If conventions in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are anything to go by, then non-Voltarians in the ruling party scheming and trying very hard to warm their way into the hearts of the rank and file of the party to be elected as National Chairman in the impending National Delegate’s Congress must revise their notes.
A long-standing unwritten pact, unanimously sanctioned by the Council of Elders of the umbrella party and endorsed by party founder, J.J Rawlings since 2005; and which is recognized among bigwigs in the NDC, particularly those at the forefront of the leadership, reserved the national chairmanship slot of the party to Voltarians.
Following this “known” convention, it is therefore, not surprising that the incumbent National Chairman and former MP for Biakoye in the Volta Region, Dr. Kwabena Adjei and Mr. Kofi Portuphy, a National Vice Chairman of the party and National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), seem to be the lead contenders so far as the media war ahead of the next congress of the party is concerned.
Another name that has strongly come up as having an interest in the chairmanship position is the immediate past Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and former national organizer of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; though, a non-Voltarian.
The NADMO boss, a native of Ada in the Greater Region but said to have his roots from the Volta Region, is hell bent on putting the unwritten convention of the party to a severe test by his sudden rise to stardom and emergence at the frontline of the battle against the incumbent chairman at the Congress which is slated for December this year.
In the light of this development, whiles some leading members of the party say the NDC is not ready to part ways with the age long convention by electing a non-Voltarian as chairman, others also think it was hard time the party moved away from the old ways of doing things and choose a party head base on competence and not sectarian considerations.
Very credible information available to The Al-Hajj indicates that, the kingpins of the party have been considering these issues ‘silently’, and from the information this paper has picked up, it appears the party is not ready to break the convention by denying the political World Bank of the party the chairmanship slot.
However, with the political mettle and strength so far demonstrated by the NADMO boss, The Al- Hajj would not be surprised if the party’s calculus on the national chairmanship issue changes at the impending congress, where the delegates, who are the final decision-makers of the party damn the permutations of the elites in Accra who have erected the unwritten conventions, and go for the hardworking NADMO boss.
With this, a heated contest is expected between the two leading contenders who have stepped up their game in the media and using all manner of tactics to outsmart each other.
Media reports have it that, Mr. Kofi Portuphy has the blessings of the ever powerful Fante confederacy led by the Ahwois, who are said to be trying very hard to have their favorite elected to that position in order to have their grips firmly on the party.
Interesting news making the rounds ahead of the congress is a supposed “pledge”, allegedly made by Dr. Kwabena Adjei, who has successfully led the NDC to win two elections in 2008 and 2012; which among other things suggests that, he will not contest for the chairmanship position for the third time when his tenure expires in December this year.
It is not quite clear what might have influenced the incumbent chairman’s decision to run for the position again, but one of his aides, who spoke to this paper remarked “considering recent developments in the party, it would be suicidal if Dr. Adjei abdicates that position… he has an unfinished business, and that is, to unite and hold the party structures together ahead of the 2016 elections.”
“If you would recall, during the FONKAR and GAME contest at the Sunyani congress, it was only Wayoo Wayoo (Dr. Kwabena Adjei) who stood neutral and defended the interest of the party against others who pitched camp with either GAME or FONKAR…. I recall he said, he was not going to contest that position again, but since then, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and he has changed his mind…it is only a fool who does not change his mind,” the aide stated.
Meanwhile, reports reaching The Al-Hajj suggests that, the Portuphy camp is clinging onto the purported statement by Dr. Kwabena Adjei to shoot him down and deny him the opportunity to head the party for the third time.
“The same way Dr. Kwabena Adjei defeated Dr Yaw Obed Asamaoh at the 2005 congress in Koforidua, Mr. Portuphy will crush him at the impending congress,” a source close to Mr. Portuphy boasted.
The elites of the party believe the party will stick to tradition and add more freshness to their ‘marriage’ with the Volta Region by electing a Voltarian as chairman for the party in the impending congress.
But the situation is quite tricky with the grassroots, where Mr. Portuphy is said to be highly popular, so the battle may look like one among the elite in the party and the ordinary party members across the regions in the country.
As party insiders put it, the pact, which dates back to the run-up to the sixth National Delegates' Congress of the NDC in 2005 at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, was fashioned out to reward the people of the Volta Region, which was and still remains a safe political haven for the ruling party.
Another reason, which is said to be the chief motive that called for the agreement was that, since former President Jerry John Rawlings, a son of the Volta Region had ruled the nation for almost nineteen years, it would be practically impossible for another Voltarian to rise to the position of presidential or vice presidential candidate of the party any time soon, hence the need to reserve the chairmanship slot for the region as a sign of appreciation.
Source: A A Yayra/Al-Hajj/Ghana
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