Akufo-Addo Saves Day for NPP
The over four decades advocacy and law practice of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in courtrooms in both Ghana and France was brought to bear at the Extraordinary National Delegates Congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi when tempers of delegates rose over some issues.
President Akufo-Addo became the hero at the Heroes Park when he exhibited great oratory laced with in-depth knowledge of political history and wit to calm the nerves of party faithful who moved from protest of no, no, no to applause and standing ovation.
This was when Motion 78 on the list of amendments, which stood in the name of the Treasurer of the Manhyia North Constituency, that sought to call for the election of the two deputies of the General Secretary of the party to enable them to act in the absence of the substantive one to avert the current situation where an elected officer had to take on a second role.
Although the amendment was shot down when it was put to vote, the proponent of the amendment took to the platform after catching the eye of the chairman and argued that he wanted the two deputies to be elected.
He complained that the amendment was not well captured and as such did not convey his intention and explained that the two deputies should rather be elected.
The Chairman of the Amendment Committee, Mr Frederick Freduah Antoh, together with Godfred Dame, a member of the committee, explained to the proponent and his supporters that they could not act on the election of the two deputies because that element of election was not part of the amendment brought to congress.
Consequently, the new proposed amendment was abandoned.
Not satisfied with the explanation, although that was the fact of the matter—as printed in the motion paper, the protest gained momentum and other delegates started making noise and insisted that it should be considered.
Even when the conference had moved on and was attending to other missions, a large number of the delegates had joined the chorus and were shouting “Motion 78, Motion 78” in protest.
Just as the conference was winding up, the President sought the permission of the Chairman of Congress, Mr Freddie Blay, who is also the acting Chairman of the NPP, to explain issues.
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that although the party believed in democracy, especially in elections of its officers, it believed that the appointment of certain deputies, especially for the General Secretary and National Organiser, were kept for special purposes.
He said elections usually led to the selection of people who might come from either one gender or section of the country and deprive other sections of society from being represented on the national leadership of the party.
He said just as the national Constitution enjoined governments to have regional balance in their appointments, the NPP used such appointment opportunities to balance the equation so that regions and ethnic groups that did not get elected would have the opportunity to be represented in the national positions.
He stated that it was for those reasons that the party’s leadership had always kept those positions open for appointment and not for elections.
That explanation from the President, coupled with his excellent choice of words, drew applause from the delegates, who were hitherto agitating.
The extraordinary congress was also used by most of the aspiring candidates in the upcoming national delegates congress to test their popularity.
Almost the entire venue was awash with posters and banners of almost all aspiring candidates, with a large army of supporters canvassing for votes for them.
Some could be seen with their campaign team moving from one delegate to the other and introducing themselves and preparing the ground for a smooth campaign later.
Others also came with branded items such as T-shirts, fans and bottled water that were shared to delegates who made it to the Heroes Park on Sunday.
President Akufo-Addo also commented on the large posters that were around the venue and said he thought he was at the wrong programme or at the election of national executive members instead of one that was to amend the constitution.