Jake upstaged in Accra
Vice Presidential aspirations elude him after losing THE ELOQUENT MINISTER of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, on Sunday evening had the remaining vestige of support pulled from under him when his candidate was blown away by a fresh face. At the Greater Accra Regional Congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Minister witnessed the defeat of the candidate he supported and schemed to take over as the Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional office of the party.
It was a humiliating defeat for the maestro, who managed the campaign of President Kufuor, as the much younger and fresher Sammy Crabbe, noted for his entrepreneurial competencies, completely upstaged Jake, who, together with the well-known Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Madam Theresa Tagoe, were pushing for the acting regional chairman, Mr. R.O Solomon.
The fiercely contested Regional delegates' congress saw top gurus of the party knocked out, beginning with Solomon and the men put up by Jake
Mr. Solomon was not the only casualty; the regional secretary, Nii Ayittey Boafo was also stretchered off.
The two gurus of the party were trounced by Mr. Samuel Crabbe and Mr. Ben Brown, regional coordinator of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
Mr. Solomon managed to poll 53 votes as against 92 votes for Mr. Crabbe, with Nii Ayittey-Boafo trailing with 72 as against 78 votes for Mr. Brown. The duo had no option but to concede defeat and pledge to support the winners.
According to them they had accepted whole-heartedly the results of the election because the people had spoken democratically.
The trouncing of the top capos saw some of the Members of Parliament grumbling, particularly Madam Theresa Tagoe, expressing reservations about the fortunes of the party now that the party heads for a crucial elections in 2008.
They claimed that the emergence of what they described as “latter-day saints” to assume the leadership positions of the party, would deepen its woes.
She even went on Citi FM to continue wailing about the crushing defeat.
Madam Hawa Yakubu electrified the delegates with a sobering address. She exhorted them to consider the competencies and achievements of Mr. Crabbe, who had already set up gainful ventures that were operating; and that caught the imagination of the delegates. She stirred them into pushing for the Crabbe team and pointedly preached that since he had already executed a project for as big an entity as the Ghana International Airlines, they should make sure he wins so that he could have a platform to negotiate for more beneficial deals, which would give them jobs.
As quickly as she appeared she melted away, but not without making an impression on the minds of the delegates.
The Member of Parliament for Osu Korle-Klottey, Nii Adu Mantey, polled 62 votes to emerge as the first vice regional chairman.
Prior to the election, the former regional chairman of the party and the Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, Hon. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, had cautioned the party members to vote wisely for credible leaders who would work relentlessly to market any presidential candidate to match their political rival, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“In 2008, the NPP is presenting a new candidate, who has not faced the NDC before and that is why we need to elect competent executives so that they can help market the new presidential candidate to face NDC squarely,” he disclosed.
The Minister, who voluntary stepped down, urged the defeated candidates to rally behind the winners, to work for the interest of the party so that it could win more than 16 parliamentary seats in the next elections.
He explained that his main reason for stepping aside was that he had occupied the seat for almost ten years, hence the need to pave way for others.
The Chronicle however gathered that Jake had positioned himself for a Presidential or Vice Presidential slot, but this result saw to the evaporation of this dream as he now has no base, no constituency and no region to use as a bargaining chip.
Indeed, records show that he was chased out of Kpone Katamaso, when he tried to adopt that constituency a couple of years ago, further worsening his freefall from the lofty heights of Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs on the assumption of the Kufuor Presidency.
There had been no love lost between Hawa on one side and Jake and Theresa Tagoe on the other, but it appeared now that she had more than two constituencies under her belt, shooting down the Vice President Aliu Mahama, and establishing herself as the North's strongest political force.
On his part, the Regional Minister, Hon. I.C. Quaye, prevailed upon the executives to ensure that unity exists within the party, adding that with unity the party could go along way.
Expressing appreciation for the violence-free elections, he said, “Let us unite even in our diversity. One for all, all for one.”
The chairman-elect, Mr. Crabbe, pledged to help all the regional executives and constituency executives to get jobs within a year.
He said they would use the party to generate more funds for the progress of the party.
At the end of the elections, the second vice chairperson went to Mad. Vivian Gershon, who polled 107 votes. Mr. Albert Afaglo, who faced stiff opposition, beat his contestants with 82 votes.
Mr. Stephen Owusu Afriyie had 78 votes to occupy the treasurer position with Alhaji Yussif Ahmed sweeping 108 votes to retain his youth organizer position.
Miss Vida Dugbatey also polled 68 votes to retain her women organizer position with six strong contestants while Mr. Alex Quartey retained his assistant secretary position unopposed.
Present at the meeting were all Greater Accra Members of Parliament except Hon. Kwamena Bartels and Hon. Elizabeth Sackey.