All is set for some 6000 delegates of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to decide who and who becomes their national executives in the next four years, seeing to the exit of Nana Akufo-Addo’s presidency and to usher in a new flagbearer for the 2024 General Elections.
Ahead of tomorrow’s event scheduled to take place at the Accra Sports Stadium, The Herald, has picked up some interesting dynamics playing out, key among which is that many of the aspirants are running away from President Akufo-Addo, afraid that being seen aligned to him, will cause their defeat.
Many party people are hungry and angry at him, and reports making the rounds that, the President is planning a reshuffle after tomorrow’s National Delegates Conference, is a last minute trick from the seat of government to have appointees tow his line, to have him keep some influence in the party when he leaves office in 2024.
Barring any last minute scheming, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, should emerge NPP National Chairman, Henry Nana Boakye alias “Nana B” as National Organizer, Salam Mustapha as National Youth Organiser and Kate Gyamfua as Women Organiser.
The contest for the General Secretary slot, promises to be the fiercest with John Buadu, the incumbent facing some stiff competition from Lawyer Justin Kodua Frimpong, Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). This is the slot to keenly watch during tomorrow’s event.
Mr Buadu, is banking his chances on experience having been in that role since 2015, when Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, was suspended from the position of General Secretary.
The party people are saying, however, that, he has stayed in office for too long and must give way for a new face. They accuse him of making a lot of money, acquired lots of properties, schooling his kids outside Ghana, but remain a stingy person.
Many insiders, also insist that the performance of the party during the 2020 election which resulted in the party losing its majority in Parliament and had to be in court using partisan elements in the judiciary to be hunting for seats, must be blamed on Mr Buadu.
Although, Regional Chairmen of the NPP, have collectively declared their support for John Buadu, many believe, it is not over yet and that Justin Kodua Frimpong, could spring a surprise.
Reports are that, the Presidency has since been forced to abandon its candidate and rather fishing for popular aspirants to throw their weight behind them.
One such candidate is, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, a five-time aspirant for the NPP National Chairman slot. Insiders within the NPP, inform this paper that, Jubilee House did not want him as Chairman, but has been forced to eat a humble pie and accept him, since reports on the ground show he is ahead of the all the aspirants, including Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Sammy Crabbe, Akwasi Osei Adjei and George Kwabena Abankwah-Yeboah.
The Herald’s information is that, President Akufo-Addo’s popularity in the NPP, has dipped so much so that, associating oneself with him is risky, hence many of the candidates are aligning themselves with presidential hopefuls, especially Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremateng.
The President’s dipping popularity, started manifesting itself during the polling station and constituency executive elections.
It was badly felt when the President, could not get a grip over the NPP Regional executive elections even at his backyard; the Eastern Region.
The president was forced to deploy former Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who went throwing ethnocentric jabs at the Asantes to elevate his paternal Akyem side during a meeting where he tried to convince constituency executives to support Kwadwo Boateng, who was backed by the Jubilee House against Jeff Konadu; an ethnic Kwahu man.
Other desperate intervention by Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare and the President’s powerful, Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, on the day of election, did not make any impact as Mr Boateng pulled 202 against Jeff Konadu’s 424, leaving the Presidency livid.
Insiders reveal that the President’s fast dwindling popularity is from anger over his uneven sharing of political appointments, especially in his second term after his 2020 election victory.
Many, had expected that he was going to introduce some new faces into the government, but he decided to keep his old faces, including his family and friends in office as ministers and agency heads among others. This has not gone down well with ordinary members of the NPP.
46 candidates are contesting to hold ten different positions.
The party has meanwhile, expressed readiness to welcome over 6,000 delegates from today Friday, July 15, 2022, for the National Delegates Conference as all travel and accommodation arrangements for delegates have been finalised.
In an interview with Citi News, the Director of Elections and Research for the NPP, Evans Nimako assured delegates of the preparedness of the planning committee.
“We have put in place the necessary arrangements and preparation for the delegates conference. We are very confident that it shall be a record remarkable success,” he added.
The election is scheduled between 15th to 17th of July at the Accra Sports Stadium.
While John Boadu has called on delegates to endorse him following his experience and hard work to enable the party win the 2024 polls, Charles Bissue, who is in the Office of President, on Wednesday withdrew from the party’s General Secretary race a few days before their National Delegates Conference.
