NDC Chairmanship Contest: Abodakpi Enters Race…Vows To Crush Portuphy, Wayo Wayo

As the clock ticks to the impending National delegates’ congress of the ruling National Democratic Congress, with the name of the incumbent National Chairman of the party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei and the National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization, Mr. Kofi Portuphy flying in the media as possible candidates to slug it out, another ‘new’ entrant, with full blessings and backing of conspicuous party bigwigs has emerged.

Enjoying a seemingly unwavering support of the ever powerful and influential Fanti and Dzelukope groupings whose authority over the grass root cum financial mettle in the NDC is not in doubt, the immediate-past Ghana’s Ambassador to Malaysia and former Member of Parliament for Keta, Mr. Dan Kwasi Abodakpi is brimming with confidence of tamping his possible contenders, particularly the incumbent chairman at congress to grab the post.

Senior cadres of the ruling party say, what actually cast a heavy and glowing light on Mr. Abodakpi’s bid; something they say was the foremost pillar that bolstered and gingered him is a well-known convention by linchpins in the NDC which ‘gags’ non-Voltarians from contesting the National Chairman position.

Whiles initially it was thought that the two groups and President Mahama were gravely haggling over the NADMO boss, the group is said to be bickering over Mr. Portuphy’s loyalty, especially when this paper’s checks revealed that the latter has been portraying himself to the grassroots of the party as a neutral person coming into the race on his own mettle.

As a result, Mr. Abodakpi who was a former Trade Minister in ex-president Rawlings’ administration, and indeed, one of the NDC founder’s most trusted ally when it comes to competence and devotion, is now flying on double wings, that is the convention in the NDC party which reserves the chairmanship position for Voltarians and the backing of the ever powerful Fanti/Dzelukope confederacies to stake a claim to the position.

Though the incumbent chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei is also a Voltarian, political analysts who spoke to this paper say, Voltarians in the NDC believed he has served their interest and the party well and it is time he hands over the political baton to another proud indigene.

Intelligence gathered by this paper suggest that whiles these Voltarians are unanimous on shutting the door at Dr. Kwabena Adjei on his third term bid and rather embracing Mr. Abodakpi’s candidature with double arms, other NDC members, particularly the younger folks mostly from the South are questioning whether the latter has the needed energy and dynamism to move the party to a higher notch.

Giving the caliber of the Paul Afokos, Stephen Ntims who are rumored to be possible replacement of the current New Patriotic Party National Chairman, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, many in the NDC say, they needed a more modern and dynamic Chairman who can match leaders of their biggest political archrivals and also someone who is more forceful and who can revitalize it into a more formidable organization.

Though it seems Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s popularity in the party may have shriveled, his strength of possibly biting his contenders at the impending congress cannot be underestimated, especially when he holds the enviable record as the only Chairman who has shepherded his party to two successful victories; one from opposition and the other in government.

This paper is in the know that, as part of plans to rebrand himself and prove his critics, who said he has failed and out of touch wrong, the most successful chairman in the NDC’s history has parted ways with tobacco whiles his hitherto ‘marriage’ with the green ‘bottle’ has also been fractured beyond redemption.

On the other hand, Mr. Portuphy who has steadily warmed his way into the hearts of the party grassroots with his long years of unquestionable loyalty and service; is also enjoying a considerable support from party middle class, particularly those who think it is time the party moved away from the old ways of doing things by choosing a party head based on competence rather than sectarian considerations.

But some leading members of the party also say the NDC is not ready to part ways with its age long convention by electing a non-Voltarian as chairman, an act that makes Mr. Portuphy’s political ambition blurry to the advantage of Mr. Abodakpi and Dr. Kwabena Adjei.

Should the rank and file of the ruling party decide to hold in high esteem the convention, meaning a straight fight is expected between the incumbent chairman and the former Ambassador to Malaysia, a political analyst told The Al-Hajj, Mr. Abodakpi is likely to emerge victorious considering his strong links especially with the Fanti caucus and his home support.

Though confident of an Abodakpi victory, the political pundit stated that, Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s incumbency advantage cannot be discounted, adding that, it will be the biggest advantage of the chairman.

In the midst of this permutation, some political analyst also believed a clash between the two Voltarians will present a clear advantage for Mr. Portuphy, a native of Ada to consolidate his votes while Mr. Abodakpi and Dr. Kwabena Adjei split votes, though the age long convention still resonates with lots of the party members.

A long-standing unwritten pact, unanimously sanctioned by the Council of Elders of the umbrella party and endorsed by party founder, J.J Rawlings since 2005; and which is recognized by the party leadership, reserves the national chairmanship slot of the party to Voltarians.

As party insiders put it, the pact, which dates back to the run-up to the sixth National Delegates’ Congress of the NDC in 2005 at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, was fashioned out to reward the people of the Volta Region, which was and still remains a safe political haven for the ruling party.

Another reason, which is said to be the chief motive that called for the agreement was that, since former President Jerry John Rawlings, a son of the Volta Region had ruled the nation for almost nineteen years, it would be practically impossible for another Voltarian to rise to the position of presidential or vice presidential candidate of the party any time soon, hence the need to reserve the chairmanship slot for the region as a sign of appreciation.

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NDC Chairmanship Contest: Abodakpi Enters Race…Vows To Crush Portuphy, Wayo Wayo

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