The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Mac-Manu, has declared that the party would convincingly win 22 out of the 24 parliamentary seats in the Brong Ahafo Region in the 2008 general elections.
He, however, cautioned members of the party not to be complacent but rather work harder than before in order to achieve such a feat in 2008.
"We are poised to retain the 14 seats we won in the 2004 elections and at least, add eight more in the next elections but we are not going to achieve this on a silver platter," Mr Mac-Manu stressed.
The NPP National Chairman, who briefed the press in Sunyani after an extraordinary meeting with constituency and polling station chairmen, district chief executives (DCEs), Members of Parliament (MPs), ministers of state from the region and other functionaries of the party, pointed out that the party could achieve its goal only if there was absolute unity among the rank and file.
According to Mr Mac-Manu, the meeting reached a consensus to come out with a single candidate in some of the constituencies, intensify, open up and wholeheartedly embrace all settlers, including those engaged in farming activities the hinterland. They also decided to integrate them into the fold of the NPP.
In this regard, the national chairman, who was flanked by some regional executive members, indicated that the Nasara Club, the youth and women's wings of the party had been strengthened to bring on board the settler communities in the region.
He also intimated that DCEs and the regional party leadership as well as those in the constituencies had been urged to assist in the dissemination of information on the government's projects and programmes to the people for them to appreciate what the NPP had achieved so far for them to help retain the party in power.
Meanwhile, he said, the meeting unanimously commended the high organisational ability of the party in the region and urged the polling station managers to continue to map out strategies including the zoning of the constituencies for easy operations.
He said one issue that came out for discussion was the security at all levels of the country, among which was the state security apparatus, pointing out that the national security was urged to stand firm and be unyielding to any attempts by individuals or groups to divert their attention.
Mr Mac-Manu emphasised that the NPP would continue to follow the due process of the law at all times, ensure peace and remain focussed in all its campaign activities in the run-up to the 2008 elections.
"We appreciate the existing tranquility, peace and harmony prevailing in the country and are aware of how Ghana has come so far, even in the midst of political turmoil in many parts of West Africa in particular and the region as a whole," he observed.
Mr Mac-Manu appealed to the security agencies to do all within their power and under the law to flush out all miscreants, before, during and after the 2008 elections.
According to the national chairman, the meeting discussed at length the need for the party to fall on the various councils of elders to settle all internal squabbles and urged those constituencies that were without such important organs to immediately get them in place.
He said the Electoral Commission (EC) had the constitutional mandate to see to elections in the country and that it was incumbent on all political parties to be wary of their utterances against the EC and their plans to cause mayhem if they lost the 2008 elections.
Story By Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah, Sunyani
According to the national chairman, the party would continue to train its agents to be abreast of the electoral laws at all levels to make them vigilant at the polling stations, collation centres and also monitor elections, once they were
According to Mr Mac-Manu, the MP for Sunyani East and Former Senior Minister, Mr J.H. Mensah, appealed to the party members to remain focused, united and love one another instead of causing divisions among their ranks.
The former Senior Minister was reported to have cited the case in which the Popular Front Party (PFP) lost power to the United National Convention (UNC) in 1979 because of acrimony on the part of some party members, especially at the parliamentary primaries.
He said the meeting congratulated and commended members in the Nkoranza North Constituency for working hard to retain the vacant seat in the by-election created by the exit of the former MP, Mr Eric Amoateng. He recalled that in 2004, Mr Amoateng polled 46.9 per cent but in the by-election on May 13, 2007, Major Derek Oduro (retd) obtained 63.7 per cent.
On the forthcoming election of a flag bearer to lead the NPP in 2008 elections, Mr Mac-Manu said the meeting urged the delegates to vote for the one who would tackle issues and would be able to continue from where President Kufuor would leave off.
Story: By Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah, Sunyani