The People’s National Convention (PNC) will today go to congress to elect its flag bearer for the 2020 presidential election and national executive officers to steer the affairs of the party.
A total of 30 aspirants will be battling it out for 14 positions, including the flagbearership.
Three persons — Rev. Samuel Adjei-Debrah, Mr Asaki Samson Awingobit and Mr David Apasera — are contesting the flag-bearer position.
Rev. Adjei-Debrah, who is an evangelist and economist, is seeking to become the first non-northerner to lead the PNC as its flag bearer, as all past PNC flag bearers have hailed from the northern part of the country.
A native of Aburi in the Eastern Region, Rev. Adjei-Debrah has a great deal of expertise in electoral affairs, having served as Campaign Director for the outgoing leader of the PNC, Dr Edward Mahama, in the 2016 elections.
It has been the message of Rev. Adjei-Debrah throughout his engagements with delegates that the time has come for the PNC to elect a non-northerner of his calibre and competence to erode the long-standing perception that the PNC is a party for northerners.
Nevertheless, it will not be a walk in the park for him, as he faces stiff competition from Mr Asaki, who is the current Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, and Mr Apasera, a former three-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga.
Mr Asaki, who was the Ashaiman parliamentary candidate of the PNC in the 2008 general election, believes that he is the most popular and marketable candidate among his contenders and argues that his election will “serve the interest of the PNC because time is not on our side and so we need someone like me who has already marketed himself”.
Mr Apasera, on the other hand, is an experienced and successful politician, having represented the Bolgatanga Constituency in Parliament for three successive terms (2000, 2004, and 2008).
Riding on the back of his record, Mr Apasera has promised to revamp the PNC to become a competitive political party with seats in Parliament if he is given the nod.
Past flag bearers
When Ghana returned to democratic rule in 1992, former President Dr Hilla Limann led the PNC to the presidential polls.
Between 1996 and 2008, Dr Mahama led the party to all the presidential elections, although he was challenged by Mr Charles Kofi Wayo in 2004 and Prof. Yakubu Saaka in the 2008 primaries of the party.
Dr Mahama was, in 2012, defeated in the primaries by Mr Hassan Ayariga, but regained the position for the 2016 elections.
The contest for chairmanship will be a two-horse race between the incumbent National Chairman, Mr Bernard Mornah, and a former MP for Sissala East, Mr Moses Dani Baah.
Mr Mornah, having served the party in numerous capacities before assuming the chairmanship role in 2016, is confident about retaining his position because “I have stood for and defended the party at all times, regardless of the consequences”.
Nonetheless, his re-election may not be a piece of cake, with Mr Dani Baah vowing to give the incumbent a good run for his money to become the new National Chairman.
For the position of Vice-Chairman, Omar Ahmed Bekure, Bala Salihu Maikankan, Henry Haruna Asante, Eugene T.K. Bashiru and Hajia Hajara Musah Ali will slug it out for three positions.
Three candidates — Janet Asana Nabla, Kobbs MacDonald Tong and Emmanuel Wilson Jnr — will contest for the position of Secretary, while the Deputy General Secretary position will be contested for by Yakub Farudeen and Jacob Amoako, with Ntow Desmond Twumasi, Daniel Nii Noi and Abass Nuhu vying for the National Organiser position.
Two persons — Francis Daasu and Saeed Abdul Moomin — will vie for the position of Deputy National Organiser, while Esther Osei Danso, Patience Lamisi Adam Johnson, Hummi Sinare Sinanka and Hidaya Sungjun Ibrahim will slug it out for the position of Women’s Organiser, with Christiana Fugah and Wasilatu Shuaib seeking to be elected as Deputy Women’s Organiser, while Emmanuel A. Akannae is the only candidate for the position of National Treasurer, with nobody filing for the position of Deputy National Treasurer.
For the position of National Youth Organiser, only Mark Arko Ewusi filed, just as only Prince Agyemang Dua filed for the position of Deputy Youth Organiser, with Issahaque Awudulai also being the sole candidate for the position of Communications Director, while no candidate filed for the position of Deputy Communications Director.
Manner of congress
In conformity with the COVID-19 preventive protocols, the congress, unlike previously, will be held simultaneously in all the 16 regions of the country.
The PNC Headquarters in Accra will serve as the collation centre where the results from the various regions will be collated and announced by the Electoral Commission (EC) on the same day.
The PNC, which follows in the Nkrumah-Egala-Limann tradition, had originally planned to hold the national congress earlier in the Western Region in honour of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who is a native of the region.
The plan was rescinded due to the restrictions imposed on mass gatherings.
More than 4,000 delegates across the 16 regions are expected to participate in the exercise in their respective regions.
They comprise 3,850 constituency executive members, 224 regional executive members, eight members of the Council of Elders, 17 national executive members and 16 founder members, one from each of the 16 regions.
All eligible voters are expected to converge on the respective regional voting centres in the morning of the exercise to cast their ballot.
The final declaration of the collated results will be done at the headquarters in Accra and the elected executives will be sworn into office on the same day.
The election will commence at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., under the auspices of the EC.
It will be conducted in two parts — the election of national officers will start at 8 a.m. and close at 12 noon, after which that for the flag bearer will proceed from 2 p.m.
Two addresses — reports by the Leader of the party, Dr Mahama, and the National Chairman, Mr Mornah — will herald the voting.
The delegates will also decide on some proposed amendments to articles 41, 43 and 45 of the PNC’s constitution.
The proposed amendments include but are not limited to the expansion of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to include regional organisers, regional youth organisers and regional women’s organisers.
Another proposed amendment is to make the National Chairman the leader of the party when the party is in opposition, instead of the flag bearer.
The proposed amendments will be read to the delegates at all the voting centres and the EC will then take over after these resolutions have been passed or rejected. –