THE Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the New Patriotic Party has called on the leadership of the party to take the necessary steps towards getting a provision in the party's constitution that would give the group voting rights at all levels of the party's organisation.
According to the President of the University of Cape Coast chapter of TESCON, Iddrisu Karim, who made the call during a forum at the weekend, the current situation where “we are denied the right to take part in major decisions, such as election of polling station, constituency, regional and national executives of the party constitutes a serious marginalisation and lack of recognition for the active role we have been playing in promoting the cause of the party.” Mr Karim added that because of the active involvement of the various chapters of TESCON in the organisation of the party in the polling stations, constituencies and regions in which they are located, and by virtue of their constant interactions with key figures of the party, “we are better positioned to help identify people who are really committed to the cause of the party and should be made to lead us.”
“TESCON deserves better treatment; TESCON now needs recognition, we need to be part of the Electoral College, which elects National Executives. As intellectuals and foot soldiers of the party, it would serve the party's interest more if we were part of the Electoral College. After all, what concerns all must be discussed by all,” the TESCON President contended. The Central Regional Minister, Isaac Edumadze, commended the membership of TESCON on the sacrifices they made to secure victory for the NPP, especially in the Central Region, in the last elections. He urged them not to allow their frustrations that may arise out of the party's inability to satisfactorily meet their demands to kill the burning zeal with which they execute their responsibilities as the intelligentsia of the party.
“Let us not relent in our efforts at strengthening the base of our party to ensure another victory in 2008 because the worst thing that could happen to NPP and the entire nation is allowing the NDC to come back power,” Mr Edumadze charged the TESCON members. While acknowledging that the NPP was going through turbulent times, and expressing the hope that all would be over soon, the Regional Minister was convinced that the party needed a new crop of leadership at all levels to inject fresh blood, a sense of dynamism and a little bit of radicalism into the party's organisation, “to ensure that a vibrant party is built.”
Nana Ohene Ntow, a candidate for the position of General Secretary of the party, in an interview with The Statesman said “the demand is a fair one.” He was happy that the TESCON had pointed to the party's Constitution in making its demand and said Congress was the appropriate forum to discuss the demand. Mr Ohene Ntow said he would support any decision that Congress comes up with after thorough discussion and debate on the matter.
On his part, Abeeku Dickson, also a contender for the General Secretary position of the party, welcomed the demand when The Statesman spoke to him. He revealed that it was under his Chairmanship of the Youth Wing of the party that the TESCON was born and said TESCON was a vital part of the NPP comprised of “energetic, committed and positive-minded people.” Like Mr Ohene Ntow, he said the party should subject the demand to debate and discussion. But, he would rather the matter be discussed within the context of voting rights for the Youth Wing instead.
Presenting a paper on “Politics of Petrol Prices,” the Ahanta West District Chief Executive, Kwesi Biney, urged Ghanaians not to allow “just one product whose prices we do not have control over to take the nation to ransom.” “Those calling for subsidies have not made any suggestion as to the source of funds to subsidise petroleum products, neither have we been told which social or capital expenditure should be sacrificed for petroleum subsidy,” Mr Biney added.
The DCE urged Ghanaians not to toy with the nation's future, since the generation unborn would not be part of today's consumption, adding that they could only benefit from the capital projects that are being made today. Our ability to stabilise the economy through effective fiscal and monetary policies is very much dependent on how the nation manages a very important product as petroleum,” he contended.