Martin Adjei Korsah
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) goes to Congress today to elect leaders (national executives) to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years, with election 2016 high on their minds.
In all, a total of 5,265 delegates would converge on the Tamale Sports Stadium to decide the fate of 44 individuals vying for 10 national executive positions, including National Chairman, 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd Vice Chairmen, General Secretary, National Organiser, National Women’s Organiser, National Youth Organiser, National Treasurer and National Nasara Coordinator.
Even though events leading to today’s congress – which promises to be interesting – have sometimes been characterized by rancour, bitterness and propaganda, thereby giving cause for supporters of the party to worry about the aftermath of such an exercise, Director of Elections of the NPP Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah is confident the party would come out stronger than ever before.
Martin, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE yesterday, said ‘everything is okay.’
He maintained, ‘We are just putting finishing touches – setting up stages and putting everything in place – before tomorrow morning,’ he noted.
In spite of the shooting incident at Aboabo and another suburb of Tamale in which nine NPP supporters sustained various degrees of injury, he was sure ‘it will not in any way impact negatively on our programme,’ saying ‘we are in high spirits, delegates are sure of their safety.’
Apart from that, he said the issue of accreditation was being worked out and was hopeful that accreditations would be issued to all persons, including delegates, media men, officials and observers who applied for them yesterday morning to enable them to have smooth passage to the Congress grounds.
Ten tables are therefore expected to be mounted at the main entrance of the stadium for the issuance of the cards to the rightful applicants.
Today’s event would be twofold: the first part being the annual Delegates’ Conference which is expected to begin at 9:00 am where incumbent National Chairman of the party, who is seeking re-election, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey and the National Treasurer, Esther Ofori, are set to present detailed but separate accounts of their stewardship.
When that is done, the party would then go into the crucial decision-making process of electing national officers.
Officials of the Electoral Commission would then take over and spell out the ground rules for the elections.
Once that is done, the EC officials will introduce all the 44 candidates and then set the ball rolling for the 5,265 delegates to commence voting.
The stakes for today’s Conference are high as the contestants try to clandestinely outdo one another to garner votes.
At the time of filing this report, most of the delegates and their respective candidates from various parts of the country had started arriving in Tamale in buses and checking into their various places of temporary residence.
Venue for the event, the Tamale Sports Stadium, was bustling with a lot of activities amidst heavy police and military presence.
While some supporters were busily brandishing posters of their favourite candidates, others were also cashing in on the presence of the colossal supporters to improve their economic situation with the sale of NPP paraphernalia, with the entire city of Tamale littered with the red, white and blue colours of the largest opposition party in the country today.
Today’s National Delegates’ Congress could spring some surprises if signals on the ground are anything to go by.
However, it is expected to be hitch-free in the interest of party unity and multi-party democracy.
By close of day today – or better still tomorrow – the hope is that each and every one of the 44 candidates would have known their fate and accepted the outcome of the elections in good faith.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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