Frederick Worsemao Armah Blay, one time first Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament and two-term CPP Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, says he has completely severed all ties with the CPP and has now become a full-blooded member of the opposition New Patriotic Party.
Speaking to the New Statesman on his bid for the first Vice Chairman position of the NPP, Mr Blay called on the party delegates to vote massively for him, to offer him the opportunity to work with other executives to bring the NPP back to power in 2016.
“Look, I’m not a newcomer in NPP; I have fully registered as a member of the party; fully paid up one for that matter. I joined the NPP seven years ago after some flirt in the 2000 to 2008. Today, I drink, speak, eat and think NPP. I have been attending party meetings and rallies through and thorough,” he disclosed.
He continued: “let me say that I started with the UP tradition but during my university days, I joined Nkrumahist ideology. Nevertheless, in politics people can switch camps any time. Nkrumah resigned from UGCC to form CPP, so was Victor Owusu, RR Amponsah, Joe Appiah and others from CPP to join the U P. J H Owusu Acheampong, A A Munufie and Justice Annan defected from UP to join the NDC, and so I have done nothing untoward. I’m of age and can decide for myself.”
Mr Blay disagreed with the New Statesman on the issue of loyalty and trust, insisting that he can never go back to the CPP, no matter what happens to his political ambition. “I have changed my camp for good; yes, I had problems with the CPP on some fundamental issues but even if they right up those issues or come back to power, I will still be with the NPP, rain or shine,” he promised.
He added: “As I speak to you, the NPP is in opposition but I’m still with them. All what I want is the opportunity to serve NPP and mother Ghana; that is all what I want to do because I have what it takes to help win power in 2016 for the NPP.”
As regards the endorsements by the rank and file of the party since announcing his candidature, Mr Blay said he was “pleasantly surprised at the tumultuous welcome” accorded him. According to him, that shows how members of the party believe in him.
Mr Blay says he was motivated to run for the Vice Chairmanship position of the NPP by the desire see the return the NPP to power, to continue the good works it started when it was at the helm of affairs in the country in the eight years’ of the Kufuor administration.
The aspiring vice chairman says he would always be proud of his association with former President Kufuor, the NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo “because the NPP government under the Kufuor administration brought hope to the people of Ghana by improving the national economy and the infrastructural base of the country.”
He is also convinced that Nana Akufo-Addo would have carried the nation’s development a step further from where President Kufuor left if he had been given the opportunity after the end of President Kufuor’s tenure.
Mr Blay is particularly proud of the NPP’s ‘development in freedom’ principle where the enabling environment is created for private businesses to thrive, as was witnessed during President Kufuor’s regime.
“Government is all about developing a nation and helping the citizenry to succeed in whatever positive ventures they are engaged in for a living. In this regard, if there is a political party like the NPP which has the programme to bring about development for the nation and prosperity for the people, then it a worthy venture to support such a party to win elections to form the government,” he added.
Mr Blay told the New Statesman he had been enjoying considerable among of support from many people in the party who encouraged him to contest the position, to bring his vast political experience to bear on the organisation of the NPP, adding: “As a unifier and team player having worked with the NPP at various levels, there is a lot I can do if I find myself in the frontline of the party’s internal scheme of affairs.”
The aspiring National Vice Chairman says he is not seeking the position to “re-invent anything but to help the NPP return to power to build the nation, as it was demonstrated during President Kufuor’s time.” He insists the NPP “is the party that offers hope for the nation and so we all need to play active roles to return the party to power.”
Frederick Worsemao Armah Blay, affectionately called Freddie Blay, is a lawyer and politician. He was a Member of Parliament for Ellembelle from 2001 to 2009 and served as the First Deputy Speaker in the Fourth Parliament of Ghana. He lost his seat in the 2008 general elections to Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, current Minister for Energy and Petroleum.
He was member of the Convention People’s Party, but resigned to join the New Patriotic Party after being heavily criticized by some CPP stalwarts for not campaigning for the CPP flagbearer at the time Paa Kwesi Nduom. Mr Blay rather chose to endorse the NPP’s Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, an action that attracted widespread condemnation from the CPP.
Freddie Blay is currently the Senior Partner at Blay and Associates. He is also the board chairman and majority shareholder of Western Publications Limited, publishers of Daily Guide newspaper, Business Guide, News-One and Young Blazers.
The message of Mr Blay for the delegates to the upcoming NPP National Delegates’ Conference is simple: “What should interest the delegates is that I am bringing a political flavour that will enrich the party’s experience and serve as manure to the nutrients that will help produce the fruits all of us want to see in 2016, and that fruit is a resounding victory that will send an NPP President to the Flag Staff House.”