Jake Catches Fire
Some young men in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are up in arms against the National Chairman of the party, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey.
The group, operating under the name ‘Patriotic Future of NPP,’ is opposed to the proposal being championed by the party’s Chairman for an early congress.
The proposal, among others, calls for an election of the party’s flagbearer before the election of polling station executives, constituency, regional and national executives as prescribed by the party’s constitution.
An attempt by the Jake to woo party communicators to propagate the agenda was said to have suffered a major setback on Tuesday when most of them kicked against the idea.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, Spokesman for ‘Patriotic Future of NPP,’ who is also a former Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa, George Mireku Duker said ‘the proposal before the National Executive Committee (NEC), which was apparently authored by Chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey clearly goes against the New Patriotic Party’s Constitution.’
He made reference to Articles 6 and 9 of the NPP’s constitution which state that elected officers shall have a four-year mandate.
He said the only body with the authority to change the constitutional provision is the National Delegates Conference, wondering the rationale behind the said proposal.
According to them, Paragraph 18 of the proposal which is being propagated by Jake states that ‘After the primaries, the services of talented people who ran on a losing slate are denied to the party. All hands on deck remain a dream as some of such people refuse to come forward and others are refused space in the inner circle of the campaign.’
Spokesman for the youth group said ‘the current proposal will mean that we will have national executive officers for life and MPs for life.’
He wondered why the NPP, which is renowned for its democratic credentials, should attempt to wear the cloak of virtual dictatorship currently.
According to them, ‘The proposal is egocentric and portrays our party leadership as self-seeking individuals whose main agenda is inimical to the unity and progress of our dear party.’
Leadership of the ‘Patriotic Future of NPP therefore asked all party faithful to, as it were ‘reject this ill-intent proposal and maintain the bottom-up approach of selecting leaders.’
According to them, ‘This proposal, as authored by Jake, has started creating tension and division among the rank and file of the party.
‘We are by this statement sending a strong warning to them to put a stop to their devilish acts that have the sole aim of sinking this great party further into opposition,’ spokesman of the group noted.
They were of the firm belief that the NPP lost the 2012 elections because of selfish and sluggish leadership of the party and not the actions of polling station executives as suggested by Jake and his cohorts.
The group has since demanded accountability from the leadership of the party on the GH¢16,000.00 paid by each parliamentary aspirants before the elections, revenues from the dues, text messages, sale of membership cards and funds raised for during the electioneering campaign that were meant for the organization of the polling stations.
They also stressed the need for the leadership of the party to focus on identifying the reasons why the NPP lost the 2008 election by about 38,000 votes but more than 315,000 in 2012.
Leadership of the group therefore asked the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP, which is expected to meet today, to reject the said proposal and adhere to the tenets of the party’s constitution which provides for the election of officers to begin at polling station level, constituency, region and national.
‘We are using this opportunity to call on all Executives and members of the party to rise up and protect our great tradition,’ spokesman of the group emphasized.
Party Chairman, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey however asked the leadership of the group and any other person with concerns to channel them to the appropriate quarters at the NPP headquarters.
This was when DAILY GUIDE contacted him to comment on the matter.
‘I think it is very dangerous if we start to answer any group that just comes up and make claims in the media; if they are genuine NPP people, they know the way that we handle our matters. We don’t handle our matters by debating in the media,’ he said.
‘All they have to do is to come to the party headquarters and ask those questions,’ he said.
‘If they try coming to party headquarters and that we are not answering them in a proper and fitting manner, then they should go to the treasurer; if they find the treasurer is not treating them well, then they can come to the National Chairman.’
‘By this time we should be concentrating on what the NDC is doing wrong. Already, people have been forcing us to go the media because they are making wild allegations about things that are not in front of anybody,’ he noted.
Apart from that, the NPP Chairman indicated that ‘if people are seriously for the NPP and want to see the NPP succeed, they should use the proper channels of communication; anybody who wants to know the answer to any of these questions that you say they are raising and they are genuine NPP members, let them come to the party office and then ask those questions.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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