Mr J.H. Mensah, a leading member of New Patriotic Party (NPP) and a Member of Parliament has questioned the seriousness of some of his party members who were clamouring for the party's presidential slot for the 2008 general election, saying that the demand for the presidency was not "a beauty contest" anybody could jump at.
"This is not a beauty contest", Mr Mensah declared, adding that anybody aspiring to be the NPP flag bearer should have won the confidence of a majority of not just party members but also the general public, as well as being capable of "running difficult, complex and demanding projects."
Speaking on probably the most urgent concern for the NPP, Mr Mensah said not only had the unprecedented number of presidential aspirants given the party a bad image, but that their attitude had also fuel the perception that the flagbearership was something anybody could aspire to.
Rather, the presidency should only be a preserve for honest, hardworking achievers and "not the chaos of twenty individual captains", he added.
Mr Mensah was addressing faithful of the NPP attending the party's annual delegates conference currently underway at the EREDCE Hotel at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
According to Mr Mensah, the issue of presidential aspirants of the party "has threatened to get out of hand" and the party's image has suffered damage.
He questioned: "What kind of a united team can the NPP present to the country when not only the eleven players on the field but also all the reserves on the benches want to be captain."
While accepting that every member of the NPP could and was entitled to present himself as a candidate, he explained that the provision could not be misconstrued to mean, "Everybody should present himself."
"Ghana needs a disciplined team under outstanding leadership to give us top-grade governance, not the chaos of twenty individual captains", he pointed out.
Mr Mensah reminded party members of the need to deliver on the mandate delivered to the NPP in 2000 and 2004 so that the people could offer them another mandate in 2008.
He affirmed that the leadership of the party would not "gamble or guess with the choice of their leader" because "quality tells."
"We have all worked together, and we know each other's contributions and we cannot gamble with the choice of a leader," Mr Mensah declared.
In his address, the General Secretary of the Party, Nana Ohene-Ntow, announced that the party would be making appointments to the positions of Director of Communications and Press Secretaries to spearhead its communications strategy, which he described as the weakest link in the party's corporate strategy.
He said the party had also launched a new website with the domain: www.nppnational.org to counteract propaganda and false information being labeled against it by its opponents.
Nana Ntow said as part of moves to motivate women, the secretariat had initiated a women's cooperative NGO and the move would enable it to provide both skills training and credit to the women.
He said the party was also gearing its moves to win more votes in the Zongo communities through the revival of the Nasara Club, which is an amalgamation of Muslim clubs within the NPP.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr Peter Mac-Manu called on members who were testing the waters to see if they could present themselves as presidential aspirants to be civil and decent in their utterances and their activities.
He said this year, the party would invite nominations for parliamentary candidates for constituencies without sitting MPs and explained that the situation was to allow for early marketing and campaigning of the candidates.
Mr Mac-Manu explained that in order not to undermine sitting MPs, the party would come out with a programme in 2008 on how candidates in those constituencies would be nominated to represent the party.
He said the party believed in the rule of law and therefore rejected the unconventional methods that some members were trying to adopt to remove duly elected officials from office by closing down party offices and hurriedly arranging meetings to vote in new executives.
Mr Mac-Manu said God willing, "the NPP shall continue to dominate the political landscape of the country for many years to come" and urged the members to help to maintain its position as one of the best-organized and most attractive political parties in Africa.