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General News Mon, 25 Nov 2002

Obetsebi-Lamptey's Shaky Position

The dream of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister for information and Presidential Affairs, to maintain his position as chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Greater Accra Region may be fading very fast with the entry into the race, a few weeks ago, of firebrand politician and former exile, Samuel Nii Adjiri Blankson.

Chronicle investigations on the ground reveal that the man who, together with Nana Akufo-Addo, Nyaho Tamakloe and a few other NPP stalwarts, played a key role in the demolition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the grassroots, especially in the Greater Accra Region, has started campaigning in earnest to win the hearts and minds of delegates in the region before the decisive congress coming off only a few weeks from now.

Nii Adjiri has been in La and a few other places, including Odododiodioo (Acquaye?s House) Accra, where he bumped into former NPP National Chairman, Mr. Samuel Odoi-Sykes, and with whom he shared pleasantries.

In spite of the bad blood that had flowed in their respective veins in the last two years over the position of the mayor of Accra, the paper learnt the two papered over their differences to the admiration of party members present as they encouraged the people to do more for the party to enable it win the 2004 elections.

The firebrand politician has told the Chronicle in an exclusive interview that he is running against Jake with the best of intentions and not necessarily to upstage him as the regional chairman of the party, admitting that Jake is one of the finest politicians and strategists in the NPP and, for that matter, the nation today.

?I am not running against Jake just for the sake of running or annexing the chairmanship position. I want to help Jake and I want to help the party move forward strategically.

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Jake already has his hands full. As a campaign manager in the elections, he did a very good job. My worry is that his current position as a cabinet minister and, more especially, the Minister of Information, should put him in a strategic stead to organise properly to complete the task of demolishing the NDC in terms of information management and propaganda.?

He believes it would be more strategic for Jake to focus his energies on counteracting NDC propaganda and Refreshing the electorate on government policies and programmes and why the NPP needs to be voted back to power in 2004.

?We must not deceive ourselves. The NDC is still a very strong force. Taking them for granted will be like a child playing with a two-edged knife. Jake must help strategise to take care of this thorny problem. He must do what he is already good at doing. Adjiri Blankson belongs to the grassroots, and he should be supported in organising the grass roots for the good of the party and the nation at large.?

He expressed worry and concern over the petty squabbles dogging the constituencies in the Greater Accra Region, blaming it on ?the fact that the party in the region had been orphaned by those who birthed it;?

?I am therefore coming back as one of the fathers of the party in the region to introduce hope, discipline, unity and a sense of purpose and direction with the view to ensuring that the NDC does not take undue advantage of our diminishing strength at the grass roots.?

He believed the Greater Accra Region is strategic for the NPP if the party is to hold on firmly to power and carry out its programmes effectively for the nation to move forward.

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?The groans at grass roots level in the region must give way to political gains,? he concluded.

Jake was the master tactician who managed the NPP to victory in the last elections to the envy and admiration of even the NOC especially his friend and Ghana?s spy chief, Michael Soussoudis, cousin of Jerry John Rawlings.

Adjiri was also key in delivering the Ga constituencies to the NPP both at grass root of high profile Ga business and professional people after the 1996 elections.

Jake will be holding a party in the next few days for executives of the region to drum home his message, whilst Nii also noses around for the tough grassroots guys to share his vision with in wresting the seat from Jake.

Source: Chronicle