After several hours of delay, the much touted National Delegates Conference of the opposition New Patriotic Party kick starts.
Delegates, 5,200 of them are taking their seats at a snail’s pace on the VIP end of the Tamale Sports Stadium.
Former Youth Organiser Anthony Karbo with a plea, asks delegates to take up their positions for the programe to start.
Its 11:50 am. The programme was supposed to have started at 10:00 am. Karbo says programme will begin in the next five minutes.
Conference begins at 12:00 noon with a prayer by the Chief Imam. The Kokomba dancing group sets the conference into motion with a resplendent cultural display.
A peace ambassador, ten year old Ivy Adwoa Ofori mounts the big platform to crusade for peace within her “beloved” NPP.
She says Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown the way for peace and all others must follow suit.
She gets a rousing applause from delegates. Karbo takes over.
A short musical interlude as well as a cultural performance is performed. Karbo acknowledges the presence of representatives of other parties as well as executives of TESCON.
The Tamale Regional Chairman of the NPP Bugri Naabu delivers a short address. He says the party is determined to win power in 2016 and charges Nana Akufo Addo and his counterpart, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to deliver victory for the NPP.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu takes his turn to address the delegates.
He challenges the party to try and increase its numbers in Parliament. He says the minority many a time, wins the debate in Parliament but lose on vote count. He says the country is looking out for the NPP to rescue the country from the hardships the NDC is inflicting on the country.
There is massive corruption and unemployment. The SADA development fund has been misappropriated, he chides.
He says it will be disastrous for the party and more importantly for the country if the NPP loses the election. He warns against insults that is tearing the party apart. People do not address issues but only attack personalities who offer themselves to serve the party.
Let the chorus of the party resonate with the rank and file of the party “we want power.” He says the party needs support from floating voters. “Are we making the party attractive to the neutrals and floating voters?” he asks.
Madam Esther Ofori, National Treasurer of the party has been called upon to give account. That has been shelved.
Jake Obetsebi Lamptey is called upon to account for his four year stewardship.
He calls on the delegates to observe a minute silence for the souls of the departed souls
Pray for a speedy recovery of innocent people who were shot two nights ago in Tamale.
Jake brings Peter Mensah who had acid poured on him during the 2012 elections. Mensah thanks Nana Akufo-Addo, Prof Ameyaw Ekumfi and the NPP members in Germany for helping him in his crisis moments.
He says it is by divine intervention that the NPP has gathered in Tamale for another Conference. 60 years ago on 11 April, 2014 the Northern Territories and the Northern Peoples Party was formed. Today the NPP is back in Tamale to elect new executives under the theme “Our Roots, Our Strength, Our Future.”
He says he has tabled a motion for the Tamale Stadium to be named Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.
The National Treasurer Madam Esther Ofori, now takes her turn and presents the financial report of the party. She says “raising monies in opposition is very difficult.” All the same she says the party has been able to manage the affairs of the state. She presents a report to the chairman who asks for the motion he moved for the acceptance of the report to be seconded. He gets the secondment of Osafo Maafo.
NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia lightens up the congress as he leads a team of political party reps to give their solidarity messages to the NPP.
There is a loud shout from the partisan NPP crowd “we want change” . Asiedu Nketia says Tamale is the second HQ of the NDC and takes the opportunity to welcome the delegates. He admonishes the delegates to be peaceful in the dealings.
Kwabena Agyepong with his left hand strapped is followed by a team of supporter. They walk past the delegates and in front of the platform waving at the delegates.
PNC General Secretary Bernard Mornah says the PNC will present a formidable force in 2016 and calls on the NPP to support it when the time comes as it did for the NPP in 2000. He says the PNC is waiting to work with all executives who will be elected.
CPP rep Hajia Abeera wishes the NPP a successful conference. She says the CPP and the NPP existed before independence. She says what the two parties have in common is that they are all out of government. She calls for more collaboration in ensuring a credible voters register. She says the cost of living is excessively high. No jobs. Utility service poor, cost of electricity is increasing. She says the country is mismanaging resources through greed. She says that in the near future she hopes the parties will come together with a comprehensive development agenda and ensure justice and fairness to all Ghanaians.
