NPP Rejects Early Congress
Leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be facing a stiff opposition from some members of the party over a supposed proposal calling for an early congress to elect a flagbearer for the party ahead of the 2016 elections.
The said proposal, among others, made recommendations for an early congress and the election of a flagbearer way ahead of the election of officers of the party including polling station, constituency, regional and national executives.
But the proposal, which does not seem to have identifiable sponsors, has suffered a major setback with leading members of the NPP kicking against the idea, including former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahafo-Ano South and his colleague for Mfansteman West, Stephen Balado Manu and Stephen Asamoah Boateng respectively.
Latest to join the fray is the party’s MP for Asuogyaman constituency, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw who believes that it would be in the larger interest of the NPP to begin its re-organisation from the polling station level instead of the top-down approach of electing a presidential candidate before party officers, as proposed by some supposed party members whose identities are yet to be known.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE on the way forward for the NPP after the Supreme Court ruling on the 2012 election petition, Mr Osei-Ameyaw, a former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, indicated that instead of rushing into discussions about who should lead the party into the 2016 general elections, which is almost three years away, the party must begin a rebuilding process with the sole aim of capturing political power in 2016 before considering anything else.
For him, the proposal was unpopular amongst the rank and file of the party and that a few individuals might be conspiring to subvert the will of the majority of the membership of the party.
He showed heaps of questionnaire explaining a research he and some other members of the party had conducted on the reasons why the NPP lost the 2012 elections and what the expectations of the polling station executives were.
“It is abundantly clear that the foundation of the party, which is not flagbearers and MPs but rather the first unit of the polling structures does not support the proposal being moved by some of the party’s top executives.”
For him therefore, any rebuilding efforts “would be meaningless unless and until it begins from the base” since “it is common knowledge that the first step to building any firm structure is to first and foremost build a strong foundation.
“Our base and foundation is the 26,002 polling stations across the country. Our focus now must be on reorganization, recognizing, resourcing and empowering the base,” he noted.
A recent attempt by Brian Acheampong, Chief of Staff to the party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, to rationalize the proposal was shot down by tough-talking former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahafo-Ano South on Accra-based Oman FM.
The NPP National Council of the party is meeting soon to discuss the proposal.
The Asuogyaman MP stressed the need for the party to strengthen the capacity of its polling stations for individuals and as a unit, insisting that “this is the only way the NPP can capture power in the next elections which is just a little over three years away.”
The MP claimed 80 percent of the polling station executives preferred that the party would begin by paying attention to the base.
“Let us build a strong party by empowering the base and get our basic unit operatives motivated and involved in all our decisions. Let us get them working with us and not just for us and I can assure any presidential candidate of the NPP will defeat John Mahama or any presidential opponent in 2016 with ease.”
In the final analysis, Mr Osei-Ameyaw stated: “Just as a farmer cannot prepare and be ready to have a good harvest if he has not invested and cultivated on a good land, so must the NPP forget any win if they ignore the very foundation and ‘fertile’ fields of the party.”