National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Stephen Ntim has called on NPP rank and file to close all ranks after the party’s presidential primaries which takes place on Saturday 4 November 2023, and rally behind the candidate who will emerge winner after the internal polls.
Mr Ntim noted that internal party coercion and discipline among party faithful, remain the most important prerequisite for the party to be able to win a third consecutive term in office in December 2024. He made the call today, Thursday (2 November) in an address to the media at a joint press conference held by the National Executive Committee and Council of Elders at the Alisa Hotel in Accra.
“Saturday, 4th November, is crucial for the New Patriotic Party. By the close of the day on Saturday, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who has led our Party admirably for 16 successful years, will perform the first of two handing overs, first to one of the four aspirants who emerged victorious to succeed him as the leader of the Party, and second, to that same leader and flagbearer of the NPP, to succeed him as the President of the Republic of Ghana, on 7 January 2025.
“This is the nature and consequence of the November 4th flagbearer election. We are determined to win a third term because the development of Ghana depends on an NPP victory in the 2024 general elections. That victory begins this Saturday, and every member of this Party has something significant to do with it. It requires that we are disciplined as a party. Failure to be disciplined, ensure internal peace and cohesion, and be responsive to our mandate will gravely imperil our electoral prospects” Mr Stephen Ntim said.
*Cost of disunity*
Stressing the damage that disunity and internal divisions can cause to the NPP’s election fortune in December 2024, Chairman Ntim said he vividly recalled the 2008 general elections and some of the factors that accounted for the NPP’s painful loss after it led the first round of voting “with 49.13 percent of the total valid votes cast.
“The most painful part of that experience is that we lost the presidential election in the second round after we had increased our votes by 321,000, whereas all we needed to win in the first round, was a little over 100,000 votes.
“In other words, we gifted the NDC the elections in 2008 because our people did not come out to vote in the first round. We are at the same point today, and some of the factors that led to us losing the election in 2008 are rearing their ugly heads” Mr Ntim candidly observed.
“One of the chief contributors to our defeat in the 2008 general elections is the lack of unity of purpose or internal cohesion. We cannot afford to be disunited even briefly after the results are declared on Saturday. We must guard against any conduct, actions, or inactions likely to take us on a path of apathy and disunity” the NPP National Chairman further cautioned.
*Whip the slate clean*
In his address, Mr Ntim acknowledged that the 2023 flagbearer election has been hotly contested, and in the process, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. To that end, he called on the entire NPP fraternity “to whip the slate clean to approach [the Saturday, 4 November presidential primaries] with a commitment to work together and support whoever emerges as [the Party’s] leader and flagbearer”
“There can only be one flagbearer at a time. I fondly recall the enthusiasm and unity that characterized our approach to the 1996 and 2000 elections. It was apparent we wanted to win as a party. But the height of enthusiasm and conviction with which we canvassed for victory in the 2000 general elections has waned considerably, and we must fit now” Ntim said.
“The alternative to an NPP government is scary, and the alternative to us is empty. These statements are valid because the NDC has not put forth any policy idea to address the youth unemployment challenge which is the preoccupation of governments worldwide” he added.
The NPP will on Saturday, 4 November 2023, elect its flagbearer for the December 2024 general elections. From 2007 and for the last 16 years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been the leader of the NPP. On Saturday, the party will have the opportunity to elect not only its flagbearer for the 2024 presidential elections but a new leader to take over from President Akufo-Addo.
Four persons are aspiring for the position and they are first, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, second, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, former Minister of Food and Agriculture, third, Kennedy Agyapong, the sitting member of Parliament for Assin Central in the Central Region and lastly, Francis Addai Nimoh, the former member of Parliament for Mampong Constituency in the Ashanti Region.