MESSAGE FROM MR B. J. DA Rocha
The first national chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr B. J. da Rocha, has urged delegates to the party's congress to use their sense of judgement when choosing a flag bearer for the party.
He reminded the delegates that the party had an election to win in 2008 and must, therefore, choose a winner for the party.
In a message to the aspirants, delegates and the party faithful, Mr da Rocha said the delegates had had the special honour and privilege to represent the whole of the NPP.“The party, therefore, expects of you the utmost good faith and honesty. The fate of the NPP will be determined by the choice you make ,” he said.
Mr da Rocha also admonished the aspirants not to let the pursuit of their ambition to be the flag bearer of the party become a mania as that could hurt them and the party either deliberately or inadvertently.“However fine may be your vision, however high your ambition and your estimation of yourself as the best candidate, fate may nevertheless decree that this time round is not for you,” he advised.
He said he was convinced that each and every one of them had the best interest of the party.“In the final analysis, however, your quest for the party's nomination is an attempt to fulfil a personal ambition, perhaps nursed over a long time. Do not let the pursuit of this ambition become a mania, for if it does, you may hurt yourself and the party either deliberately or inadvertently,” he said.
Mr da Rocha reminded the aspirants that the party had a tradition of decent behaviour of which they were all aware and, therefore, urged them to conduct themselves as decent gentlemen throughout the proceedings.According to him, only one of them (aspirants) would ultimately be selected.
“If you are not a winner, please do not be a bad loser. To the person who is selected, I say, please do not see yourself and behave as one who has won a great victory over many opponents. See yourself as a fortunate person whom fate has decreed to be our presidential candidate,” he stated.
Mr da Rocha further advised the party faithful who would flock the congress grounds to behave in a way that would make the party proud of them. “Each of you no doubt, has an aspirant he or she favours; but remember that the aspirants are not enemy combatants; they are all members of the NPP family seeking the party's nomination,” he said.He reminded the party faithful that their behaviour would determine the nature of the atmosphere at the University of Ghana, Legon.
“Let it be friendly and joyful. Do nothing to disturb or disrupt the proceedings on this most important occasion either before or during the voting and particularly after the winner has been declared. Whoever wins is the presidential candidate for the NPP,” he stated.
According to Mr da Rocha, the unity and stability of the party and the loyalty and commitment of the party faithful would be on test and expressed the hope that they would all ensure that the congress became a successful pacesetter.
Story by Albert K. Salia
FROM MR PETER ALA-ADJETEY
A founder member and former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, has called on the delegates of the party to elect a presidential candidate who will be acceptable to the broad masses of Ghanaians in the 2008 general election.
He said such a person should have integrity, competence and ability, as well as an eye for picking the right people to assist him in his executive functions.
In an interview with Daily Graphic in Accra on Thursday, Mr Ala Adjetey, who is also a delegate, said such a person should be of his own mind, able to think on his feet on national and international issues and articulate a position of which the broad masses of Ghanaians would feel proud.
“A President is like Caesar's wife; his conduct should be unimpeachable and above suspicion,” he added.
Mr Ala Adjetey placed premium on a person with proven competence who would refrain from having groups or factions within his own party or outside it.
He said that the person should constantly consult the top hierarchy of the party and take advice, after a sober reflection, since he was responsible for his actions in the final analysis.
Mr Ala Adjetey said the future of the party would depend on how the election at the congress was handled, adding that if it was handled transparently, such that everyone felt that he had been treated fairly, the future of the party would be bright, but if not, dark clouds would appear over the party which would take a long time to be done away with.
Asked whether the newly-elected flag bearer of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, posed a threat to the NPP, he said he did not think both Dr Nduom and Prof. Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were threats to the NPP.
Mr Ala Adjetey confidently said the NPP would surely hand over to itself, adding that that was what the country needed.
“Our period of rule is a period of peace which we have demonstrated. Ghana needs that a few more years so that democracy can stand firmly for it not to be thrown away by any side wind,” he added.
Story by Michael Donkor.
FROM MR SAMUEL ODOI-SYKES
A former National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Samuel Odoi Sykes, has called on the delegates to the special congress on Saturday to be true to their conscience and vote for a candidate who in their opinion is the best among the lot, despite the numerous promises by the aspirants.
He, therefore, reminded the delegates to the party's national congress of the core values and principles which bind them and ensure that the resilience of the Danquah/Busia tradition remains firm as they exercise their franchise tomorrow..
In a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Odoi-Sykes noted that the paramount interets of the party, which included unity and capturing power in the 2008 elections, should be their guiding principle in selecting a presidential candidate for the NPP.
To the aspirants, he reminded them of their pledges to the Vetting Committee that since it was only one of them who would definitely emerge as the flag bearer, they would all pledge to support the winner after the congress.
“This has been the tradition of the party laid down by the founding fathers and no candidate should attempt or be seen to be doing something different,” he added.
Mr Odoi-Sykes was of the view that the perception that President J.A. Kufuor was supporting a particular candidate had permeated the campaign process, but was optimistic that the delegates would make the right decision
He said the chances of the NPP in the 2008 elections were as good as any other party if not the best but as a party in power, “we have inevitably acquired some baggage but have one year to put our house in order and fight in the typical Danquah/Busia courage to win the election.
FROM MR HARONA ESSEKU
Mr Harona Esseku, NPP's immediate past National Chairman has called on presidential aspirants of the NPP to consider withdrawing from the race if they think they have a slim chance of winning.
“Please be bold to withdraw honourably and give your support to a better candidate,” he advised the aspirants in a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday.
He also called on the delegates attending the party's special congress tomorrow to vote for a candidate with vision, proven record of performance and delivery.
He said that delegates must consider a candidate who in the past had proved his loyalty and unflinching support to the party.
“Nobody, should please vote because he/she has been influenced with money; Money should not be a determining factor for who leads our party into election 2008,” he said.
He said as a former Chairman, a member of the National Executive and National Council, an oath had been taken not to openly name those they were going to vote for until after the polls.
“But at the moment I consider the fight to be between two candidates who have proven their worth in terms of the qualities given already,” he said.
He said if the perception that the President was supporting one candidate was true then it would be unfortunate.
He explained that earlier this year, President Kufuor openly declared that after him must come a certain generation to succeed him and went ahead to name names belonging to that generation — Akufo Addo, Hackman after that generation comes Dan Botwe and others.
“You have openly named the succeeding generations and being seen supporting one of them to succeed you, is unfortunate,” he said.
“I admired him greatly when he made that declaration and I will beg of him that if the perception is true he should take steps to reverse it because it is better late than never,” he stated.
Asked whether the NPP would break up after the congress, he said the party's tradition could withstand the intense competition and healthy rivalry among the contestants.
He said the main reason was that “our party was not founded by one person. We have 113 founder members who signed the document which was deposited with the E.C. upon which the party was approved as a national party” and gave the assurance that the party would win the 2008 elections hands down.
Story by Donald Ato Dapatem