Frederick Worsemawu Blay on Saturday weathered the storm to emerge as the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the just-ended 26th National Delegates’ Conference held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
In a gruelling contest that ended on Sunday dawn, Blay walloped his two other contenders, leaving them gasping for breath.
He polled 3,021 as against 2,550 votes obtained by his closest contender Stephen Ayesu Ntim, who was contesting the NPP chairmanship position for fourth consecutive time.
Dr. Richard Amoako Baah garnered 18 votes.
The defeat shattered Ntim’s dream of becoming the chairman of the party for the fourth time.
Mr. Blay, a lawyer and First Vice Chairman of the NPP was given an additional responsibility to lead the party owing to the suspension of Paul A. Afoko in 2015.
He successfully supervised the NPP to humiliatingly defeat then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections.
President Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude to the Blay-led executive that piloted the NPP victory, saying that he was greatly indebted to them.
Immediately, Ebenezer Aggrey Fynn, the Electoral Returning Officer, who is an EC commissioner, officially declared Mr Blay the winner. He made a clarion call to the rank and file of the party to remain resolute behind the newly elected executives for the NPP to retain power in 2020.
“I am telling our opponents that we are a united party and we shall work harder than ever to win the 2020 elections,” he said in a loud tone while delivering an acceptance speech which sent thousands of NPP delegates into rapturous mood.
Mr. Blay, who brought peace and stability to the NPP after the party went through almost two years of turbulence under the leadership of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, properly steered the affairs of the party to help Nana Akufo-Addo to historically defeat incumbent President John Mahama with a high vote margin.
He stated that the NPP would consolidate power in 2020, indicating that as national chairman, he would lead a strong and united NPP to maintain the gains of the party.
According to him, the current leadership of the party would support and defend the current Akufo-Addo administration to deliver on its promises.
Speaking on behalf of all the newly elected NPP national executives, an elated Mr Blay told the enthusiastic crowd that “we shall defend the government; we shall also defend the gains of the NPP, and again we shall win the 2020 elections.”
He said the executives would help expedite the NPP’s transformational processes to make victory 2020 for the NPP a done deal.
With eight key positions up for grabs, 41 aspirants, together with about 6,000 delegates, converged on the Koforidua Technical University Campus for the National Delegates’ Conference, which was held under the theme: “Building a Stronger Party, Delivering Prosperity to Ghanaians.”
The National Youth Organizer contest, which involved Henry Nana Boakye, aka Nana B, the Deputy National Service Director, Kamal Deen Abdulai, the National Nasara Co-ordinator and Dominic Kwesi Eduah, the Deputy Youth Organizer was a hell of contest ahead of the proceedings.
In the end, Nana B won the contest with 423 votes.
Dominic, who is affectionately known as ‘Filed Marshall’ placed second with 246 votes, followed by Kamaldeen Abdulai, a former Nasara Co-ordinator with 102 and Emmanuel Nana Bediako Dansa Appiah, who got a single vote.
The Women’s Organizer position was a straight fight between Kate Gyamfua and Joyce Konokie Zempare, the immediate-past Greater Accra Regional Women’s Organiser.
Kate, who was tipped to win, did not disappoint her supporters, as she polled 686 votes to defeat Joyce, who obtained 109 votes.
Incumbent National Organizer, John Boadu, who doubled as the NPP General Secretary, became the substantive General Secretary with 4,277 votes.
His only contender, Richard Ahiagban, who was relatively unknown in the party, put up an impressive showing polling 1,244 votes.
Samuel Kwabena Awuku, popularly called Sammi Awuku, National Youth Organizer, polled 4,913 votes to defeat Sulemana A. Sadik Nabichienga with 466 votes and Emmanuel Tweneboah Kodua, who had 142 votes.
Sammi had the highest vote margin at the conference.
The first vice chairperson position went to former National Women’s Organizer, Rita Talata Asobayire with 3671 votes, followed by Frederick Fredua Anto, aka FF Anto, 3185 votes and Michael Omari-Wadie, 3028 votes, to pick the second and third vice positions respectively.
However, Emmanuel Ken-Wuud Nuworsu, former Volta regional chairman (1,325), George Isaac Amoo (1,222), Vida Agyekum Acheampong (1,130) and Agnes A. Chigabatia (636) all missed out.
Incumbent Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah was retained as the National Treasurer with 2,492 votes to beat Nuhu Boyorbo Mahama (1,050), Mercy Posch-Oduro (1,004), Hajia Ruka Ahmed (467), Abraham Obeng Amoakohene (447) and Kwabena Oppong Frimpong (50).
The Nasara Co-ordinator contest had the highest number of candidates (14), but Abdul Aziz Haruna Futah of Accra Hearts of Oak fame and Nima boy topped the bill with 367 votes.
Nana’s Congratulatory Message
After the election President Akufo-Addo congratulated Chairman Blay and the other executives on their victory and thanked officials of the EC for supervising the elections.
“I congratulate warmly the new National Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Freddie Worsemawu Blay, Ellembelle Blay and the other national officers, who were elected at the party’s National Delegates’ Conference, held in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region on Saturday, 7th July, 2018,” the President said in a statement.
The President said “the party is to be commended for the efficient and successful manner in which the election of new officers, who are to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years, was conducted. We have shown, once again, that we are the party that has an abiding faith and belief in multi-party democracy.”
President Akufo-Addo said “I have, on several occasions, stated that internal party contests are not about the winners and the losers. They are about the party winning. In adhering to the time-honoured tradition, values and principles of the NPP, I urge all to rally in unity behind the new national officers of our party, and ensure that we record another famous, historic victory in the 2020 elections, so we can effect the social and economic transformation of our nation that our people require, and thereby help deliver progress and prosperity to them.”