A regional chairman aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper East region, Filson Awankua, has consoled NPP candidates who were let down in the recent race for executive positions at the polling station level and entreated them to use “the appropriate quarters” for amends.
The electoral exercise, held nationwide in the last week of January, this year, at polling stations and electoral areas, saw a sour turn of events as clashes erupted in the Upper West and Eastern regions over alleged sidestepping of electoral rules by some big shots.
Although complaints emerged strongly in the Upper East region after the conduct of the elections, with some fallen old executives claiming they were “unfairly” and “illegally” toppled to favour new entrants, that outbreak of anger did not sink into chaos.
Mr. Awankua, who likewise is in a tough race for the regional chairmanship title with four other titans of the party, appealed for calm in a statement he issued to the press.
“I would like to congratulate all those who emerged victorious out of the contest and to appeal to the unsuccessful contestants to continue to support the party in diverse ways as the party needs them now more than before. I was not surprised the entire process was peaceful with much co-operation and understanding because I know my people very well and they do not disappoint when it comes to issues like this,” he said.
He added: “However, I would like to plead with those who in one way or the other are not satisfied with the conduct of the elections to use the appropriate quarters as prescribed by the party for redress. Let us remember that we belong to a political party with very high credentials when it comes to democracy. Therefore, we should not engage in acts that will bring the name of the party into disrepute.”
Thousands of candidates took part in the elections at 1,227 polling stations and 353 electoral areas in the region. The constituency, regional and national executive elections are slated for the last weeks in February, April and June, this year, respectively.
Divided NPP needs Awankua to Turn the Tide— Communication Team
Mr. Awankua, according to his communication team, intends to reorganise the NPP in the region, from the polling station level to the regional office, into a party that “adheres to a disciplined chain of command”.
“Every regional office of the NPP is to have a Finance Committee chaired by the Financial Secretary. This is, unfortunately, not the case in the Upper East Region. The effect is that financial checks and balances are compromised. Awankua is determined to ensure cohesive party structures from the polling to the regional office that adheres to a disciplined chain of command,” the communication team said in a statement made available to the media.
The team also paints a picture of an NPP critically divided in the region over personal interests— a worrying tide members of the team say would take only a “unifier and messiah” in the person of Awankua to turn in the interest of the party ahead of the 2020 general elections.
“It does appear that the party hierarchy is not driven by a unity of purpose. In some constituencies and at the regional level, party leadership is at loggerheads with appointees and among themselves. The leadership, rather than solve issues of disunity, appear to be interested in personal goals and aggrandizement.
“A few conflict situations are illustrative: Bongo, factionalism within the constituency executive since 2004; Chiana-Paga, DCE versus Constituency Chairman; Regional Minister versus Regional Executive/Chairman; Regional Executive, Chairman versus Financial Secretary. Mr. Awankua is an engineer. Call him constructor. The engineering profession requires that the professional builds from scratch or repairs what is broken. He intends to do just that as leader of the party in the region— construct bridges of unity where these are absent and repair broken bridges of unity,” the statement said.
Mr. Awankua, a native of Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East Constituency and product of Takoradi Technical University and Cape Coast Technical University, says he intends to win more parliamentary seats than the three the party captured in the Upper East region— a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)— at the 2016 general polls.
The aspirant, who holds a B. Sc. Degree in Engineering from KAAF University, Cape Coast— an affiliate of the Engineering College of Birmingham, United Kingdom— seeks to elbow out incumbent Mohammed Murtala Ibrahim at the April showdown. The other heavyweights said to be rigorously pulling up their socks to occupy that position include Lawyer Anthony Namoo, Joseph Agongo and Abdalla Otito Werseh Achuliwor.
“I am also very hopeful and optimistic that the peace, co-operation and understanding that characterised the entire process of these elections will be replicated in the upcoming constituency and regional executive elections. Let us conduct ourselves before, during and after the constituency and regional executive elections as we did during the just-ended polling stations and electoral area elections.
“We need to remain united after all this process to form a formidable force to win more seats for our party. I believe in unity in diversity. I believe you will agree with me that we deserve more seats than the only three we have in the region and it will be tedious if not impossible to win more with a divided front. Finally, let’s ensure there is peace and unity among us after the entire processes to make the NPP attractive for 2020,” Mr. Awankua stressed in his press release.
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