Haruna Esseku - New NPP Chairman.
MR Harona Esseku, a Minister of State in the Second Republic, last Saturday chalked a decisive victory to succeed Mr Samuel Odoi-Sykes as the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
After a marathon voting session lasting more than five hours at the party’s national delegates congress at the University of Ghana in Accra, the Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Safo Kantanka, declared Mr Esseku, the pre-election favourite, the winner for the position of National Chairman of the NPP.
He polled 348 votes to beat his closest rival, Major John Addai Duah (rtd), who secured 61 votes , while Mr Mohammed Musah settled for 22 votes.
Before the conduct of the elections, the contestants for the various positions addressed the delegates, outlining their respective vision for the development of the NPP.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Esseku, who was the deputy campaign manager of President John Agyekum Kufuor in the 2000 presidential election, thanked the delegates for giving him the mandate and opportunity to manage the party for the next two years.
He pledged to reactivate the structures of the party and place the party on a sound footing in preparation for the 2004 general elections.
Mr Esseku said he would strive during his term of office to improve the finances as well as the human resource base of the party.
In the other elections, Mr Michael Dugan polled 269 votes to win the position of National Treasurer, beating the other contestants, Messrs Kwesi Arthur, 132 votes; Samuel Nii Adjei Tawiah, 18, and Dr Branford Ekow Ansah, 14, in that order.
Mr Lord Commey was elected as the new National Organiser with 210 votes, beating Alhaji Sulemana Yeremia, the pre-election favourite who polled 183 votes, and Mr Mustapha Abdul Hamid who had 38 votes.
The delegates also elected Mr Stephen Ayensu Ntim, Mrs Agnes Okudzeto and Mr Edmund Annan as the First, Second and Third Vice-Chairperson respectively.
Mr Dan Botwe was returned unopposed as General Secretary.
In an earlier address to the delegates, Mr Dan Botwe cautioned functionaries of the party not to allow complacency to creep into their ranks since that would not augur well for the party’s bid to seek re-election in the 2004 polls.
“ After rising up to the challenge of adversity and life in opposition, we should be careful not to fall into complacency of victory and life in government,” he said.
According to Mr Botwe, “as children of history,” the NPP should be wary not to repeat some of the mistakes of previous governments, as it will have grave consequences for the party.
“ One thing history constantly teaches us is man’s failure to learn from history. As children of history, however , we dare not fall into this trap. We have the lessons of the 27 months in government of our predecessor, the Progress Party (PP), to learn from and also we have the recent history of our opponents to learn from,” Mr Botwe said.
He said the seductive influence of power can breed complacency, arrogance and contempt which can affect, to a reasonable extent the focus and future direction of the party.