Politics Wed, 11 Nov 2009

Spio's man wins NDC Chairmanship

The race for the control of the ruling National Democratic Congress is on as the party continues with elections of officers. And, already President John Evans Mills has suffered some major casualties.

The Statesman can report that it is nearly a straight fight between Team Spio-Rawlings on one hand and President Mills, on the other hand, supported by both the National Chairman and General Secretary.

Also fighting his little corner with some discretion is Vice President John Mahama, who is sponsoring candidates such as his spokesperson John Abu Jinapor for National Youth Organiser.

The election at the weekend of Horace Nii Ayi Ankrah as the UK-Ireland Chairman of the NDC has sent shock waves at the Castle, with Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Segbefia being blamed for 'complacency.'

To rub it in, the NDC Friends of Spio in Canada, the USA, the Nordic region, Germany, Switzerland and the UK have issued a statement of "most hearty congratulations" to Horace Nii Ayi Ankrah for winning the Chairmanship slot of the UK-Ireland NDC at the elections held on Saturday 31st October in Tottenham, London.

In the view of the NDC Friends of Spio, "the victory of Mr Ankrah attests to the fact that despite attempts by some hardliners within the NDC to marginalize and denigrate the contributions of Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah to the NDC, many of those who are his friends and admirers are very much amongst those now trying to rebuild the party, its branches and its structures both in the diaspora and in Ghana."

Horace Ankrah won more than 70 % of the vote, and, according to the Spio group, would have likely won by an even larger margin if a decision had not been taken by the NDC Party headquarters in Accra to limit eligible voters to only those who had fully paid in their dues by July 25th thereby revoking an earlier decision that allowed a larger number that had paid in their dues by end of September 2009 to vote.

The mammoth event was which was attended by a large section of the Party’s membership and party faithful in the UK & Ireland, and ward representatives from Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Milton Keynes. A high level delegation from NDC headquarters in Accra led by Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, and Kofi Attor, Director of International Relations also attended the event.

Ludwig Hlodze, Deputy National Youth Organiser and Presidential Staffer and a colleague of Segbefia was also in attendance.

Yet, they could not stop the Spio man from winning. Sources close to Spio say both him and party founder Rawlings have been so excited by the victory that they are now contemplating getting Spio to contest for the party chairmanship.

The issue is how that might affect Ekwow Spio Garbrah's chances of contesting against President Mills in 2012 for the flagbearership. This may mean that former first lady Mrs Rawlings may be pushed to elevate her ambition from First Vice Chairman to contest for the National Chairmanship.

Mr Ankrah, a very successful businessman in both Ghana and the UK, runs a string of businesses including in the commercial education and transportation fields.

His election was postponed three times, partly for fear that his election will herald a boost for pro-Spio forces within the NDC and in UK.

To charges that he was a pro-Spio NDC member, Mr Ankrah responded by advising that he was friends with all segments of the party, that had great respect for former President Rawlings, had associated with President Mills, and had also been taught in Adisadel Secondary School in the early 1970s by Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.

The Spio group attests, "Notwithstanding recent attempts by some to persecute Spio-Garbrah and his growing following in the Party, Friends of Spio have remained focused and single-minded in their commitment to the Party as an institution, and the need for the Party to strengthen its internal unity if it is to win the 2012 elections."

Source: Statesman