Rep of the PPP Mr Salifu takes a swipe at the NDC General Secretary Asiedu Nketia. He says if the NDC takes pride in referring to Tamale as its HQ it should also take responsibility for the SADA rot which has also happened in Tamale. He calls on the NPP to support the PPP’s call for the separation of the Attorney General’s Office from Ministry of Justice. He also calls on the NPP to support the leader of the PPP Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom to come to power in 2016.
Other minority party reps take their turn with solidarity messages.
Anthony Karbo says the NPP is an international party of repute and has international connections and rapport with other groups or countries abroad.
He says the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent a delegation from Germany to deliver a solidarity message. The rep reads the message on behalf of Merkel and prays the party wins power in 2016.
Hon Clement Tedem the only surviving member of the Northern People’s party is invited to give a historical antecedent of the Northern People’s Party.
Unity! Unity! Unity! He bellows. He says unity is the foundation of the NPP . He mentioned the likes of S Dombo, Braimah Tolon Naa all of whom played crucial roles in the formation of the NPP.
Sir John, aspiring General Secretary walks past the delegates. He gets a little wave. Looks more like a submarine wave. Sir John is noted to have conducted what he called the “submarine campaign.”
Clement K Tedem continues with his address nonetheless. “United we stand divided we fall,” he admonishes. Don’t let propaganda divide the party, he says.
CK Tedem will be honoured on Sunday.
Its time for acknowledgement of past officials who worked under the Kufuor government. Anthony Karbo mentions the names of Yaw Osafo Maafo, Sheick IC Quaye. The crowd cheer when Alan Kyeremanten is introduced but the atmosphere turns electric when Nana Akufo Addo is introduced. The delegates cheer, wave, shout as Daddy Lumba’s Muntum ma Nana song is played.
Its time for the aspirants to be introduced. They begin with the National Youth Organiser Position.
Emmanuel Attafuah Danso
Charles Adu Gyam
Gifty Oware Aboagye
Pius Enam Hadzide
If the shouts and cheers of the introduction is anything to go by, Sammy Awuku stands a better chance of winning
The Womens National Organiser aspirants are
The shouts appear even in this case.
National Organiser position
If the shouts are anything to go by John Boadu will win slot.
National Nasara Coordinator
Abdulai Mohammed Tanimu,
Kamal Deen Abdulai
Alhaji Baba Ibrahim
National Treasurer Position
Ahmed Saida Ruka
If the shouts are anything to go by Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah would win
National Vice Chairman Position
Sheick TB Damba
Michael Omari Wadie
Fred Amankwaa Sarfo
If the shouts is anything to go by, Freddie Blay TB Damba and Sammy Crabbe will win.
General Secretary Position
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
Nkrabeah Effah Darteh
Yaw Buabeng Asamoah
This undoubtedly will be hotly contested but given the shouts it looks like it is Kwabena Agyepong.
National Chairman position
Jake Obetsebi Lamptey
Like the women’s organiser position, the shouts and cheers are even. Difficult to predict.
The party now hands over to the electoral commission to run the elections. The EC takes the delegates through the dos and donts of voting.
Voting begins in earnest. 5,200 delegates will be voting for the various candidates. Delegates now descend and begin voting.
There is a thunderous applause and cheers from the delegates as Nana Akufo-Addo descends to vote.
The flood lights have been put on to illuminate the stadium as darkness gradually sets in. Voting still continues.
Controversy! Controversy! Controversy!
Delegates of Manhyia North who were injuncted by a court order claims they secured a stay of execution from the court which meant that the executives elected at the constituency could vote today. The MP Collins Owusu Amankwa claims he informed the party about the stay of execution and according to him the party agreed that the delegates will vote. To his surprise and that of the delegates they have been turned away by Ayikoi Otoo who is a member of the Elections Committee of the party. There is a bitter banter between the two with the MP leading the onslaught.
Otiko Djaba Vrs Tina Mensah
A minor misunderstanding between polling agents of Otiko Djaba and Tina Mensah led to the two aspiring National Women’s Organiser locking horns.
The agent of Djaba asks Tina Mensah to go back during the voting. Tina Mensah’s agent also asks Otiko to go back. That saw the two aspirants going at each other.
Meanwhile delegates of Kumawu, Manhyia North and two other constituencies who have court injunctions placed on them are threatening to vote. They have joined the queue of voters. EC officials announce that they are not to take part in the voting and must be shown the exit.
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