A regional review meeting organised by Members of the Volta Regional Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Ho on Friday turned ecstatic when Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo pulled a surprise visit, midway into the meeting.
The meeting which was organised to review the state of the party after the 2008 general elections and was attended by party gurus both regional and national, came to a standstill as members mobbed the party’s leader in last year’s election.
Present at the meeting were other party gurus such as Osei Ameyaw, Rashid Bawa, Joseph Nayan, Frances Asiam, Amoako Tuffour, Tommy Amematekpor, former DCEs, Regional and constituency executives. The former Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi, was however absent. In a standing ovation, members chanted various party songs including the party’s hit song “Nana is a winner’ which forced all, including Nana himself, into dancing, with little sign from members to indicate that the party was in opposition.
When the jubilation which lasted for more than 30 minutes was finally brought under control, Nana Addo thanked the people of the region for the support given him in the last general elections and emphasised that he came to the region immediately after the 2008 elections where he organised a regional ‘thank you’ rally at Kpassa, hence, Friday’s visit was his second in 2009. He urged the people to ignore the NDC’s propaganda that he did not come to the region to thank the people after losing.
Nana Addo pointed out that the visit was part of those he had outlined to see to the re-organisation of the party in the region and the country as a whole. He bemoaned the management style of the Atta Mills led government, recalling that it was the same style the law professor used when he was the chairman of the Economic Planning Committee under ex-President Rawlings, with the current Finance Minister, Kwabena Duffour, who was the governor of the Bank of Ghana, adding that they were messing up the economy now as they did then.
Nana expressed worry about the intimidation, harassment and victimization that were being meted out to party members, including himself, and charged members to stand up against all such undemocratic tendencies to ensure success in the country’s democratic dispensations. Nana also spoke about the need for party unity and explained that “party unity does not mean people of the same party should always think alike or think along the same lines” but that party unity could still be made of diverse views that accommodates the views of all, including the minority.
He assured party members of his commitment to rebuild the party and would spare no efforts in bringing the party to victory come 2012. Addressing the well-attended meeting, the Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic party, Kenwuud Nuworsu, pointed out that the appointment of a Regional Campaign Monitoring Team disrupted the structures, state and life of the party in the region. According to him, the composition of the team was ill-advised which brought about operational and organisational lapses, poor monitoring, greed and self interest.
He pointed out that there were too many research teams in the party and mentioned other factors as the diversion of campaign resources, security lapses, lack of control and poor management of resources as some of the factors that caused the abysmal performance of the party in the region. The importation of party agents into the region, he said, also cost the party a lot, as it helped the NDC in its propaganda that the NPP brought macho men to harass the electorates.
Mr. Nuworsu observed that in spite of the intimidation, harassment, and mass rigging that characterised the election in the region, the party held onto its own and chalked 14.98% as against 14.2% in the 2004 elections. Mr. Nuworsu explained that since 1992, the party had been growing at a geometric range and it was only in the last election that there was a marginal increment in percentage terms. He argued that the performance of the party in the region was spectacular in the face of all the problems it had, stressing that the defeat of the NPP could not be blamed on the region but rather on the dwindling support in its strongholds which should catch the attention of the national leadership.
The Regional NPP boss explained that in the 2000 elections, ex-President Kufour had only 8% votes from the Volta region yet, he won the national elections in six regions. Corroborating his argument with figures, the NPP Chairman noted that the Ashanti region, the party’s strongest hold dropped in its performance from 74.6% in 2004 to 72.23%, Western Region dropped from 56.6% to 47.35%, Central Region dropped from 58.5% to 46.02%,Eastern dropped from 60.2 to 56.91, Greater Accra from 51.9 to 50.54.
He debunked criticisms that Nana did not visit the region after the 2008 elections to thank the people, stressing that just as it was done in other regions, Nana met Voltarians at Kpasssa and extended his gratitude to them. Leading members including, former Ministers, DCE’s and MP aspirants, he said, had all deserted the region, with landlords threatening to take party offices, and chiefs threatening to banish party stalwarts. He called on members to be strong, as there would always be light at the end of the tunnel.
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