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Opinions of Saturday, 19 July 2014

Columnist: Alhassan, Mohammed

Kudos NPP National Council

t has taken longer than what most members, sympathisers and well-wishers of the New Patriotic Party would have hoped for. However, it has been worth the wait. We now know clearly what lies ahead of us as a Party, as we battle to wrestle power from the incompetence of John Mahama’s corrupt government.

On Wednesday, 16th July, 2014, the second highest decision making body of the New Patriotic Party, the National Council, in unanimity, set out a timetable for the election of a presidential candidate for the NPP, after weeks of uncertainty. Additionally the membership of the various standing committees of the party’s National Council were also constituted.

Amongst others, the National Council unanimously agreed that the election of a flagbearer for the Party be held on the 18th October, three months from now. Prior to this, the “small matter” of pruning down the number of candidates from 7 to 5, as per the Party’s Constitution, has to be undertaken. Sunday, 31st August was chosen for the Special Electoral College to take place. Once again, the National Council directed that this election be held across all 10 regions, in the same manner as the presidential candidate is finally selected.

Vetting of presidential aspirants will be held from the 23rd to 25th July by the Vetting Committee, which was also constituted at the meeting.

What was made unequivocally clear by the National Council is that it wants to have over and done with, quickly, the election of a flagbearer so the party can focus all of its energies into fighting the battle for 2016. A long drawn out process was certainly not in the best interests of the party as it was going to deepen and intensify the acrimony associated with the process.

The National Council, like all well-meaning NPP members, believe that Ghanaians are yearning for a change in government. However, for that to happen, there has to be an attractive alternative and in order for the NPP to be that attractive alternative and appeal to the overwhelming number of voters it must be seen to be credible and that credibility comes from unity, presentation of a formidable candidate and message.

The biggest project before Ghana today is the structural transformation of the economy. It is obvious that a government, like the NDC, that cannot even give us electricity cannot be trusted to transform the economy. By this act, the National Council is telling Ghanaians that it is the NPP that has the formula, the programme and the leadership to bring about the needed transformation.

What we can be sure of is that the NPP after October 18 will be united and will get the whole nation largely united behind the Party to bring about that desired change in 2016. In this regard, the decision by the National Council of the NPP must be applauded.

Mohammed Alhassan

Builsa South Constituency