The President has asked delegates electing New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Executives on Saturday to vote for candidates that will unite the party.
Speaking at the party’s National Delegates Conference in Koforidua, the Eastern Region capital, Nana Akufo-Addo reminded the delegates that the persons they elect will have the daunting task of organising the party to secure election victory in 2020.
“It is a huge challenge and we need the right people to meet it…We must make sure that the post-Tamale experience never recurs again. We must maintain and safeguard the gains of 2016 by electing the right persons,” he told delegates gathered at the Koforidua Technical University.
The post-Tamale experience the President referred to is the bitter infighting that ensued among power factions within the NPP after the election of Paul Afoko as National Chairman and Kwabena Agyapong as National Secretary at a similar delegates’ conference in Tamale in 2014.
Afoko Nana Agyepong
A clash of opinions between key party executives threw the then opposition party into chaos and division.
The cracks that emerged from the divisions caused the National Executive Committee (NEC) to, in September 2015, uphold a decision of the party Disciplinary Committee to suspend indefinitely Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong.
The Committee held that the two executives and their cohorts were working against the party’s interests and damaging its chances of winning the 2016 elections.
Then Second Vice Chairman of the party, Sammy Crabbe, was also axed during the melee.
Mr Afoko, Mr Agyapong and Mr Crabbe have since not been reinstated and remain far away from active party politics.
Roadmap to lift galamsey ban
The President also spoke about the ban on small-scale mining that has been a source of discontent for artisanal miners in Ghana’s mineral-rich regions.
Akufo-Addo’s administration initiated a crackdown on illegal mining shortly after assuming the reins of power to end the destruction of water bodies and farmlands.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he was well aware of the anxiety that his bold decision to ban illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, has generated even among NPP supporters but said he was committed to safeguarding the environment.
“I said it at my inauguration [as President] that safeguarding the environment will be one of my most solemn undertakings. I have said and will continue to say that mining is an essential feature of our economic life. We have always mined here in Ghana.
“Akufo-Addo cannot stop mining activities. What we can do and we are trying to do is to put in place measures that will ensure, like our forefathers did, that mining does not destroy our landscape or pollute our water bodies,” he stressed.
The President told the delegates that he and his team have been busy these past 18 months to delivering unparalleled governance, admitting that “though we have not addressed all the sticky problems of the country,” his administration was working hard to bring about a rebirth of Ghana characterised by prosperity.