19
Opinions Sun, 18 Jul 2010

Mr Stephen Ntim is bad case of sour grapes.

I was surprised Mr Stephen Ntim who contested the New Patriotic Parties chairmanship slot and lost to Jake Obetsebo-Lamptey when he was commenting on some concerns relating to the NPP's electoral process for the Presidential Primaries decided to wade into issues that are without any substance.

Appearing and granting interviews to various Radio stations in Kumasi and Accra on Thursday July 15th and Friday July 16th, he said he is now convinced he was cheated because the same irregularities which led to his defeat in his bid to become the National Chairman of the party are still rearing their ugly heads.

I hereby wish to react to some incidents which Mr. Ntim believed robbed him of the NPP Chairmanship.

Firstly he said he was not given a copy of the electoral register during the National Executive Elections. This is true but none of the contestants including Jake was given any register because the party did not compile any register. Ohene Ntow who was General Secretary will attest to this.The constituency elections were being conducted at the same time campaigns were ongoing. I can say on record that Jake spent over 5000 Ghana cedis compiling his own electoral register which many other candidates relied on. This register was updated on daily basis through telephone calls to the constituencies till the date for the election.

Secondly, Mr Ntim said there were proxy votes of about five hundred which exceeded the accepted proxy votes of one hundred and eight. This is a white lie. All the proxy votes from the 12 Foreign branches were 120 and out of that number only 108 voted. At the Polling Station the proxy votes were cast, Mr Ntim beat Jake by 14 votes. Where therefore lies his complaint? In any case if all the proxy votes were added to Mr Ntim's total votes he will still have lost the election because Jake beat him with 226 votes.

Mr Ntim also alleged that voters from TESCON were handpicked to vote against him. This is not true. The various Tertiary Institutions supplied their delegates to the NPP Tescon Coordinator who forwarded the list to the party Headquarters. The party made the list available to all contestants including Mr Ntim. Why did make identity cards for them if he knew they were handpicked. If there was any handpicking then it happened at the Universities and they are discerning enough to know what is good for them.

Mr Ntim is not convinced the party will hold a free and fair election to elect a flag-bearer for the party in August and suggested some two people he described as "hatchet men" that is Brigadier Odei and Mr Kwesi Adu Gyan who are members of the NPP National Election be removed because they are allegedly plotting to rig the upcoming election for one of the candidates. Where is Mr Ntim's evidence and who is he to determine who should be on the committee when the National Council of NPP approved its membership?

Mr Ntim's call for the suspension of proxy voting in the upcoming election is simply dangerous and unprecedented. I see this as an attack on NPP members in the diaspora. Does he know the consequences of such an action? Why does he think the party should take away the 120 votes of the NPP's Foreign branches?

I urge Mr Ntim to go back to the drawing board and evaluate his strengths and weakness before the campaign. He has so soon forgotten of his chants of "I can destroy NPP much more than anyone" during the campaign. He has also forgotten of his political miscalculation of campaigning against the expanded electoral college during the last NPP Constitutional amendments even though the amendments enjoyed the support of an overwhelming majority of the party from top to bottom.

It is very wrong for Mr Ntim to go this way. Was Jake the one in charge during that election? I guess Jake was also a contestant so how come Ntim is blaming him for cheating him during that election? So this sort of man who call himself a politician want to be chairman of NPP? His action clearly shows that the NPP is highly infested with greedy, selfish, impatient and visionless people. Mr Ntim should really bow his head in shame for his childish and infantile comments. How can the NPP grow with these people as our leaders?

Mr Ntim must be a man and accept defeat graciously. There is a bitter feeling when one loses an election. Everyone hopes to be a winner however if one is not, he should not make unnecessary noise that will create disunity. Mr Ntim campaigned on the promise that he will support whoever wins. Why is he then going back on his word?

The discerning minds respect the choice of Jake as a tested leader for the NPP. He is on course and must be left alone. Mr Ntim should grow up, learn and respect democratic processes. He must stop his sense of entitlement and earn a claim. Obviously, he is not yet matured and ready to assume a responsible position such as the Chairman of the great NPP.

Mr Ntim just like Alan Kyeramaten and others who held the press conference are individuals who had gained from the party already in the past 8 years and therefore do not care a hoot what happens to the party now. It is good they continue to show their real character. They will all be smoked out of the NPP at the right time. More anon.

By Mahama Haruna.
Columnist: Haruna, Mahama