An aide to President Atta Mills, Ludwig Akpene Hlordze, has been elected the National Youth Organizer of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), beating his main contender, Abubakar Musa Sidii, a loyalist of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
The election, held on Saturday at the Sunyani Polytechnic Campus, was supervised by the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Arthur Yeboah.
Early signs before the keenly-contested elections indicated a straight fight between the Mills boy and Sidii of the Rawlings camp. At the end of the polls, Ludwig Hlordze obtained 387 votes, beating Sidii, who polled 213 votes.
Other candidates who fought for the same position were Ras Mohammed Mubarak Abdulai, who surprisingly secured only 6 votes after a rigorous campaign, Lord Hammah, a former student leader, who got 3 votes and Paa Kwasi Bruyare, 10 votes.
Two candidates, Michael Kombor and Abdul Rahaman, pulled out of the race just before voting started.
James Kofi Fonu was elected the First Deputy National Youth Organizer after securing 430 votes, while Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, a failed parliamentary candidate in the Offinso South Constituency, gained the mandate of delegates to become the Second Deputy National Youth Organizer by obtaining 378 votes.
The nine candidates who contested the Deputy Youth Organizer position were Courage Kobina Barlon, Fred Kwasi Agbenyo, Edem Anthonio Asinyo, Emmanuel Osei, Abraham Azumah, Adongo Azule Jacob, a physically-challenged man and Hattie Laura Ken.
Party gurus such as Ekwow Spio-Garbrah; Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary; Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, Deputy General Secretary; Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central; Dr Hanna Bissiw, deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing among others, stormed the congress grounds to add more colour to the event.
The out-gone National Youth Organizer and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, did not mince words when he mounted the podium and lambasted some party bigwigs whose unguarded utterances had thrown the NDC in chaos in recent times.
“People who go out criticizing the party should find a better way of doing that,” Mr. Iddrisu pointed out to the party stalwarts who are said to be ‘pissing in’, adding, “None of us here must work in a manner which will eventually lead the NDC into opposition.”
According to him, he would not be one of those who pretend that there were no challenges and problems within and outside the NDC, indicating that the success of the NDC government would depend on the ability of party leadership to address those challenges.
Hon Iddrisu told the NDC youth that the national cake did not only belong to members of the NDC and therefore they should desist from putting unnecessary pressure on the Mills-led government to give them what they did not deserve, adding, “Every Ghanaian must benefit from the economy.”
He however called on the youth to rededicate themselves and show serious commitment by eschewing arrogance to ensure that President Mills and the NDC succeed in retaining power in 2012.
Meanwhile, some aggrieved delegates and defeated candidates for the National Youth Organizer position have accused party bigwigs of involvement in vote-buying and mudslinging.
Ras Mohammed Mubarak, one of the aggrieved defeated candidates, who did not associate himself with the two main blocs in the party- the Rawlings and Mills faction- expressed disgust at the manner in which some party gurus had allegedly given out money and mobile phones to delegates to vote for their preferred candidates.
According to Ras Mubarak, a presenter of a GTV reggae show, delegates from the Western Region for instance, were given GH¢600 each, while candidates from other regions where given other attractive financial inducements to vote for some particular candidates.
From Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani/Daily Guide
Monday, January 11, 2010
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