Kumasi -- MR. DANIEL Ohene Agyekum, a former Ashanti Regional Minister and leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has declared his intention to contest the chairmanship of the party in the region. The regional congress of the NDC is scheduled to take place on November 26 this year.
Ohene Agyekum, who confirmed his declaration to The Chronicle in a telephone conversation on Sunday, said his decision to contest the position should not be interpreted as an indictment or non-performance on the part of the incumbent chairman, whom he has supported all this while.
According to him anybody worth his salt could contest for a position in a democratic process and that is all there is to his decision. “ I want to play my part like every other individual would in building the party,” he said.
The former Minister explained that the time has come for him to join the leadership of the party in order to move it faster, adding that contesting for the position did not mean he was taking the position from anybody.
“I have a vision that will help propel the party to victory in 2008,” The Chronicle was told.
Ohene Agyekum, who is also a former Ambassador to Canada, has been a longtime godfather in the P(NDC). He served as the PNDC Regional Secretary for eastern and Ashanti regions, and the NDC Regional Minister for Ashanti and Greater Accra.
He later became a Minister of State in the Office of the President and State Protocol. He has, since 2000, placed his expertise and resources at the disposal of the party to the admiration of the party's followers.
“Peace always prevails whenever he intervenes in any situation affecting the party,” an insider confided in The Chronicle.
The incumbent chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Nti Fordjour, told The Chronicle that he had relied on Ohene Agyekum for directions and enjoyed immense support from him previously.
Ohene Agyekum would be contesting the Fordjour, who was elected chairman in December 2001. He was the NDC constituency chairman for Subin from 1992 until he was elected the Regional Vice chairman in 1994.
The Chronicle has gathered that Mr. Osei Bonsu, the constituency chairman for Atwima, and Alhaji Sanni Mohammed, a member of the party, have as well declared their intentions to contest the post. All known aspirants are yet to file their nominations to confirm their intentions.
Mr. Sly Akakpovie, the incumbent party scribe, has also decided to go for the regional secretary slot a second time. A law student, pharmacist and teacher, Akakpovie was elected current position on December 14, 2001 in Obuasi. He was the local chairman and later the national vice chairman of Polytechnics' TEIN.
Alhaji Mohammed Bula Matali, an Administrator at the NDC regional secretariat and former NADMO coordinator for Amansie East and Sene districts will, also vie for the post of regional youth organizer.
Meanwhile, the regional secretariat of the NDC has cautioned prospective contestants, their supporters and the entire membership of the party to conduct their campaigns in an atmosphere of friendship, tolerance and utmost civility, and to avoid unnecessary vilification against each other.
A statement issued by the scribe, Akakpovie, on September 16, 2005, stressed that the unity of the 'Akatamanso' family must remain supreme over any personal, individual or groups interest.