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Opinions of Thursday, 26 October 2017

Columnist: Nasirudeen Ajaansuma Rayan

Hafiz Bin Salih may just be the new deal for Upper West NPP Chairmanship

A great man once said that “when a natural leader emerges from your ranks, what wise men do is rally behind him”.

The problem of our generation of New Patriotic Party supporters is not the lack of talent, but our ability to kill the talent that would move this party. The rate at which this country allows raw talent to rot is reaching a crescendo.

In most instances, age has always been used as determiner of ability which has always been proven wrong, because young men like Hafiz Bin Salih have shown what the young can do.

When such a man is spotted as a promising talent, all the party has to do, is give him the nod and everything falls into place. Before I come to Hafiz Bin Salih, I think it is important for every member of the party in the region to know how far we have come and those who stood the test of time and told us boldly “yes we can”.

We should also remember that to get to the “promised land” we need put forward those who have what it takes to lead us there. Chairman Abubakar Short has done his due and as he ascends, we owe the party the duty to replace him with an equally capable hand.

Learning from the NDC

There is a saying that when your neighbour’s beard is on fire, the wisest thing to do is to dip your own in water or to be safer, you plough them all away. The party has had its electoral fortunes changed in the region: moving from 0 to 5 seats in the 2016 elections.

While we commend the Chairman of Chairmen, Alhaji Short, his able Veeps, the communicators and voters, we remain acutely aware that somehow some of them were given to us on a silver platter.

The reason was a domino effect from their previous Congress, when they were where we are now, trying to select a chairman. The kind of politics that was played. While we may not care if the monkey runs diarrhoea, I must warn us of the consequences if we ever were to repeat that. As William Shakespeare said ‘to be thus is good, but to be safely thus...”

The man Hafiz Bin Salih

Born HAFIZ Alhassan Bin Salih to Alhaji Alhassan Bin Salih who was Secretary of the Northern People's Party in the North-West Area of the Northern Territory of the Gold Coast.

He was also a founding member of the New Patriotic Party and was member of the Council of State under former President Kuffuor and also a ranking member of the party in the region until his call, Hafiz Bin Salih is the current Regional First Vice Chairman as well as Regional Secretary of the NPP in the Upper West Region.

After completing his basic school education, he went to study in Navorongo Secondary school (Navasco). After Navasco, he went to college, taught for some time and enrolled into University for Development Studies (UDS) where he read Development studies.

He been working with the Wa Municipal office of the Ghana Education Service as the coordinator of Senior High Schools and has since been a PhD candidate with the University for Development Studies.

He is married to Hakeem Reyana with whom he has two children. He does not smoke and does not drink alcohol. He is an astute politician and an intelligent educationist who is easily accessible to people both within and without the party.

Why he is the most likely candidate

The chick that will grow into a hen is spotted the very first day it hatches. We all know for a fact that we represent true democracy in this country. That we accept diversity in freedom.

That we give each individual a fair game. As a result, we always have several of ourselves standing up to be elected into various portfolios including party chairmen. However, truth be told that among the people who may express interest, some of them may stand out.

That is exactly the situation we find ourselves. I may not have the time and space to extol all the virtues that place him above his colleagues, should he ever choose to contest. The following are but just a few of such.

1) First of all and needless to stress, he is a ‘Danquahist' through and through. He has been a member of the NPP from 1992 until now. At a time when being a member of the NPP came with its own stigma in a community surrounded by sympathisers of the Rawlingses.

At a time when brand new NPP vehicles could not survive the nights in the streets because they were unwanted materials, he was mounting campaign platforms in this environment. After two decades, his efforts are rewarded with a massive vote for NPP in the area. This is what chairmen should do: convince people with patience, perseverance and endurance. He, therefore, comes across as a person who can lead this party to claim more votes in the region.

2) He has vast experience working as an executive of the party from his youthful days up till now. He held his ground as a party member on the campus of Navasco when political parties knew nothing about student wings. While in college, he organised his colleagues to fight for the course of capitalist democracy and the principles for which the NPP stand. This was what made him the Regional Youth Organiser of the party.

Having performed creditably well, the party gave him another opportunity to become the Regional Second Vice Chairman and currently, he is the Regional First Vice Chairman of the party in the Upper West Region while also performing the role of a Regional Secretary.

3) He is a gifted orator. Every social grouping, if it must function well, must have proper communication so that there will always be an understanding of the group dynamics. We all are aware that our president is such and has thus benefitted tremendously from it.

Invariably, Hafiz’s communication ability may place him above other candidates both within the party and even in the main opposition party. What Upper West Npp needs is a chairman who will outclass his opponents on any platform on any topic on any day. This requires agility and ingenuity which are both woven into his personality.

4) He is a charismatic leader, an icon for most young men in the party. I must add that he has such charming qualities of a leader whose infectious smile can gain more seats for Npp in the region.

His role in motivating the youth cannot be measured as he has been grossly instrumental in the coordination of the activities of TESCON in the region, one of the war machines that got us these five seats. He has won over the hearts and minds of all true party men and women in the region.

5) He has a personal relationship with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo and the Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Bawumia. Actually, a man of such qualities cannot be overlooked when opportunities come knocking on the doors of the party he has fought so well for. While he has all the qualities there are to be a minister, he was left alone.

While he had whatever it takes to be a political appointee, he was left alone. And the reason is simple: he is needed by the party to be a Regional Chairman. While sources close to the Presidency have it that he was asked to come back home and help consolidate the party’s hold in the Region and the only way he can do that is when he works as a Regional Chairman.

6) Also, there seem not to be any candidate around who possesses such vast experience and qualities. Of course, there are others being mentioned, some of them new in the system and others older but just not polished in their game yet.

7) Last but not least, for 12 years, he has been trained by Alhaji Abubakar Short, the Regional Chairman. For these 12 years, their working relationship has been the envy of majority of people who know them. It is a fact that, Hafiz Bin Salih is the most trusted and loyal disciple of Alhaji Short. He has therefore groomed Hafiz Bin Salih to take over from him as he aspires to become the National Chairman of the NPP. Alhaji Short would be a fantastic National Chairman of the NPP.

With all these qualities, Hafiz Bin Salih appears to be the best bet for the NPP in the Upper West Region. It is early days yet and one can only hope that when the time comes, we will remember that our actions today will come back to us in 2020 whether they are favourable or not.

We must remember how we have suffered from internal tussles between our own kith and kin. How our own party men were painfully expelled from the party and how some of our own turned against us. We should remember that the word is loyalty.

And when we remember all these, we should think of the name Hafiz Bin Salih. God bless NPP, God bless Upper West Region, God bless Ghana.