An aspirant for the position of National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye, has rubbished suggestions of ethnic bias in the party’s National Executive structure.
Ahead of the NPP’s National Delegates Conference to elect new executives, there have been claims that the party is favouring candidates from the “Akan sub-group.”
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday however, Henry Nana Boakye described these assertions as mere propaganda.
According to him, there has been no deliberate attempt to sideline persons from other ethnic groups in the filling of key positions in the party.
“It is clearly mischievous and it’s a misplaced argument. For me, I’ll go by the constitution which is very clear that the party should have regional balance in terms of the leaders. This is a democracy, everyone is allowed to contest. If you go through the aspirants, you’ll get party people from Greater Accra, from the Volta Region, from the Western Region, from the Central Region, from the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Northern, Upper East and the Upper West Regions.”
He stated that aside from the elections, the party had put other systems in place including appointing persons to certain positions in the party to ensure regional balance.
“That is the more reason that we’ve taken the strategic position, and it’s also stated in our Constitution that after we have elected them, we also have appointments positions where the National Executive body sits and appoints. It is not as if we have told certain people not to contest. I can give names of people representing and coming from different regions as well. Clearly it’s propaganda and probably thrown in out of mischief and we’re not going to buy into it.”
Despite Mr. Boakye’s dismissal of the claims, these concerns are held by at least one senior member of the party.
Former Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, recently said that he decided not to enter the race to become the party’s First Vice Chairman despite being the overwhelming favourite after realising that most of the top leadership positions may go to party stalwarts from what he described as the “Akan sub-group” if care is not taken.
“When nominations opened last week, l declined to pick forms. What is emerging is that this particular election may present the NPP with the most undiversified national leadership, as almost all the elected positions may be filled from the Akan subgroup. Every effort must be made to ensure that some of these positions have elected members from outside the Akan subgroup.”
Reiterating his desire to see persons outside the “Akan sub-group” take up leadership positions in the party, Nana Akomea stated on Eyewitness News on Monday that he had given up certain victory in the polls to ensure this happens.
The position of First Vice Chairman was quite appealing and the polling showed clearly that I was the favourite but when I looked at the polling, I felt that if we are not careful and we were going to have all these faces there, it would not show the kind of inclusion that the party needs to show.
When you put your ears to the ground, the kind of delegations I’ve got from all over the country, it was clear to me that a lot of party people wanted me to take up that position. But I think that we should make some effort to get a more diversified and the Vice Chairman position can provide us with that opportunity.
Delegates Conference set for July 7
Having been originally set to take place from June 15 to 17 at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, the NPP postponed its National Delegate Conference to July 7 due to a clash with the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations.
This year’s congress will see the election of a new set of national executives who will run the affairs of the party for the next four years.