Race for NPP National Chairmanship Intensifies
The race for the national chairmanship position of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), as well as other positions within the party is four months away but the contest appears to have heightened than expected.
Despite the scramble for what may appear as auxiliary positions up to the constituency levels, it is the race for the national chairmanship, mainly considered as the embodiment of the party that is gaining a lot of currency.
Two heavyweights, the former First Vice Chairman of the party and a founder member, Mr Stephen Ayensu Ntim, the acting Chairman, Mr Freddy Blay, and new entrant, Dr Richard Amoako Baah, have begun the warm-up to the race expected to be one of the keenest in reshaping the party in recent times.
Mr Ntim, considered a grassroot party man who guided it in 2004 in an acting capacity following the suspension of the then Chairman, Haruna Esseku, to give President Agyekum Kufuor a second term, has told the Daily Graphic his entry into the race was to help break ‘the monotonous jinx of two terms of executive power between the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’ in favour of his party.’
He said the traditional eight years switch of political power had to change under the NPP and be extended to 16 years to enable it to execute and complete the new Ghana transformational agenda of the country which had been initiated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Having given power to the party in 2004/5, Mr Ntim, also the Board Chairman of the Lands Commission, said he had what it took to galvanise the grassroot towards achieving the new dream and to stamp the party’s dominance in Ghana’s political space for a long time to come.
Mr Ntim, who has been three times unlucky to occupy the topmost position having lost to stalwarts, Peter McManu, the late Jake Okanta Obestebi-Lamptey and suspended Paul Afoko, said ‘I cannot be denied for the fourth time.’
Sharing a number of lofty ideas to the paper to help the party firm up on its grip on power for a long time, Mr Ntim said key to achieving this was to resource the party at the constituency level and assist each to build a modern office.
He said renting of office spaces for the party to operate at the grassroot levels would be a drain to the party coffers in the long-term and the need to have permanent offices nationwide was key to the party’s sustainability.
Indeed, in the run-up to the 2004/5 victory, Mr Ntim’s campaign of giving each of the regional secretariats and some constituencies’ vehicles to facilitate election monitoring was seen as one of the catalysts that propelled the NPP to a second term in office after the 2000 victory.
Reckoning his main contender, Freddy Blay as the man to beat, Mr Ntim said his previous achievements and being a ‘true man of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition’ gave him an advantage.
Seen as the man to have introduced the provision of free party identity cards to members in 2004, Mr Ntim wants to ensure the strict enforcement of the unwritten tradition of rewarding loyal, committed and dedicated members to encourage the youth to invest their time and resources in the party.
Source: Graphic Online