Central NPP Ends Edumadze's Reign
Ghartey, Fobih, Churcher swept away in watershed elections In a watershed election that sent the clearest signal yet to the Executive, delegates representing 15 out of 19 constituencies in the Central Region by returning youthful 44 year old Bootey Dankwah Smith as chairman, along with all nine of his team members, to replace entire executive that has run the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the last four years.
Another significant casualty of what is being represented here as a revolutionary break with the past and the ushering in of a new era of dynamism and genuine positive change at yesterday's clean election at the auditorium of the University of Cape Coast was Mrs. Alice Marie Agyeman, a respected former headmistress of Holy Child School, who pitched camp with the Edumadze-Fobih camp.
Chronicle reporters monitoring the pre-election maneuverings established that Professor Dominic Fobih, the Member of Parliament of Assin South and Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, had aligned with Miss Christine Churcher and with Isaac Edumadze, the regional Minister, to oppose the candidature of Mr. Bootey Dankwa Smith and retain Dr. Nunoo Ghartey as the regional chairman.
Also united in opposition to Bootey was another former strong woman of the party in the region, Sally 'Baby' Garbrah.
Between them, they backed new entrant but long time financier of the party, the wealthy shipping magnate and Chief Executive of Allship Ltd, Mr. Robert K. Kutin, the nephew of Professor Dominic Fobih, and Dr. Ghartey, the famous ophthalmologist turned politician.
But it was not to be, as all the top guns began to sneak out of the auditorium one after the other as it became clear from the thunderous ovation and intensity of acclamation that greeted the mention of the names of the contestants in the camp of the aspiring chairman Bootey.
From the bottom up, the results signaled a dramatic shift in the power base, as when all the incumbent executives were swept away with the exception of the regional organizer, who had always been in the Bootey camp.
Significantly, the result also meant the dismantling of what is known in these parts as the G8 of Edumadze's political triumvirate of power –led by the Mr. Agyeman Kesse, the former NPP KEEA Chairman, who attempted to sneak in as second Vice Chairman at the regional level, but was beaten by a lady.
Dr. Nunoo Ghartey, the incumbent regional chairman, who polled only four votes, was beaten by his first vice chairman, Mr. Bootey Dankwa Smith, who had 63 votes, while Mr. Robert K. Kutin, secured 32 votes.
Mr. Samuel Amo Mensah also beat Emmanuel Dawson to emerge as the first vice chairman. He polled 61 votes.
Both Mr. Nathaniel Essuman, an Edumadze loyalist, who does all his rounds, including representing in all his court cases, and his incumbent deputy secretary, were swept away by Mr. Kwamena Duncan, who polled 60 votes. The two had 19 votes each.
Sarah Nana Arthur polled 60 votes to become the deputy regional secretary. Despite Mrs. Alice Marie Agyeman's fame as the former headmistress of Holy Child, she was humiliated by an unsung Gertrude, Yeboah to the post of regional treasurer by a wide margin of 60-29 votes.
Nana Ama Abrefi polled 68 votes to beat her opponent, Gladys Adobea Nyinaiku who had 30 votes.
Mr. Agyei Baffuor was elected as the regional youth organizer. He had 59 votes while his opponent, Mr. Kwadwo Kwakye, polled 28 votes.
It was only Alhaji Mohammed ben Gibriel who maintained his position by polling 67 votes, while his challenger, Mohammed Mustapha, a.k.a. Say Mallam, the regional pre-mix coordinator had 30 votes.
He promised the delegates in his pre-election speech that he would grant loans of c5 million to c500 million if elected as the organizer of the party.
Dr. Nunoo Ghartey, who wanted to win sympathy votes from the delegates by telling them that he was bitten by a snake six months after he had been elected as regional chairman at Gomoa East, was ignored by voters who displayed their displeasure by voting massively against him.
Dr. Ghartey had been implored by Messrs Dan Botwe and Lord Commey to step down to avoid an ignominious defeat, but he did not listen, and was brutally punished.
Addressing the delegates after the election, Dr. Ghartey said God changes things in his own time therefore they might have been God's doing.
He said during his tenure the party was able win 16 seats out of 19 constituencies and wished that Mr. Bootey Smith Dankwa and his executives will win all the 19 seats in the region in 2008.
He advised the new executives not to hesitate to seek advice from the old ones when the need arose.
Bootey, who was carried shoulder high, told the delegates in his acceptance remarks that he would not let the party down, adding that he would annex all the 19 seats in the region for party in 2008.
He also promised to work hard and redeem the sinking image of the party in the region.
The newly elected chairman of the Western region NPP, Nana Owusu Ankomah, welcomed the election of Bootey and said it was a positive combination for the party to surge ahead in 2008.