Odeneho determined to unseat Chairman Wontumi

The end of the tenure of Chairman Wontumi is in view, as the Afigya Kwabre South NPP Constituency Chairman of many years, Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, has been tipped to emerge winner of the impending NPP elections next year.

A spur-of-the-moment random sampling of views of members of the public, mostly NPP sympathisers, across the 47 constituencies, including Amansie South and West, Obuasi East and West, New Edubiase, Akrofrom, Suame, Nsuta Kwamang-Beposo, Bekwai, Ahafo Ano South West, Fomena, Ejisu, Nkawie, Kumasi, Oforikrom and Kumawu, indicate that if the election was held today, Odeneho would get the nod of the delegates to lead the party in the region.

The interviewees, most of who pleaded anonymity for fear of victimisation and reprisal by a perceived mafia group, said the Ashanti NPP would need a team player and person who can unify the disillusioned groups and factions, and make the party structures work towards maintaining power in 2024.

The position of majority of interviewees makes the chances of Wontumi’s re-election bid very low as against Odeneho’s to allow for the reactivation of the party.

Majority of the delegates and some members of Parliament (MPs) from across the constituencies in the region are rooting for the Kwabre South Constituency Chairman to take over the leadership of the party in the region, and thus complement efforts of the national executives and leadership to make the NPP stronger and attractive, especially in the Ashanti Region.

According to MPs and constituency executives who spoke to this paper, Chairman Antwi Boasiako’s leadership skills were not helping the fortunes of the party in the region, and therefore there was the need for a new face and ideas in running the party and consolidate the fortunes of the party in the region.

The delegates, including assembly members, have expressed discomfort should Chairman Wontumi be maintained, because the “One Man” show and dictatorial tendencies would still be at play at the expense of the growth of the party.

Some delegates said power had gone into Wontumi’s head, and thus he had become “too powerful and arrogant,” paying no heed to good counsel and suggestions, for which the regional executives were fed up.

Other groups of interviewees said Chairman Wontumi had lost touch with the grassroots, therefore, would not be too much of a competition for any of the other contenders.

A former regional executive of the party, for instance, said the current situation demanded that the leadership was changed to make the party more functional.

According to him, the number one priority of the party in the region was a functional Secretariat, which was now collapsed, and for which reason all constituency offices must be opened and made operational for secretaries to be at post at all times.

The former party guru said the incumbent party Chairman did not understand the core functions of a Regional Chairman, having ignored the party structures and sidelined the women, youth, and organising wings of the party.

The delegates also accused the incumbent of disregarding MPs, polling station, and constituency executives.

He is also not seen as a team player, explained in his sidelining of the former Regional Secretary, Sam Pyne, who functioned more as a communicator than a scribe.

Chairman Wontumi was also accused of an affluent public display of wealth and selfishness, instead of working to increase the votes of the party in the face of increasing National Democratic Congress (NDC) votes in the region.

From the flaws of Wontumi, the only option left to rescue the party from humiliation and ridicule was the Afigya Kwabre South Constituency Chairman, seen as having the support base needed to make the difference at the elections.

Odeneho Kwaku Appiah is seen as a unifier, consistent, experienced, and media-friendly, as well as someone who could redeem the image of the party, and consolidate the fortunes of the party, in terms of votes.

As the Chairman of the Ashanti Union of Constituency Chairmen, he was in constant touch with the national leadership of the party, and related so well with MPs for the good of the party.

“The choice of Odeneho is a foregone conclusion, as he is becoming more popular and is also winning the hearts of the grassroots,” a Unit Committee Executive from Oforikrom said, and explained that Odeneho was the only candidate who could unify the party and save its fortunes from further dwindling.

To the delegates, Odeneho Kwaku Appiah could bring total unity and respect to the leadership of the party at the regional level, and allow the structures to work efficiently and effectively.

Coming close next to Odeneho in the chairmanship race is the former MP for Ejisu, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, who is said to command so much respect from the Ashanti NPP MPs Caucus though he was not media-friendly, and also not too much of a grassroots personality.

One interviewee at Ejisu said the regional chairmanship contest largely depends on the choice of the majority of MPs whose enormous support informs the choice of delegates and constituency executives who owe the MPs a certain level of loyalty and are not likely to betray their MPs.

As a result “Adoumi is likely to win”, the source emphasised.

From Sebastian R. Freiku and Ernest Anane, Kumasi


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