Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, former chairman, handing over the gavel to Paul Afoko
It was an amazing sight to behold when the former executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) handed over to the new administration yesterday.
The handing over ceremony, which took place at the conference room of the party’s headquarters at Asylum Down, was held in an atmosphere of conviviality.
It was preceded by a national steering committee meeting, which was chaired by newly-elected Chairman, Paul Afoko, who has since taken over the running of the party.
Present at the event were the newly-elected General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd Vice Chairmen of the party, Freddie Blay, Sammy Crabbe and Fredrick Fredua Anto respectively.
The rest included newly-elected National Organiser, John Boadu, National Women Organiser, Otiko Afisa Djabah, who was retained during the elections, Sammi Awuku, the National Youth Organiser, Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, the National Treasurer and Kamal-Deen Abdulai.
Sir John mobbed
Former executives of the NPP, including outgoing National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obestebi-Lammptey and his colleague Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who describes himself as ‘the only Sir in Ghana’s politics,’ started arriving at the headquarters by 2pm.
Some party faithful who had gathered at the forecourt of the party’s headquarters, were excited upon seeing Sir John in his Ford Expedition vehicle.
The former General Secretary was playing his favourite song ‘Yentie Obiaa’ composed by Daddy Lumba.
Virtually everybody at the place wanted to shake hands with Sir John with chants of ‘Shei Sir John.’
Also present was Emmanuel Attafuah, who was the acting National Youth Organiser after the resignation of Anthony Abayifaa Karbo.
New executive in a group photograph with the old
Conspicuously missing at the function were Fred Oware, T.B Damba, Sophia Horner Sam former 1 st , 2 nd and 3rd National Vice Chairmen respectively, as well as former National Organiser and National Treasurer, Alhaji Muctar Bamba and Esther Ofori.
However, the absence of aforementioned individuals did not affect ceremony, which was held behind closed doors with media practitioners only permitted to take pictures of the handing over of the gavel (the symbol of authority) from Jake to Afoko to signify change in leadership.
After hours of talks behind closed doors, the old and new executives emerged from the conference room in an excited mood.
They posed for the cameras, after which some responded to questions from journalists.
Former National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey was first to speak to the media.
Asked what transpired at the meeting, he stated, ‘We handed over; we told the new executives what the situation is.”
Explaining further, he said, ‘Very friendly; we are all NPP members. The only message we want people to get is that we are solidly behind the new executives and everybody in NPP should also be solidly behind the new executives.’
He urged the rank and file of the party to bury their differences in order to win the major battle to defeat the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 polls.
On his part, Chairman Paul Afoko said, ‘The handing over ceremony went well…and we worked in great spirit of cooperation in the beginning of the handover and it’s on course.
‘This is just the beginning of the process, we will continue next week,’ he noted.
‘The proper handing over ceremony has taken place but of course the backroom work is yet to be completed.’
Mr. Afoko gave the assurance that the team would soon come out with a programme for next quarter of the year.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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