New Patriotic Party supporters in the Ashanti region have called for an amendment to the party's constitution to allow the party to go for early congress to elect their flagbearer for the 2012 general elections which to them, was crucial for the sustenance and survival of the party.
They observed that giving the flagbearer and his team enough time (at least two clear years) would help the party organise itself effectively to contest and win the next elections, "especially now that we are in opposition."
According to them, "wining an election is not necessarily based on the monies you have or the people who can talk, but more importantly, it is about how well and efficient a party prepares to win an election."
The supporters have also given an early indication of their support and loyalty to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the party"s standard bearer for the December 2008 election, to lead them for the 2012 polls, appealing to the leadership of the party, particularly the National Executive Committee and the Council of Elders, not to effect any change of the presidential candidate.
To them, it would be a bad omen to the party if the leadership tried to do anything to change Nana Addo.
According to them, the only thing that they would agree to would be an early scrutiny of the activities of national, regional as well as constituency campaign teams for the 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections. To them, the party's painful defeat was as a result of the poor performance of the campaign teams.
Holding placards at the thanks-giving service of the party at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi -some of which read; "It is time to have leadership of integrity, honesty and transparency to lead the way", "Nana is the best but our leaders failed him", "No Nana, no vote", "No congress, Nana is our man," some of the supporters who spoke to The Statesman maintained that another chance for the flagbearer could definitely help them to reclaim power from the NDC in 2012.
Elvis Atakora Bediako, member of TESCON and Friends of Nana Akufo-Addo at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, told this paper that though he admited that there must be some checks and balances at the party"s hierarchy, the flagbearership position should remain unchanged.
He hinted that TESCON and FONAA would soon come out with a statement on their position on the party's defeat at the December polls as well as the need to keep Nana Akufo-Addo as the party"s candidate for the 2012 elections.
"But even before that, let me say that Professor Mills won the election largely because he was well known to the electorate.
We should know that Prof. Mills had on three occasions contested the presidential election and won at the third attempt, so we must not rush to change Nana. Let us keep him, give him another chance and our support and he will surely come out victorious", the TESCON man added and emphasised, "Let us not forget that Nana Addo still commands high respect amongst almost half of the country's electorate".
Another die-hard party activist from the Atwima Mponua constituency who only gave her name as Joyce, had on her placard, "Change Nana, lose power forever". She said the party's popularity would drop if they did not allow what she termed as "the people's choice" to lead the party.
According to her, choosing a new person as a flagbearer would mean the party must market that person well to the electorate, which she noted would be a difficult task for the NPP to undertake.
Joyce noted that Nana Addo's case was different and easy as he was already known to the electorate, add that presenting him again as the party's candidate for the 2012 general elections could be a good omen towards winning the next elections.
Others who also spoke to this paper urged the supporters to exercise restraint and allow the leadership of the party to work things out for victory in about four years' time. They noted that apportioning blame at this crucial moment would only complicate matters.
source : statesman