Irate young men and women besieged the headquarters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Accra yesterday, where the National Executive Committee (NEC) was meeting over fresh proposals to prepare the party for the 2016 general election.
The demonstrators were there to protest against the proposals and their activities temporarily disrupted the committee meeting.
At about 11 a.m. yesterday, while members of the committee were in the meeting, the youth, with red bands around their necks and arms, forced their way into the premises of the party’s headquarters even though security guards at the entrance tried to stop them.
Holding placards with inscriptions such as “Jake, don’t kill our party; “Moko Aya ne Moko Aba”, which means older hands should make way for the new; “We need accountability”; and “No early congress,” they chanted war songs and danced, while party leaders tried for over an hour to control them. Finally, the police were called in to help.
Achibold Cobinnah, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said they were against the top-down approach being proposed by the leadership of the party.
“We prefer the bottom-up approach where we contest elections at the polling station level then to the constituency level, regional, national and then finally the presidential candidate is elected,” he said.
He urged the leaders to consider solidifying the internal structures of the party to enable them to win the next general election in 2016.
After close to four hours of closed-door meeting, members of the NEC announced they had dismissed the claim that there were plans to extend their mandate and impose Members of Parliament (MPs) on constituents.
“There is no such plan. The party continues to believe that elections are the best way to judge one’s electability,” the members said after the NEC meeting.
Some party members had proposed an early congress to elect the party’s presidential candidate to permit enough time to sell the presidential candidate and also recommended that sitting MPs were retained and not contested in an election at the constituency level.
The NEC leaders resolved to finalise the issues raised at the meeting next week and tasked members to consult their constituents on the issues raised and then submit feedback at the next meeting.
A statement signed by the Deputy General Secretary of the Party, Mr Adbulai Fuhlanba, noted that the national executive members were working towards a replacement of NEC members in March 2014, while the constituency and regional elections would precede the national delegates’ congress.
National Organiser, Mr Muctar Bamba, told the Daily Graphic that the leaders would “only abide by the stipulations of the party’s constitution.”
The MP for the Nabdam Constituency, Mr Gambila Boniface, assured party faithful not to see the issues raised by the chairman as an imposition on the party.
“It is only an idea that has been proposed. Unless it is accepted, it cannot be the party’s position. But there has been a misconception and people think Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey wants to use it to entrench his position.”
Source: Daily Graphic