The Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has delivered a strong caution to supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) against making verbal protests that could affect the party’s fortunes at the 2020 polls.
Mr. Abdul-Hamid was addressing a crowd of the elephant fraternity Saturday afternoon at a delegates’ conference underway at the conference hall of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga.
“I know that there has been campaigning, some people have said certain things, some people are hurt, some people are angry. I beg you, when you go to the ballot box, it should be an avenue to deposit your anger (pressing his own thumb strongly on the table in front of him as he demonstrated).
“Immediately you put it in the ballot box, you have virtually deposited the anger and the anger is gone after the ballot (the hall claps). So after the ballot and after the results are pronounced, please and please and please, nobody should say that ‘my candidate didn’t win and, therefore, let them win in 2020 and we see. Please, don’t make that pronouncement. You know [former] President Kufuor has reminded us that if you are a messenger in a ruling party, it is better than being a General Secretary of an opposition party,” he stressed.
“I feel very terrible”— Hamid on Upper East’s representation in Parliament
The minister reminded the delegates it was important they supported the eventual winners of today’s election as any of them also could be desirous of same positions in the future and would need such support to succeed in the overall interest of the party.
“Let our party remain in power,” he emphasised. “Today is not your turn. Wahalai, you don’t know; tomorrow, it could be your turn if the party continues to be in power. Those who have been with us since 1992, you know. The party was in power for 8 years in Kufuor’s time. It was not our turn. Today, it is our turn.
Tomorrow, it could be your turn if the party remains in power. So, let’s fight together, hold it together and fight for the New Patriotic Party in the Upper East region.”
He added: “I have made time to travel all the way from Accra to be part of this delegates’ conference because I’m a proud son of the Upper East region. I feel very terrible that the only region that we hold more seats than is the Volta region.
I feel really, very terrible. And this time around, whatever we can do— all of us as individuals; especially me, whatever I can do— to support this region to make sure that we change the story in 2020, we have to change that story. Political party is about representation. If we are not properly represented in Parliament and at the highest levels of this party, every effort we would be making in this region would be in vain.”
NDC’s John Tia spotted at NPP’s Conference
Some 300 delegates from the region’s 15 constituencies are on the party’s electoral register to cast their votes for 52 aspirants, 7 of whom are women.
Among the dignitaries present are the region’s representative on the Council of State, Alhaji Awudu Yeremia, the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, as well as a former Minister for Information in an erstwhile administration of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Tia. Mr. Tia, who is also former lawmaker for Talensi and Ghana's Ambassador to Cuba in the Mahama Administration, made a solidarity appearance in the company of some regional executives of his party.
Whilst the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, urged all party folks to eschew hate speech and internal acrimony, the incumbent Regional Chairman, Mohammed Murtala Ibrahim, who is seeking re-election, highlighted the achievements the party had chalked up under his leadership since he took over in 2015 from the late regional chairman, Adams Mahama.