Politics of Friday, 28 March 2014
His involvement in the April 12, 2014 contest to become the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), marks Mr Stephen Ayesu Ntim’s third attempt, after serving a very successful four-year term of office that led to the NPP’s victory in election 2004, as National First Vice-Chairman under Mr Harona Esseku from 2001 to 2005.
Mr Ntim believes in optimism. His first attempt at the chairmanship contest was in December 2005, while the second one was in February 2010. Very characteristic of Stephen Ntim, he remains very focused and will not give up so easily.
He told the Daily Graphic, “So I am here again to contest for the same position because as the saying goes, “winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win”.
He picked the second position on the NPP ballot sheet. The incumbent National Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey picked the first position while Paul Afoko and the incumbent First National Vice Chairman Fred Oware picked the third and fourth positions respectively.
The tenure of office by the team of which he was the First National Vice-Chairman from 2001 to 2005, led to the re-election of President J. A. Kufuor to his second term of office as the President of the Republic of Ghana.
“It is for this reason that I have garnered courage to enter this contest in order to bring my rich experience to bear in the party’s effort to return to power in 2016,” says Mr Ntim who is a native of Wamfie in the Dormaa East District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Mr Ntim served on various committees of the NPP. He was the Chairman of Brong Ahafo Regional Conflict Resolution Committee in 2012; Member of Pastors and Chiefs Special Task Force during the 2012 campaign; Member of the National Council Organisation Committee (2010 – 2013); Member of the National Campaign Committee (2004); Member of the National Campaign Committee (2008);
He was also the Member, Brong Ahafo Patriotic Caucus (BAPAC); Member of the National Council Communication Committee (2006 – 2010); National Patron of NPP and Chairman of Vetting Committee for five regions to select parliamentary candidates for 2004 elections, etc.
Key campaign messages
He told the Daily Graphic that he was keen on ensuring that the NPP regained executive power before considering a possible retirement from active politics. “People are elected or appointed to party leadership for one single reason; to take the party to power. In all humility, I have the requisite experience to steer the affairs of the party to win power in 2016. It is on record, and it is known to all party faithful that I crisscrossed the length and breadth of this country between 2001 and 2005 to win power for the NPP.
There is no constituency or region in this country that I did not visit as National First Vice-Chairman during my term of office, to resolve problems, or simply to socialise with and motivate party officials to give off their best in the discharge of their duties,” he proudly stated.
In his view, these and other initiatives that he undertook, contributed immensely to the party’s strong performance and eventual victory in the 2004 general elections.
Ntim ‘scent no’
Mr Ntim, a systems engineer by profession, says he has exhibited resilience, tenacity of purpose and stayed focused in his effort to annex the chairmanship position (third-time lucky).
“I did not give up after losing in my two previous bids. I stayed the course, continued to offer my moral and material quota, and got involved in all party activities. I hope and pray that all contestants in the on-going internal party elections at all levels of the party would emulate this show of loyalty, and continue to serve the party even after losing elections.”
This attribute of his, in his view, has earned him the accolade “NTIM SCENT NO………….AGYE BAABIAA!!” (The Ntim fever is all over the place) among the rank and file of the party, even though he has been out of office for almost nine years.
For the same reason, he said the latest slogan extended to him is “NTIM, YENIM WO FIRI TETE” (Ntim, we have known you for long). I am yet to approve a few others that are being peddled around: “NTIM ABRE” (Ntim has toiled) and also “NTIM, ADURU WO SO” (Ntim, it is your time).
At a time when factionalism poses such a serious threat to party unity, he promises to dedicate himself to the effort at unifying the party. “I am in a position to play this very crucial role because I have been able to demonstrate beyond every reasonable doubt that I frown upon this unfortunate phenomenon that besets every truly democratic political party like the NPP.” Will the delegates vote for him as the congress draws near?