Paul Akofo – NPP National Chairman addressing the delegates after he was declared winner at Tamale yesterday
After going through an obviously crucial election, National Chairman-elect of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Paul Afoko, has asked the rank and file of the party to prepare for victory in the 2016 general elections.
This was minutes after the results of Saturday’s polls were announced, with Mr Afoko being declared the NPP chairman-elect after virtually sweeping away Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey who got a miserly 66 votes.
The contest recorded some major upsets including the fall of party General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie popularly called Sir John, who lost his position to former Presidential Press Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong.
It was an election in which the entire national officers of the NPP were kicked out of office, with the exception of Otiko Afisa Djaba who retained the Women’s Organiser position.
This was the first time the entire executive members of the NPP were seeking re-election except the 3 rd National Vice Chairperson, Sophia Horner Sam, who saw the wisdom in not contesting again.
A sombre-looking Mr Afoko told the anxious crowd gathered at the Tamale Sports Stadium, venue for national delegates’ conference and election of national officers, ‘Please as you go home, go and prepare for government, prepare for power.’ This assertion by the National Chairman-elect was met with a spontaneous applause and shouts of joy.
He thanked the rank and file of the party for the confidence reposed in him, with a promise to deliver each and every one of the promises he made to them during the campaign.
Together in unity, Mr Afoko was more than sure ‘we could take back the power in 2016,’ thereby serving a note of caution to President John Mahama and his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to start preparing for defeat.
Mr. Afoko also appealed to the delegates to see him as an individual, willing to work for the ultimate good of the party.
‘Don’t see Paul Afoko and see any other person attached to him, just see me as an individual,’ he said.
The newly-elected National Chairman asked all NPP members to close their ranks in the interest of the 2016 general elections.
After long hours of baited breadth, officials of the Electoral Commission (EC), led by Sule Amadu, Deputy Commissioner, Operations, stepped up to declare the outcome of the elections which began at 4:00pm on Saturday and ended at 11:00pm, with counting travelling into the early hours of yesterday.
By this time, most of the candidates and a number of their supporters had either retired to bed or were seen dosing off in the stands at the stadium.
Aside Mr Afoko, who was elected Chairman, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Freddie Blay emerged the First National Vice Chairman of the party with 2,933 votes.
His closest contender and former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NPP, Sammy Crabbe, was elected Second Vice Chairman after securing 2,358 votes, while former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party, Frederick Fredua Antoh was elected Third Vice Chairman with 1,813.
Other contenders to the vice chairmanship position shared the remaining votes, and they included Michael Omari Wadie, 1, 166, followed by Sheikh T.B. Damba, a former 2 nd Vice Chairman, 1,118 votes, while former Volta Regional Chairman of the party, Kenwuud Nuworsu obtained 668 votes.
Philomena Serwaa Akoto Sam, who was also eyeing the same position, got 632 votes, while Fred Amankwah Sarfo picked 580 votes, followed by Mogtari Sahunun with 482 and the infamous Hajia Fati Amadu popularly known as ‘Aliga’ managing only 231 votes and Afua Kyerewa Nyantakyi, former Eastern regional vice chairperson had 205 votes.
Freddie Blay, Sammi Awuku, Otiko Afisa Djaba, John Buadu and Kwabena Agyepong
Incumbent National Chairman Jake Otanka Obestebi-Lamptey could not survive the rage of the tide, managing to secure only 66 of the votes for the chairmanship position, while Afoko beat him with 2,032, with highly-tipped Stephen Ntim getting 1,502 votes, as outgoing First National Vice Chairman, Fred Oware secured 1,135 votes.
Kwabena Agyepong, who was recently involved in an accident, secured 2,529 votes to beat incumbent tough-talking Sir John, who got 1,990 votes, with retired army Captain, Kwame Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey also putting up a poor show, with 41 votes, while former Deputy Communications Director, Yaw Buaben Asamoah recorded 174 votes.
The position of National Organiser was snatched from incumbent Moctar Musa Bamba, who had 474 votes, by John Boadu, with a sprawling 3,279 votes and their colleague contender Hopeson Adorye equally managing 984 votes.
The ‘boys abr3’ sloganeering Sammi Awuku won the position of National Youth Organiser with a commanding 471 of the valid votes cast, with his closest rival, Pius Enam Hadzide securing 115 votes, followed by Emmanuel Attafuah-Danso, the acting Youth Organiser, who managed only 28 votes.
Richard Nyamah of the Young Patriots fame followed with 19 votes with Michael Ampong securing only nine votes, followed by the Gifty Oware-Aboagye, the only lady, getting seven, while Charles Adu Gyan got six votes.
Incumbent National Women’s Organiser, Otiko Afisa Djabah, who many had virtually written off, pulled a surprise to retain her position with 276 votes, with her closest rival, Tina Mensah, coming with a close shave of 250 votes, as Mawusi Nudekor Awity got 113 votes.
Former boss of the Ghana Trade Fair Authority and incumbent National Treasurer, Esther Ofori equally lost out with 503 votes to new entrant Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, who had an overwhelming 2,488, votes, with Sadia Ruka grabbing 1,162 votes, while former Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Susan Mensah managed to secure 595 of the votes.
Student lawyer, Kamal Deen Abdulai fought hard to unseat the ‘people’s man’, Abubakari Sulemana, popularly known as Laku-Laku with 84 votes to become the newly elected National Nasara Coordinator.
Laku-Laku recorded 57 votes followed by Salihu Yahaya Bo with 39 votes and Ahmed Sadat Awudu securing 32 votes, while Mohammed Ibrahim came up with 26 votes.
Baba Ibrahim also managed to get 21 of those votes with Haruna Maiga recording the worst of all performances by securing only two votes out of the lot.
Akufo-Addo Greets New Officers
Hours after the official declaration of results, 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo congratulated the winners and the party at large.
‘This is to congratulate the new National Chairman, Mr. Paul Afoko, and the other national officers of the New Patriotic Party who were elected in the party’s National Delegates’ Conference held in Tamale.
‘I congratulate the party for the peaceful, credible, efficient and successful manner in which the elections for our national executives were conducted. It has been exciting and competitive. The high level of participation, enthusiasm and camaraderie that this election generated among our activists gives an indication of their collective energy and commitment to the struggle ahead in 2016.
‘Internal party contests are not about winners and losers. They are about the party winning. We should all, in the true spirit of our party’s tradition, rally behind our new national officers to strengthen our resolve and singleness of purpose to capture power in 2016.
‘In this regard, I also urge our new national officers to reach out and bring on board their fellow competitors who were not victorious on the day. This is the only way we can forge ahead, as a united party, in our quest to restore hope to Ghanaians. I reiterate, once again, my appeal to all former executives to stay engaged in the activities of the Party.
‘We should all remember that the Ghanaian people are looking up to us to provide a strong, positive direction to deliver them from the failing government of the NDC. We should not fail them,’ Nana Addo said in a statement issued yesterday.
From Charles Takyi-Boadu, Tamale
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