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The 26th National Delegates’ Conference of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has started in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
Forty-one aspirants are contesting eight key positions of the party at the Koforidua Technical University Campus where about 6,000 delegates have gathered for the conference, which is being held under the theme: “Building a Stronger Party, Delivering Prosperity to Ghanaians.”
President Akufo-Addo has already urged the delegates to maintain the gains the party made during the 2016 general elections, which saw the party defeat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the polls.
He urged the delegates to “maintain and safeguard the gains of 2016 by electing the right persons to do so.”
Most of the members of the national executives, who fought hard during the 2016 general elections to help the NPP defeat NDC, are seeking re-election, and the President’s call is going to boost their chances.
So far the National Chairmanship and National Youth Organizer positions appear to be the contests to watch due to the unprecedented heated debates surrounding them.
Acting Chairman, Freddie W. Blay, who wants to become the substantive chairman, is facing stiff competition from Stephen Ayesu Ntim, who is contesting a record fourth time.
Chairman Blay’s team is going with the slogan ‘Maintain to retain’ while Mr. Ntim’s camp says ‘The time is up!’
Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, a lecturer, has promised to spring a surprise.
The National Youth Organizer slot is another hell of a contest awaiting the delegates.
The campaign teams of three candidates namely Henry Nana Boakye, aka Nana B, who is Deputy National Service Director; Kamal Deen Abdulai, who is currently the National Nasara Co-ordinator and Dominic Kwesi Eduah, the current Deputy Youth Organizer, have raised the stakes since nomination closed.
Nana B says ‘Nyame Nsa Wo Mu’ to wit ‘God’s hand is in it’ and Dominic, who goes by the term ‘Filed Marshall’, is insisting ‘The job dey grounds.’ In all these, Kamal says he is going to be the deciding factor in the race.
There is a certain Emmanuel Dannsa Appiah, who says he will defeat all of them.
For the Women’s Organizers position, it would be a straight fight between Kate Gyamfua and Joyce Konokie Zempare, Greater Accra Regional Women’s Organiser.
Kate has been tipped to win but Joyce is promising to pull a surprise.
Incumbent National Organizer, John Boadu, who is acting as the NPP General Secretary, is expected to win outright as he faces Richard Ahiagban.
Sammi Awuku, the incumbent National Youth Organizer, who is moving up to the position of National Organizer, is also expected to defeat Tweneboa Kodua Emmanuel and Sulemana Sadik Nabicheinga.
Seven candidates, Emmanuel Ken-Wud Noworsu, a former Volta Regional Chairman; Rita Talata Asobayere, a former National Women’s Organizer; Michael Omari Wadie, a former constituency Chairman; Vida Agyekum Acheampong NPP stalwart in the Eastern Region; Fredrick Fredua Antoh (incumbent); George Isaac Amoo, a former NADMO Boss and Agnes Chigabati, a former deputy Upper East Minister, will be contesting for the vice chairperson positions.
Six candidates, namely Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah (incumbent), Kwabena Oppong Frimpong, Mary Posch Oduro, Hajia Ruka Ahmed, Abraham Obeng Amoakohene, and Nuhu Bayorbo Mahama, will vie for the National Treasurer position.
The Nasara Co-ordinator candidates include Abubakari Sulemana aka Lakulaku, a former Nasara Cordinator; Alhaji Rashid Adam, Alhaji Ahmed Zaruk Nuhu, Abdulai Iddrisu Dipantiche, Alhaji Shumbu Musah Shariff, Baba Gado Ibrahim, Abdul Aziz Harunafuta of Accra Hearts of Oak Chapter O fame, Alhaji Dauda Abdul Rahman Doudu, Alhaji Aminu Abu, Sulemana Alhassan Atakpo, Abdul-Rahman Diallo, Kazeem Ibrahim, Alhaji Salihu Yahaya Bo and Ali Suraj.
Mr. Blay, a lawyer, has been credited for bringing peace and stability to the NPP after the party went through almost two years of turbulence under the leadership of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, who were eventually suspended as chairman and general secretary respectively.
Mr. Blay’s campaign team believes that the acting chairman’s leadership qualities helped to steer the party to victory in the 2016 general elections.
He has therefore called on the delegates to maintain him in order to retain power in 2020 and beyond.
Polls believed to have been conducted by the National Security last month indicate that Mr. Blay, F. F. Antoh, Rita Talata Asobayire, Omari Wadie, John Boadu, Sammi Awuku, Abankwa Yeboah, Henry Nana Boakye (Nana B) and Dominic in close contest, and Kate Gyamfua are expected to win to form the next NPP National Executive Body.
That aside, most of the NPP delegates on several media networks and campaign platforms have stated that they will go for continuity and maintain acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay; a National Vice Chairman, FF Antoh; acting General Secretary, John Boadu and National Youth Organiser, now contesting for National Organiser, Sammi Awuku and a few others.
Others suggested that Mr. Ntim has also ‘suffered’ in the party and believe that his loyalty and long service to the party will convince the delegates to vote for him.
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