while James Owusu, the then Youth Organizer, took his turn to talk about “Empowering the Youth”.

Next to the take the podium were Prof Kwaku Asare and Kwaku Amoo Asante who talked about the theme “Securing Victory”. They delivered an excellent and stimulating presentation to the delegates that triggered spontaneous standing ovation. Prof. Asare’s power point presentation was superb. In all these presentations, there was a question and answer section that was moderated by Dr. Kofi Nsia-Pepra.

Congress took a break. And NPP-USA business commenced thereafter.

Dr. Phillip Bannor, the then General Secretary of the branch took the stage to highlight some of the activities and achievement of NPP-USA in the US, whiles the Chairman, Nana Agyei-Yeboah highlighted some of the activities and achievement of the branch in Ghana.

In his keynote address, Dr Bawumia, the guest speaker delivered a very sterling and captivating speech with the title “MINI SANE”? “WULA?” “AD3N”? WHY ARE WE STILL IN FIRST GEAR AFTER FIVE YEARS OF NDC GOVERNANCE?” He bemoaned the high import duties aimed at increasing revenue but not growth and production, and which eventually makes Ghana less competitive globally. He said the rationale for high import duties in Ghana is primarily to raise revenue and not to support production.

Dr. Bawumia said government's over reliance on import duties for revenue only serves to increase the cost of doing business and discourage production saying; "the NPP’s view as reflected in our 2012 manifesto is that tariff policy should be guided by lowering the cost of living and increasing production and productivity".

Pulsing some reflections on the historical Supreme court petition, he intimated that ''you are all living witnesses that we assembled the best document and had the best lawyers, our arguments were well coordinated and well delivered, we told the judges that the entire elections were fraught with malpractices but in the end what was the outcome...? It tells us that the court is certainly not the option for victory!” He had a resounding applaud from the delegates when he brought his speech to an end.

Going forward, Mr. Augustine Blay, Head of IT Team of the branch, and Joe Anokye took the delegates through the efforts the branch played in the wake of the historic Supreme Court petition. It was revealing. Barima Boadi-Amponing, the national treasurer, took delegates through the branch’s financial report.

Then the time for the announcement of the national executive elections results came. As natural as it was, people sympathizing with the contesting parties got anxious. The atmosphere in the hall was tensed up. Finally the results came in, and it was as follows:

Chairman
Nana Agyei-Yeboah – 206 votes – representing 57%
Dr. Phillip Bannor – 150 votes – representing 41%
Mr. Konongo Fordjour – 8 votes – representing 2%

1st Vice Chairman
Mr. Fred Asamoah – 176 votes – representing 48%
Mr. Isaac Fosu – 97 votes – representing 26%
Mr. Kwabena Kyei-Aboagye – 94 votes – representing 26%

Secretary
Dr. Kofi Nsia-Pepra – 127 votes – representing 35%
Ms. Tina Abrefa Gyan – 88 votes – representing 24%
Mr. Augustine Agbenaza – 152 votes – representing 41%

Treasurer
Dr. Kwasi Ayim-Darko – 160 votes – representing 44%
Mr. Collins Nuamah – 207 votes – representing 56%

Spontaneous jubilation filled the congress hall. Dr. Bawumia swore in the newly elected executives. Dr. Bannor who failed in his bid to unseat the chairman, accepted his defeat and promised to work with the new executives for the development of the branch. In furtherance of this, Nana Agyei-Yeboah, who has been re-elected read his acceptance speech and called on all parties to join hands to make NPP-USA branch a formidable force than never before. He pledged his commitment to run a transparent and all-inclusive administration. He said his doors are opened to all at any time. Notably, delegates were also excited about the victory of Mr. Agbenaza who was then the deputy Sec. They embraced the ethnic balance of the frontline executive members. Mr. Agbenaza’s victory justified the fact that the positions in the NPP is opened to all without regard to religion, ethnic, social or economic background.

The fundraising event which was emceed by Hon. Kennedy Agyapong turned out to be very successful and unprecedented in the history of NPP-USA congresses. The outcome was fantastic. The excited and rejuvenated members raised $21,000 that night, clear testimony of NPP-USA’s confidence in Nana Agyei Yeboah’s leadership.

Members danced to the victory of elected members, till deep in the night when one can no more stand on his feet.

Dignitaries from Ghana who graced the Congress include Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Hon. Kennedy Agyepong, Hon. Adwoa Safo, Hon Hawa Koomson, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, Mr. Omari Wadie, and Dr. Arthur Kennedy. The NPP-USA fraternity wishes to express its profound gratitude to the invited guest and its members who took sometimes off their busy schedules to be part of history in Charlotte, NC.

In all, the 2014 NPP-USA congress was very successful.



Signed:

Amponsah Stonash

Deputy Communications Director, NPP-USASource: Amponsah Stonash
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