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16 April 2014

THE TAGGING IN NPP MUST STOP! -Kwabena Agyepong cautions.

Newly-elected General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, yesterday cautioned members of the party against the unhealthy practice of tagging people and seeking to associate them permanently with certain personalities in the party, just because they had worked with them before or supported their bid for certain positions in the past.
He regretted that the practice had somewhat created needless suspicion and mistrust among party members, and undermined the strong bonding spirit of unity, harmony, brotherliness and comradeship that existed in the party in the past and helped it to defeat the well-orchestrated efforts by the party’s political opponent to disintegrate it in the years immediately preceding the return to multi-party democracy in the country.

Speaking in a number of radio interviews yesterday, from his hospital bed at the 37 Military Hospital, Mr Agyepong urged the rank and file of the party to see genuine unity as a pre-requisite for the Victory 2016 agenda, adding “and this unity can be engendered by recognizing and celebrating our diversities, and more especially, as democrats who believe in competition, we need to refrain from tagging people as this or that because they had at one time supported this or that person in a contest.”

The new NPP General Secretary noted that once party members have the interest of the party at heart, they would work to promote “our collective interest and security” which is more paramount than any individual or group ambition.

According to Mr Agyepong, by the emphatic victory he secured at the weekend’s Tamale Delegates’ Conference, together with others, the NPP delegates had sent out a clear message that they wanted those who could secure power for the party to enable it rescue the nation from the hands of the incompetent Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government.

“And once the elections are over, let us put it behind us and more especially stop the tagging of people because in any contest, people will support and work with different candidates. But now that the elections are over, the focus should be on mobilizing our efforts to confront the task ahead of us in 2016,” he stressed.

Mr Agyepong said his election as the new General Secretary of the party was not about anybody’s interest but about the collective determination of the NPP to win the 2016 general elections, to form the next government.

In fact, yesterday on Citi FM, Davis Opoku, an Aide to Mr Agyepong dismissed claims that his boss would work against the presidential bid of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the party’s 2008 and 2012 Presidential Candidate, who has expressed interest in seeking re-election as the 2016 candidate.

“If you want one person who would want Nana Addo to be President of the land, it will be Kwabena Agyepong. That perception of he bringing an agenda and all that; let’s brush it aside.”

The Tamale Conference

Mr Agyepong won an emphatic victory as the NPP’s General Secretary at the party’s Delegates’ Conference held at the at the Tamale Sports Stadium in the Northern Region at the weekend to elect new national officers to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years and, in particular, lead the party’s effort to return to power in the 2016 general elections.

The event turned out to be hugely successful and peaceful, making ‘nonsense’ of the predictions by detractors of the party that the exercise could be marred by violence, in view of the fierce nature of the contests for some of the positions, especially the Chairmanship and General Secretary positions.

On the front burner was the chairmanship contest, where Paul Afoko, a businessman, fought a battle of his life to secure 2,031 votes to defeat three other candidates, including the incumbent Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey who shockingly polled only 66 votes.

Mr Afoko’s closest rival, Stephen Ntim, polled 1,503 votes while the former 1st Vice Chairman, Fred Oware, polled 1,135 votes in the keenly contested race.

Attracting the keenest interest was the contest for the General Secretary position, among Kwabena Agyepong, a former presidential spokesperson and press secretary to former President Kufuor; Yaw Buaben Asamoa, a former deputy communications director of the party; Capt(Rtd) Nkrabea Effah-Dartey, former MP for Berekum; and the incumbent General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, a.k.a Sir John.

At the end of the fierce contest, Mr Agyapong defeated the incumbent Sir John to become the new General Secretary, polling 2,529 votes while Mr Afriyie got 1,990 votes. The other contestants, Yaw Buaben Asamoa and Captain Nkrabea Effah Darteh, secured 181 and 46 votes respectively.

Other officers who were elected at the conference were Freddie Blay, First National Vice-Chairperson, Sammy Crabbe, Second National Vice-Chairperson and Frederick Fredua Antoh, Third National Vice-Chairperson.

The rest are John Boadu, National Organizer, Sammy Awuku, National Youth Organizer, Otiko Djaba who retained her position as National Women’s Organizer, Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, Treasurer, and Kamal Deen Abdulai, National Nassara Coordinator.

For the National Organizer contest, John Boadu secured an overwhelming victory with 3,279 votes, while Hopeson Adorye polled 986, with the incumbent Alhaji Moctar Bamba trailing with 473 votes.

Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah won the National Treasurer position with 2,488 votes, with Ahmed Saida Ruka and Susan Mensah securing 1,162 and 595 votes respectively, while the incumbent Esther Ofori obtained 503 votes.

Sammy Awuku won the National Youth Organizer position with 471 votes; followed by Pius Enam Hadzie, who secured 115 votes. The rest were Richard Nyamah, 19 votes; Emmanuel Attafuah, 28 votes; Gifty Oware-Aboagye, 7 votes; Charles Adu Gyan, 6; and Michael K. Ampong, 9 votes.

For the National Women Organiser position, the incumbent Otiko Djaba won with 276 votes, while Mawusi Awity and Tina Mensah polled 113 and 250 votes respectively.

Kamal Deen Abdulai won the National Nasara Coordinator position with 84 votes, with Abubakari Sulemana, the incumbent, obtaining 57; Salihu Yahaya Bo, 39; Alhaji Ahmed Sadat Awudu, 32; Abdulai Mohammed Tanimu, 8; Haruna M. Maiga, 2; Mohammed A. Ibrahim, 26 and Alhaji Baba G. Ibrahim, 21.

The newly-elected party officers were sworn into office by Nii Ayikoi Otoo, Chairman of the party’s Legal and Constitutional Committee.

Afoko’s Call For Unity

Giving his acceptance speech, the newly elected chairman, Paul Afoko, urged the rank and file of the party to unite behind his administration to win power from the National Democratic Congress in the 2016 elections

He called on them to focus on nothing other than the plan to win the next election, stressing: “As you go home, prepare for government, prepare for power.”

Mr Afoko expressed gratitude to the delegates for his election and appealed them to see him as an individual who is 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.

He called on those who lost in their bid for positions to join hands with his administration to build a formidable front to win the 2016 elections. He described his victory as a triumph for the NPP and not an individual feat and thanked all the delegates for the trust reposed in him.


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