Feverish preparations are underway for the hosting of the national delegates conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.
The congress, which comes off in April, is the first time the party is holding such an important event in the northern sector of the country. So far, the venue for the congress, the 21,000-seater Tamale Sports Stadium, has already been secured by the organisers.
All hotels and guest houses in and around the metropolis have also been fully booked for the party hierarchy, observers and some delegates. According to the Northern Regional Secretary of the NPP, Sule Salifu, accommodation for the over 5,600 delegates has also been secured.
He explained that the delegates would be accommodated at the boarding houses of the various senior high schools, as the students would have been on holidays during the period of the congress. Arrangements to that effect have been discussed with officials of the Ghana Education Service in the region.
According to the secretary, the party has already set up various sub-committees to work towards the successful hosting of the conference. It includes accommodation, transport, health and welfare, elections, finance, food, grounds and security.
“I must say at the moment everything is going on well and on schedule. We have also submitted our budget to the national office, awaiting the release of funds to move into the next gear,” he indicated.
Even though some of the candidates contesting the various positions are hobnobbing the nook and cranny of the region to solicit for votes, campaigns for the various positions have not been intensified yet, except for the posters of some of the candidates on billboards and walls.
On security, Mr Sule described the metropolis as calm and ready to host the conference. He indicated that the security crisis that occurred a couple of weeks ago was an isolated case and that it had nothing to do with party politics. “It was purely a criminal matter which the security agencies are dealing with,” he pointed out.
“Tamale is generally peaceful, with people going about their work and businesses. We have no doubt that residents, including our political opponents would extend the proverbial hospitality of the people to the delegates, some of whom would be coming for the congress in Tamale for the first time,” the secretary intimated.
Even though some party members outside the metropolis have expressed concern about the recent isolated case of disturbance in the area, the party issued a statement over the weekend confirming that the conference would still come off in Tamale.
The Director of Elections of the NPP, Mr Martin Adjei-Korsah, is reported to have stated that “we believe in the work of the police and security agencies that this would be brought under control.”
He further “urged all party members, aspirants and supporters to disregard any media report of a change in venue.”