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Fight for positions begins…in Ashanti NPP

By Issah Alhassan, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

EVEN THOUGH the Regional Congress of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is nine months away, information available to The Chronicle reveals that underground campaigns and political scheming, for the various positions in the region, have already begun.

Investigations conducted by the paper indicate that the battle is going to be a keenly contested one, as many incumbents have defied the odds and criticisms to defend their positions, in preparations for the December Congress.

The Chronicle has learnt that the Regional Chairmanship position is expected to be an interesting contest, as a number of party bigwigs are eyeing the seat.

Early signals picked by the paper, indicate that the position would be a battle between heavyweights like the Bantama Constituency Chairman, Mr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the incumbent, Mr. Robert Yaw Owusu Amankwaah, and the former Regional Deputy Minister and First Regional Vice Chairman, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi.

The paper, however, gathered that the former deputy Regional Minister might throw his weight behind his boss, the incumbent Chairman, if it becomes clear that Mr. Yaw Amankwaah is not going to step down. Other constituency chairmen have also confided in the paper that they would contest for the Regional Chairmanship

position, but would first want to cement their positions at the constituency level, before making their intentions known. The name of the Regional Secretary, Mr. Samuel Cudjoe, is reportedly making rounds as a likely candidate for the Vice Chairmanship position, even though Mr. Cudjoe has told the paper in a telephone interview that he was currently concentrating on the re-organisation of the party's internal structures after the defeat.

He insisted that the idea of contesting the vice regional chairmanship position was not a personal one but a suggestion from certain quarters of the party which he was yet to give a thought to.

Mr. Cudjoe did not, however, rule out the possibility but said he would make his intentions known after the party's emergency congress in May where he believes a number of amendments were likely to take place in the constitution of the party.

The Regional Secretary position is going to be a battle of intelligence and communication between a member of the NPP Research and Communication team, Mr. Sam Pyne and the Special Assistant to the former Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and MP for Old Tafo, Mr. Joseph Owusu Boakye, popularly known as "Abito".

Mr. Pyne told the paper he would be counting heavily on his long-standing commitment and loyalty to the party to win the seat but Owusu Boakye's eloquent skills and agility could also be a deciding factor.

The current Regional Youth Organizer, Mr. Kankam, The Chronicle has gathered, is planning to elevate himself to the position of Regional Organizer proper but he would face stiffer opposition from Mr. Yaw Anhwere, a "renegade" party member in the Atwima Nwabiagya constituency.

The Regional Youth Organizing position would however see the keenest of all contest as active youth in the party are expected to flex their muscles.

A member of the NPP Regional Communication Directorate, Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta is in the lead for the youth organizing position but he would first have to beat the likes of George Ampratwum, an Alan strong loyalist and one Michael Awuku Amoah.

Ofori Atta is however riding high on his close connection with the party's national bigwigs including allies of the former flag bearer of the party and his relationship with the "Apagyafie," a strong force in the NPP.

Mad. Mary Brobbey, the Regional Women's Organizer would also face a stiff opposition from Miss Gambrah, a strong member of the party.

He also alleged that some members of the party have hijacked the party to the detriment of the large majority of members who worked relentlessly for the victory of the NDC.

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