Mr Buadu further indicated that having risen through the ranks, from polling station chairman to General Secretary of the NPP, he had gathered enough experience to navigate the way through the 2024 elections.
The incumbent General Secretary said he deserves another term in office because almost all members of the current National Executive Committee are moving out of office, or seeking new positions in the party.
Mr Boadu also believes it will be suicidal for the NPP to sideline the only experienced hand they have on board, especially when the party will be going into the 2024 general elections with a new Presidential Candidate, National Chairman, National Organizer, amongst others.
He said, his decision to seek re-election as General Secretary is in the best interest of the NPP.
According to Mr Boadu, having laid the solid foundation in preparation for the 2024 general elections, it is imperative not to bring an entirely new and relatively inexperienced team to lead the party in what promises to be the most difficult general elections to be contested by the NPP as it seeks to break the 8, which no political party has been able to do in the Fourth Republic.
“I am a person who delivers. I was given the opportunity twice to help the party in power and have done nothing less. I have done exactly that and even more excellently by restructuring the party. From where I sit and per my records and experience, I am the best person for this position going to 2024,” he added.
He assured that if his mandate is renewed, he will lead the party to deliver a historic three-term victory come 2024.
“If we have to win the 2024 election and break the eight, we need experience and hard work, and this is what I offer,” he said.
To be able to help “Break the 8”, he stated that someone like himself needs to steer the administration of the party for that purpose.
Mr Boadu said he has the “gravitas to match the NDC boot-for-boot”.
He said he had successfully fulfilled most of the promises he made when he campaigned for election as General Secretary in 2018.
For instance, he said the needed arrangements had been put in place for the NPP ideological institute to take off and that the promise to revamp the party structures from the grassroots to national had been fulfilled.
Charles Bissue, whose wife Nana Dokua Asiamah Adjei, the Member of Parliament for Akuapem North constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana and Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry, is supportive of Mr Kyerematen’s flag bearer bid, in a statement, said he was still ready to contribute to his party.
“Though I am stepping out of this contest, I am willing to share with whoever gets elected as the General Secretary, and the Party in general, the knowledge, ideas and tools I had intended to use in rebuilding the Party into prominence and sustained political power,” he said.
“As a patriot, I will continue to serve in any capacity, and pursue the interest of the party at all times,” he added.
Mr Bissue also urged delegates “to uphold the tenets of our Party’s constitution, values and principles in all endeavours.”
“The Ghanaian is super sensitive to the manner in which we conduct our internal elections. I pray, therefore, that, in unity, we allow delegates to freely make a choice for its leadership for the next four-year term.”
Mr Bissue was among the 47 aspirants approved by the elections’ committee of the NPP to stand for national executive positions from Friday 15 July 2022.
Find below his statement
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE NPP GENERAL SECRETARY RACE
On Wednesday, 13 July 2022, I officially withdrew my aspiration for the General Secretary position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). A letter has been issued to that effect, to the National Election Committee, and that I believe was received in good faith. In the spirit of the Party’s constitution as stipulated in Article 10 (4), I presented myself as a nominee for the General Secretary position, to which, I was duly vetted and passed by the Elections Committee. I secured the 4th position among five other contenders on the ballot paper.
My campaign was strongly articulated with an assurance of transforming the Party into an effective political machinery that inspires confidence and trust within the Party and among Ghanaians. My message of change was well received by the masses of delegates and party people across the country. I have impressed on the Party that the New Patriotic Party requires transformation – a transformation that embraces scientific and innovative electoral strategies and systems, and effective Party management.
Delegates had high hopes of the change I am capable of effecting in the Party should I become the General Secretary. Though I am stepping out of this contest, I am willing to share with whoever gets elected as the General Secretary, and the Party in general, the knowledge, ideas and tools I had intended to use in rebuilding the Party into prominence and sustained political power.
As a Patriot I will continue to serve in any capacity, and pursue the interest of the Party at all times. To my Party people and particularly delegates, I urge you to uphold the tenets of our Party’s constitution, values and principles in all endeavors.
The Ghanaian is super sensitive to the manner in which we conduct our internal elections. I pray therefore, that, in unity, we allow delegates to freely make a choice for its leadership for the next four-year term. I wish to conclude with my appreciation for the support given me over the past years and in recent times by Party people, supporters and the Ghanaian media. The quest to serve is not over yet.