Stalwarts of the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had the shock of their lives when they were rejected by the party’s delegates in an election which lasted for almost three days.
All the incumbent national executives were booted out of office, with the exception of the General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who defeated Koku Anyidoho, popularly called the ‘Bull’ during the congress in an unprecedented manner.
Several bigwigs of the party, including Betty Mould-Iddrisu, had the opportunity to the national chairmanship position after Kofi Portuphy decided not to seek re-election.
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who was a Vice Chairman of the party and Director of Elections and supervised the defeat of the party in the 2016 general election, floored Daniel Abodakpi, Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Danny Annang and the only female challenger, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, to win the position.
Daniel Abodakpi was believed to be enjoying support from former President John Mahama.
Samuel Koku Sitsofe Anyidoho, who challenged his boss Mr Nketia, popularly called General Mosquito, could not stand the strength of the blood-sucking insect, which drained the blood of the Bull to retain the position.
Mr Asiedu Nketia polled 7,695 votes to defeat his deputy who had 1,605 votes.
Fred Agbenyo was also defeated by Sammy Gyamfi, the new kid on the block with 4,000 votes, to become the new Communication Officer of the party.
Sammy Gyamfi, who is a ‘boy’ of Ibrahim Mahama, polled 6,225 votes as against 2, 225 votes from his contender.
An ex-convict, Godwin Ako Gunn of Montie 3 fame was also elected as the deputy communication officer alongside Kwaku Boahen.
Mr Boahen had 2,847 votes while Ako Gunn, who was jailed together with two others for threatening a Chief Justice prior to the last general election, obtained 1,816 votes.
They defeated Mahama Seidu Samuel, who had 373 votes, Alhaji Mohammed Nasiru Seidu, 1,637 votes, Adongo Atule Jacob, 978 votes and Muhammed Nurullah Iddrisu, who secured 472 votes.
Delegates, who voted at the Fantansy Dome of the Trade Fair Centre in Accra, also rejected the likes of Agbesi Nutsu, Mohammed Mamudu, Vivian Abla Kpeglo, Kobby Barlon, Dr Alhassan Hanifa to elect Chief Hamilton Biney Nixon as deputy National Organiser.
About 9,350 delegates voted during the congress which started from 17-18 November, 2018.
The voting process started smoothly on Saturday at about 6 pm.
As at press time, counting of the ballot papers had not been concluded which delayed the official declaration of the results.
Voting at the centre was temporarily suspended due to skirmishes between Azorka boys and the NDC’s official vigilante group, Hawks.
Former Northern Regional Chairman of the party, Chief Sorfo Azorka, who was said to be behind the commotion, threatened to visit mayhem on journalists.
Aides of Mr Mahama and a former minister intervened to save the journalists from assault.
Delegates from the Eastern and Volta Regions were asked to hold on after allegations of scheming and foul play were made.
Due to allegations by some aspirants that there was an attempt to rig the election, the Ghana Police Service deployed armed police personnel to protect the ballot boxes and beefed up security.
Armed police officers were seen standing by the ballot boxes.
According to the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, some 300 police personnel were deployed to the congress venue to provide security.
According to reports, the planning committee requested for armed police officers to protect the ballot boxes.
Former National Organiser of the party, Yaw Boateng Gyan, said the organization was shambolic and blamed the organizers.
He said the chaos could have been avoided if the organizers had taken his advice to decentralize.
Some delegates were seen sleeping on the bare floor with no arrangement for them.
Aide to former President John Mahama, James Agyenim Boateng, said NDC did not promise to finish the congress early.
He said “the NDC will not take any lecture from our political opponents on the length of its conference particularly as the party did not promise to hold the shortest congress.
Agyenim-Boateng, a former journalist with pro-NDC Radio Gold, in a Facebook post on Sunday morning more than 12 hours after voting started at the venue, said the NDC was more particular about holding a credible election than an extremely fast congress.
“The NDC did not promise to organize the fastest congress ever held in Ghana,” he told critics.