A former 1st National Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, has challenged the party’s delegates to put him to test by giving him their mandate as the next National Chairman, and take him to task if he does not deliver victory for the party in the 2016 elections.
Mr Ntim said on Friday that as a former 1st National Vice Chairman, from 2001 to 2005, he was part of the NPP’s leadership that worked hard to secure the re-election of former President Kufour in the 2004 general elections, adding: “It is for this reason that I have garnered the courage to subject myself to this test, in order to bring my rich experience to bear in the party’s effort to return to power in 2016.”
According to Mr Ntim, staying in opposition for 12 years would not be in the best interest of the NPP, just as it would be disastrous for the entire nation, and so the NPP should do everything legitimately possible to win the 2016 elections.
He is therefore urging the delegates to the party’s impending National Delegates Conference to guard against electing leaders who have shown they do not have what it takes to win power, neither should they go for people who will come and experiment on the job.
“We are in a crucial period preparing for the next elections and this is not time for experimentation, neither should we go for leaders with negative experience of defeat. We need leaders who have gained the needed positive experience of winning power for the party and I can assure the delegates that if they elect me as the National Chairman, I will work with them and all other stakeholders to return the party to power in the next election. In fact, this is my pledge: I’ll rescue NPP from opposition.”
The aspiring NPP National Chairman gave this pledge in an exclusive interview with the New Statesman after filing his nomination at the party’s head office on Friday.
Mr Ntim, who had made two unsuccessful attempts at becoming the National Chairman of the NPP, first in December 2005 and the second in February 2010, says he remains determined in his effort to realise that dream because, as a focused person, he does not easily give up.
“Very characteristic of Stephen Ntim, I am a very focused person who does not give up easily, so I am here again to contest for the same position, because, as the saying goes, ‘Winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win’,” the aspiring NPP National Chairman stated when he launched his campaign.
He is particularly happy about the fact that his interactions with the delegates across the country have brought to the fore the fact that the party faithful are not prepared to abandon their time-tested unwritten convention of rewarding people with leadership positions for their long-term loyalty and commitment to the cause of the party.
“Wherever I go, the mantra on the lips of our party members is that ‘Ntim Abre’; ‘Chairman Aduru Wo So’; ‘Ntim, Yenim Wo Firi Tete’. And when I hear such things, I feel encouraged to always work for the party because our members recognise and reward dedication and loyalty to the party and I am convinced they will translate this into votes for me at the Conference, to encourage others to keep sacrificing for the party, in the hope that they will also be accordingly recognised and rewarded one day,” Mr Ntim stated.
The key campaign message of the aspirant revolves around 19-point thematic areas. They include his political experience; his resilience, focus and tenacity of purpose; the fact that he is a consensus builder and a true unifier; his personal contributions, sacrifices and donations to the party; practical plan to win the 2016 elections on the ground; plan to make the party financially self-sufficient; and a strategy to deal with the phenomenon of independent candidates.
Others are plans to redeem lost strongholds; elevation of party image at local levels; special initiative for MPs; encouraging effective political intelligence; employing effective technology in his administration; bringing the party’s national campaign at the headquarters; and special plans for Diaspora branches, youth, women and Nasara wings.
The aspiring Chairman says the NPP must not disappoint the good people of Ghana by again losing the 2016 elections and “for this reason, it is imperative that we elect party leaders who have what it takes to win elections, because there is no space and time for experimentation. Our members are expecting nothing short of this goal.”
According to Mr Ntim, party executives are elected into office to achieve the single purpose of winning power, assuring that he has the requisite experience to spearhead the NPP to victory in the 2016 election.
“It is on record, and it is known to all party faithful, that I criss-crossed the length and breadth of this country, between 2001 and 2005, to win power for the NPP. There is no constituency or region in this country that I did not visit, socialise with and motivate party officials to give off their best in the discharge of their duties. These and other initiatives that I undertook contributed immensely to the party’s strong performance and eventual victory in the 2004 general elections,” he stated.
Mr Ntim reminded party members about the fact that even after his two unsuccessful attempts at becoming the National Chairman, he did not lose hope but “stayed on course, continued to offer my moral and material quota and got involved in all party activities.”
It is his hope and prayer that all contestants in the internal party competition will emulate this show of loyalty, and continue to serve the party, “even after losing at the elections.”
Others in the contest for the chairmanship position are Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the incumbent, Fred Oware, current 1st Vice Chairman, and Paul Afoko, a businessman and leading party member.
Mr Ntim gave the assurance that he would continue to carry out decorous campaign devoid of name-calling, insults and character assassination, adding: “Indeed, I have exemplified this in my previous campaigns, so my pledge will not amount to paying lip-service to the concept. The reason is simple. After all is said and done, we are still one big political family, and this being an intra-party contest, we will have to come together and work in tandem to ensure victory in the 2016 elections.”