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Diasporian News of Sunday, 15 April 2018

Source: Eddie Ameh

NPP Canada elects new officers at congress

The Canada branch of the New Patriotic Party has elected new officers to steer affairs of the party for the next four years. Kwame Abrefa polled 67 while his closest rival Chris Akyempong polled 33. The third contestant Macdonald Agbenyo polled no vote. Charles Obimpeh got 75 votes beating Kwaku Gyetuah by 25 votes.

Congress is first branch congress

Since its formation, the branch has never held a congress. This year’s, was the first ever congress that drew members from Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto. Addressing the congress, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, Ayikoi Otoo urged members to stay united in order to advance the agenda of the government. “We will not be able to effectively deliver on our promises if we are not focused,” he said.

Otoo said members should take advantage of the diaspora office at the high commission and invest at home. He said government has created a conducive atmosphere for businesses and members should take advantage of it.

He said members represent Ghana everywhere they go so they should be law abiding citizens. “The high commission is not in every city in Canada, your actions should showcase Ghana in a positive light,” Otoo added.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Forestry Commission Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie commended the Canada branch for its leadership role in the party and asked them to continue especially into the 2020 elections. “The NDC will come at us as wounded lions in 2020 and we will need the help of the Canada branch more than ever,” he said.

Owusu Afriyie popularly called Sir John said the NPP has fulfilled one of its major campaign promises which is the free SHS and this has brought a of relief to parents.

Dr. Francis Wiafe Amoako chairman of Toronto chapter, said the party has made a lot of strides in Canada. Toronto sponsored six constituencies in the 2016 elections and all six won both the presidential and parliamentary seats. “We intend to work harder to win more seats for the party,” Wiafe Amoako added.

Election is NPP Canada’s first

Just like congress, this is the first time NPP Canada branch has held an election. After very fierce campaigning which turned acrimonious a few times, the race for chairmanship became a two-horse race between incumbent chair Abrefah and Akyempong. A three man electoral committee, headed by Rev Fr. Ken Korsah ensured a smoot electoral process.

Contrary to what many believed was going to be a tight race, Abrefah made light work of Akyempong polling 67 votes to Akempong’s 33. Akyempong pledged his support to Abrefah and said “Fear delegates” to the laughter of all in the hall.

Obimpeh gave Gyetuah a sound thrashing polling 75 votes to Gyetuah’s 25. Prince Akyereko became the branch’s new Youth organizer walloping Kweku Quaye by 79 votes to 21. Dr. David Boadi went unopposed as first vice chair and so did second vice chair Victoria Owusu Ansah. Samuel Asrifi was also elected as organizer unopposed. Benjamin Nartey went unopposed as branch treasurer, Philomina Boateng also went unopposed as women organizer and so did Omar Bawa as Nasara coordinator.

Abrefa thanked members for the overwhelming support and confidence reposed in him. He promised to work closely with the chapters to make Canada branch more influential. “We will embark on massive mobilization while entrenching our gains,” he said. “In contributing our quota to the development of the party, I will also ensure that those efforts are rewarded accordingly,” Abrefa added.

The new executives were sworn into office by Ayikoi Otoo who charged them to keep the party united.

Canada is NPP’s first external branch

The Canada Branch of the New Patriotic Party was the first external wing of the party. The idea was first mooted by Ken Ntiamoah and other people who shared the same Danquah-Busia ideologies, they came together to form the branch to pool resources to support the 1992 election. This effort formed the basis for members in other countries to form external branches.