PNC Leadership Race: Wayo Vrs. Mahama
The leadership of the People's National Convention (PNC) will be determined on Saturday, March 27, 2004 at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra when Dr Edward Mahama, the incumbent, battles for the position against Kofi Wayo.
Mr Wayo, otherwise known as Chucks or the Nima Boy, until somewhere last year, was a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). He defected because he claimed the Kufuor administration had failed the teeming masses. Dr Mahama has since 1996 run as the presidential candidate of the PNC and it is expected that Mr Wayo's entry into the race will make the contest for the leadership very competitive and exciting.
The decision of Mr Wayo to contest the flagbearership of the PNC has put to rest speculations that he was being pencilled in for the position of running mate to Dr Mahama. Mr Wayo, however, said in a chat at the party headquarters in Kotobabi, a suburb of Accra, yesterday that he was not keen on running for the position of presidential candidate at this year's polls.
He said he had targeted 2008 when he would run as a presidential candidate to implement his rescue mission for Ghana.Mr Wayo appealed to the media to put the government on its toes to deliver on its promises to the people and decried the present arrangement where some media personnel are treating the government with kid gloves.
Dr Mahama said in an interview that the two-day delegates congress would, apart from electing the leader and flagbearer of the party, also select its national executive officers.He said the opening ceremony of the congress would be performed on Saturday when the party would receive messages from well wishers as well as other political parties in the country and perhaps from abroad.
According to Dr Mahama, during the congress, the party would make resolutions concerning what the party will do if voted into power.Asked about the issue of a running mate, Dr Mahama said the choice a of running mate was the prerogative of the presidential candidate, on the advice of the national executive committee (NEC).
He said the congress would also be called upon to endorse or reject the proposed Grand Coalition with the GCPP and EGLE as well as other arrangements in terms of alliances in the general election.
Dr Mahama expressed dismay at the difficulties being encountered by potential voters at the registration centres and said the government should have empowered the NCCE to educate the people on the exercise.
Mr Gabriel Pwamang, the General Secretary of the party, said the congress would be attended by five delegates from each of the 200 constituencies, 10 delegates from the regional branches and all members of the NEC as well as five observers from each constituency.
He said Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan and Dr Osei Bonsu are contesting the position of chairman of the party, while Dr Bainge is the only candidate who filed as the first national vice-chairman.
The position of general secretary is being contested by Mr Pwamang and David Nibi, the incumbent chairman of the Publicity Committee of the party, while two persons are also contesting the position of treasurer. They are Dr Sontim Tobigah and Alhaji Abdul Moomim.
The position of national youth organiser is being contested by Mr Mauza Andani and Abubakar Kwashie Siddique, while Thomas Atigar and Nana Opoku will lock horns for the position of national organiser.
For the position of women's organiser, the delegates will make a choice between Hajia Ajara M. Ali, the incumbent, and Madam Patience Karji.Mr Pwamang said the delegates would decide on the party's platform for the 2004 electioneering, campaign.
He also spoke about some difficulties being encountered by registration officials in the Upper East and Upper West regions.Mr Pwamang said those problems relate to the quality of indelible ink and poor quality pictures but added that the attention of the Electoral Commission (EC) had been drawn to the problems and it had pledged to address them.
He also spoke about the registration of students and appealed to the EC to address the concerns of the students in order not to disenfranchise them.