... as Greater Accra branch closes ranks The Greater Accra Regional Branch of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has held a meeting that could be described as reconciliation move to strategize how to increase the fortunes of the party in the region.
The meeting which was attended by almost all the regional constituency executive members was held behind closed doors at the residence of the Regional Chairman and National Campaign Manager, Hon. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
In the year 2000, NPP got almost 73% of the seats in the region. It therefore appeared the region was becoming a stronghold for the ruling party, however series of events before, during and after the constituency primaries put this claim at risk.
“To many of the electorate in the nation's capital, the NPP's got as much chances of retaining and adding up to the seats in the region as the proverbial snowball in hell,” an executive member of the party who attended the meeting told the paper.
Briefing the paper after the meeting, the Regional Campaign Media Relations Officer, Mr. Daniel Dugan said the meeting became necessary as a result of the wave of protests, court actions, general disappointments about the conduct of the primaries, the declaration of some dissatisfied candidates to go independent, with the call on the electorate to vote in a skirt and blouse phenomenon.
“Beside, there is an alleged sponsorship of some independent candidates by losing incumbent parliamentarians that was playing the party into the hands of its opponents in the region and as a caring party, we can not afford to claim all was well without bringing our people together to smoke peace pipe,” he explained.
“However, with the Elephants, there is the growing assertion that they can never remain disunited for long, most especially when there is a common battle at hand,” he said.
He told the paper that it had happened so many times from the national to the constituency levels that the Danquah-Busia family would stick together even after major disputes.
“This is one of the strengths of the party, which made it survive twenty-nine years in political exile but certainly we need to meet to put our house in order. After all, we are fighting a common battle,” he said.
According to the Media Relations Officer, the meeting had proven successful and it also emerged that the Danquah-Busia tradition draws its strength from quickly resolving differences and facing the tasks ahead.
“Apart from four constituencies, which were about to resolve the issue of the skirt and blouse voting and the disunity among executives, the only major problem yet to be effectively resolved was the Okai-Kwei North affair in which a renegade party member had gone independent.
Even with this threat, the local branch had come out with an effective way of tackling it perfectly,” Dugan told The Chronicle.
He said if what transpired at the meeting was anything to go by, then the party would surely shock its opponents come December 7 to consolidate its strength in the region by picking more seats including the five newly created ones.
“All the NPP parliamentary candidates from the region have what it takes to contribute immensely in the legislature and also to tackle problems facing the constituents,” he said.
One of such candidates is Professor Mike Oquaye of the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency who is Ghana's Ambassador to India.
A popular figure in the party and in the nation, Prof. Oquaye, before picking his ambassadorial post, was the Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he lectured from 1984 to January 2002.
He was the chairman of the Ga Rural Constituency in 1992 and was the Greater Accra Regional 1st Secretary of the NPP, when Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker of Parliament, was Chairman. Asked what compelled him to decide to run for Parliament instead of staying at post in India as Ghana's High Commissioner, Prof. Oquaye replied that the people wanted him. It was a clear invitation from the constituents to come back home and serve them.
Ambassador Oquaye has got first hand experience of India's self help and cottage industry practices.
He had already established food processing units and irrigation projects with India standards, in the district.
He helped to bring down IT from India, which resulted in the establishment of the Kofi Annan Center for Excellency.
Any political ambitions? Professor Oquaye, who was instrumental in bringing India's IT to Ghana, would want to tackle problems as at now, using the law.