Members of the newly-elected National Executive of the New Patriotic Party, under the chairmanship of Paul Afoko, officially assume office today, after a smooth and successful handing over by the old administration, led by former chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, ended last Friday at the African Regent Hotel in Accra. Mr Afoko and his team, made up of Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, General Secretary, Freddie Blay, Sammy Crabbe, Fredrick Fredua Anto, as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice Chairmen respectively, John Boadu, National Organiser, Otiko Afisah-Djaba, Women Organiser, Sammi Awuku, Youth Organiser, Kamare Deen, Nasara Coordinator, and Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, Treasurer, were elected into office at the party’s recent National Delegates’ Conference held at Tamale in the Northern Region.
Before the conference, and while campaigning across the country, the party’s new National Chairman and the General Secretary particularly stressed the need for the party to pursue a genuine unity agenda to bring all members on board to revive the party’s structures to position it for effective campaign to win the 2016 general elections.
Sources close to each of the two party leaders yesterday told the New Statesman they remained committed to the unity agenda, which they see as a top priority of their administration.
“While on the campaigning for the General Secretary position, Kwabena Agyepong kept assuring that he would restore the party as a genuinely united one that will bring everybody on board to work for the collective interest of the party and I can assure you he is assuming office to do just that. And happily, all the old executives, including even some former, former executives like Mac Manu, have all bought into that vision and are prepared to support that worthy cause which they all believe is a pre-requisite for the much need electoral victory in the 2016 general elections,” a source close to Mr Agyepong stressed.
Like Mr Agyepong, the new National Chairman of the NPP sees as a priority, the strengthening of the various structures of the party at all levels, which he describes as key to the electioneering fortunes and eventual victory of the party in the 2016 elections.
Mr Afoko assured the party’s rank and file at his maiden press conference recently that he and his administration would be guided strictly by the party’s constitution while pursuing the agenda of restructuring the party.
“My executives and I will be governed by the tenets of our constitution. We shall be strategic in our thinking and will, at all times, take deliberate and measured decisions in the best interest of the party.”
He added: “The NPP is the largest political party in this country and as stated earlier if we organize well, strengthen our structures and work hard, I intend to be strategic in every action I take with power for the party as the ultimate goal.”
Mr Afoko also urged all members of the party “who have become inactive and withdrawn for one reason or the other to come back to the fold and contribute actively and meaningfully for the success of our party.”
One immediate assignment on the hands of Mr Afoko and his administration is the election of the party’s 2016 presidential candidate before the end of the year and parliamentary candidates later on.
He has assured the party’s rank and file that he does not have any preferred candidate and that he will remain neutral in all matters relating to the election of the presidential candidate.
“As Chairman and Leader, I want to reiterate my promise to the party and especially to future contestants for the flagbearership contest that I will remain neutral. I will urge the other executives to do the same. We shall be honest brokers, unifiers and committed to the party and with the support of all members and sympathisers of this great party, we will work to carry this party into government,” he assured during his maiden press conference.
He added: “let me therefore make a passionate appeal to all those who plan to contest for the flagbearship position in the party and their supporters to stop the unnecessary media circus and rally behind the new leadership to reconcile and bring unity to the party.”
Mr Afoko further stressed: “You will agree with me that whoever is elected to lead us into the general elections will need a united, strong and a battle-ready party to achieve our goal of victory at the next elections. This party is in transition therefore my advice to the media will be not to take peoples’ personal opinions as those of the party.”