The highly anticipated delegates’ congress of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) now belongs to history. However, the congress to elect a flagbearer for the party lived up to its high expectation of a “showdown” between the establishment candidate and the grassroots man.
The bookmakers also misled Ghanaians with their predictions of landslide victory for the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Last Saturday’s experience “resurrected” Sir John to remind us of the popular dictum that we should “fear delegates.”
If there is any human breed in Ghana that nobody can predict, then they are delegates, especially those who are affiliated to the NPP. Whatever the scary moments that the contestants went through the votes count, the high side of the contest was that it was very peaceful and keenly contested.
At the end of the contest, the best candidate, Dr. Bawumia won with a little over 61 percent and his closest contender, the maverick politician, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong securing a little over 37 percent. Some commentators have described the contest as a seamless process without events of disagreements and violence.
All the stakeholders deserve commendation for rising up to the occasion to deliver one of the best if not the best outcomes of an internal political party election.
The NPP leadership and the rank and file, especially the Presidential Election Committee must be happy with the outcome, the EC for keeping religiously to the ground rules, the police for maintaining law and order, and the media for the comprehensive coverage, although some tried to play mischief.
We commend also the candidates, Kennedy Agyapong, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Francis Addai-Nimoh by showing up at the victory rally to concede defeat and throwing their weight behind the NPP’s flagbearer, Dr. Bawumia.
It is not easy to mount the stage on the day of elections to concede defeat. To overcome the painful and emotional trauma and concede defeat publicly is the show of their strength, character and love for the party and we commend them for their bravado.
We also commend Dr. Bawumia for extending a hand of cooperation to all the contestants and their teams in the task to ‘break the eight’. The critical need for unity is not lost on all genuine supporters of the NPP, especially with the Alan experience still fresh in their minds. And President Akufo-Addo stressed that during the handing over of the baton of the party’s leadership to Dr Bawumia.
Now the fanfare is over. It is time for Dr Bawumia to demonstrate that he is a team player and bring all the contestants on board the campaign “train” to take the fight to the corridors of the NDC in order to ‘break the eight’.
The NPP is a political colossus in the country that knows what it takes to win or lose elections. The onus lies with Dr Bawumia to attract people to work for him and the party. This is not the time for jubilation as like somebody puts it” work dey ground” and he must hit the ground running in the coming days.
Many leaders of the party vouched for the candidature of Dr Bawumia to break the myth that someone from the northern part of the country cannot lead the party because the NPP is an Akan party.
Dr Bawumia, you cannot let those who stood by you in thick and thin down, and by so doing even lost friends or business interests.
Despite the challenges facing our nation, we know you have the spirit of a doer and have always confronted any challenges with the assurance that “It is Possible.”