Gunshots At NDC Congress
SPORADIC GUNSHOTS over the weekend preceded the Bi-annual Regional Delegates’ Congress of the National Democratic Congress held at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) hall in Tamale, where about 300 delegates, including some observers, had converged.
The shooting by the military personnel at the event was to ward off unaccredited persons who accompanied the Regional Chairman, Alhaji Sumani Zakari, in a long convoy to the venue and tried to force their way into the hall.
The group, mostly made up of the party youth, engaged in a fierce brawl with the military until they were completely kept at bay by the armed soldiers who threatened to deal with any deviant youth who dared test their patience.
According to the youth, the party was not aware of the presence of the armed soldiers saying it was at the instance of the Regional Minister Stephen Sumani Nayina’s own safety that he directed they be present, reasons for which they were failing to take orders from them.
But after a series of confrontations the irate youth obliged to the orders and took shade under trees around the centre, amidst drumming and dancing in anticipation that their candidate was going to carry the day.
Even with the strict instructions that unaccredited persons should not enter the yard by the armed security operatives, DAILY GUIDE spotted a number of persons in the hall who were neither delegates nor observers chanting victorious songs in support of the regional chairman.
A number of hiccups also characterized proceedings in the hall during the voting, halting the process for about fifteen minutes. It resumed when tempers were calmed by the organizers, with support from the armed military personnel.
NDC Members of Parliament (MPs) from the region were the first to cast their votes, after which they all left, paving way for the inpatient delegates who had waited all day due to the late start of the programme, contrary to what they had been told.
Under heavy security presence, voting went on smoothly with delegates from the 26 constituencies of the region taking turns to cast their votes, while a number of observers witnessed proceedings with keen interest.
At the end of voting process, Alhaji Sumani Zakari retained his position, polling 132 as against his close contender, San Nasamu Asabigi, who got 104 out of the total number of valid votes cast.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mobila, who was tipped to run a close race with San Nasamu Asabigi for the regional chair of the party, left many wondering when it was announced that he had secured 14 votes.
Sofo Awudu Azorka won the position of the 1st Regional Vice Chairman by a landslide victory after sweeping 143 votes against 76 for Alhaji Adam Munkaila Admond and 57 for Kofi Iddi.
Gilbert Iddi, a former Northern Regional Minister and a lecturer with the University for Development Studies (UDS) who earlier filed to contest the post of 1st Vice Chairman, pulled out at the dire minute for what he described as personal reasons.
JB Mahama became the 2nd Regional Vice Chairman, polling 158 against his close marker Sule Alhassan, who struggled to raise 92 votes, while Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan Umar became the next regional scribe of the party with 167 votes.
His colleagues Mohammed and Aliu Issah Issahaku Insect polled 67 and 15 votes respectively. Tanko Rashid Computer also retained his position as Regional Treasurer, sweeping 188 of the total votes, leaving Iddrisu Sedzro Kofi and Hajia Abiba Chambers crawling with 19 and 45 votes respectively.
The Regional Organizer went to Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu Silimboma, and Alhaji Nasiru Iddrisu won as his deputy. Alhaji Umar Farouk went home as the party’s regional propagandist, a position he has retained for the second time.
The NDC National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, congratulated the winners and charged them not to disappoint the confidence the delegates had reposed in them in strengthening the roots of the party in the region.
On his part, the National Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia commended the party for conducting a free, fair and transparent election. He said it was an indication of democratic maturity in the party, considering similar elections in the past.
He urged the new leadership to eschew divisive elements and vigorously pursue the party’s agenda of a better Ghana, to enable it clinch to power in 2012.