The newly elected Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has stated that his focus, going into the 2020 election, would be to build bridges and present a united party capable of recapturing political power from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr Ofosu Ampofo won the National Chairman position by polling 3,656 votes to beat off competition from four other contenders at the ninth delegates congress of the party held over the weekend.
The keenly contested election saw his closest contender, Mr Dan Abodakpi, polling 2,199 votes; Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Mr Danny Annan and former Attorney-General, Ms Betty Mould Iddrisu, only managed 1,823, 358 and 309 votes respectively.
The about 9,350 delegates also re-elected Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia as the party’s General Secretary, with the National Organiser and National Communications Officer positions going to Mr Joshua Hamidu Akamba and Sammy Gyamfi respectively.
Other national officers of the party were also elected at the congress.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic shortly before the swearing into office of the new national executives, Mr Ofosu Ampofo said he would lead the way to cement good relationships and also take steps to mend all broken ones across the rank and file of the party.
“I sold my message to the delegates and they believed in me and bought it, and I am happy. I bring to the table about 26 years of experience having served the party and the country in various capacities. I will translate this wealth of experience to work to rebuild a strong and united party,” he said.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo paid glowing tribute to the youth and women wings of the party, describing them as key to his victory and the party’s chances in the 2020 election.
“I will work to inject fresh energy into the youth and women wings because they do all the bidding of the party at the grass roots,” he said.
He debunked suggestions that the results of elections meant that the Volta Region, which is the stronghold of the NDC, had been sidelined.
“I want to declare here and now that I will be a Voltarian Chairman because I have goodwill from that region. I will do everything possible in my capacity as the chairman of this party to whip up the interest of the people of the Volta Region in the NDC,” he stressed.
In his victory speech, he urged the rank and file of the party, especially, those who hold positions, to stop using social media to spread information about the party.
He said the party would come out with a sanctions regime to bring erring members to order.
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo stressed that he would lead the process to heal all wounds and unite the rank and file of the party towards the 2020 election.
He extended an olive branch to all aggrieved factions and individuals in the party to put the past behind and begin to work as a unit to improve on the electoral fortunes of the party.
Mr Ofosu said he would hit the road immediately to ensure that the party was strengthened at all levels to function well.
“We have completed an operational manual that defines the role each and every one of the executives have to play to avoid conflict of interest,” he instructed.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo said the time had come for all party members to ceasefire on the media war especially on social media.
“We want a united party so we will not allow individuals to use WhatsApp to insult each other,” he said, adding also the promise to establish a ballot box protection unit to protect the party’s votes during the 2020 general election.
He called on the other officials of the party from the national to the polling station level to up their game and perform their roles as expected of them to help the party to recapture power.
Meanwhile, on behalf of all the candidates who lost the elections, a defeated General Secretary aspirant, Mr Koku Anyidoho, pledged their support to the party.
“I want to thank the delegates for making their decision on who should lead the party known. I want to assure the rank and file of the party that what matters most to us is winning the 2020 election so we will continue to work hard to ensure that we win,” he pointed out.