Ghana: Samia Makes History for Women

History was made on Saturday, when the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), after a series of postponements of its National Delegates Congress, elected three women for the party's topmost positions, to manage the affairs of the party for the next four years.

The daughter of the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Samia Yaba Nkrumah, became the first female to chair a major political party in the history of the country, when she polled 1,151 to outwit her other three contestants, including the incumbent, Ladi Nylander, who polled 353 votes.

A former Chairperson of the party, Prof. Edmund Delle, who could not fathom why the party was still lagging behind the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which made him enter the race, managed 322 votes, whilst the other female candidate, Madam Araba Bentsi-Enchil, bagged 10 votes.

The other two female candidates who won the admiration of the over 2,000 delegates from the ten regions of the country, were Susana Adu Amankwa, First Vice Chairperson and Rodaline Imoro Ayarna, Second Vice Chairperson.

The outgoing executives were elected into office in 2007 to ensure victory for the party in the 2008 general elections, but the party performed abysmally in the first round of the elections, recording only 113,494 of the total valid votes cast, representing 1.34%, and securing only one parliamentary seat.

Moments after her victory, Samia Nkrumah declared: "Today, we have given birth to a new baby, the reformed CPP, the independent-minded CPP. We will rise and shine on our own without the endorsement of neither the NDC nor the NPP."

Her comments received thunderous applause from her fellow commerades who had throughout the day, one-on-one, stood beside Samia to take memorable pictures, a clear indication of fully endorsing her candidature as the only person among the four contestants to rekindle the true spirit of Nkrumaism, which seems to be fading out.

Commenting on Samia's victory, the outgoing Chairperson, Ladi Nylander, said "The voice of the people, is the voice of God. The serene struggle of the spirit lies in acceptance. The party is supreme, the party has spoken. So, let us all throw our weight, trust, benefits and everything we can, behind Madam Samia Yaba Nkrumah, duly elected as the next chairman. Samia Yaba, I congratulate you."

The only parliamentary representative for the CPP, occupying the Jomoro seat, had campaigned vigorously to reactivate the core principles of the party her father left behind to go into exile, arguing that it would be the only way to revive the party's former competitive nature in the 1960s.

"Policies that made it possible for affordable education and other things are the things we will be visiting," she was quoted as saying on Adom FM, a local radio station, prior to casting her vote at the Delegates Congress, held at the Pavilion 'E' of the Trade Fair Center in Accra.

In accepting the mandate to lead the party, Samia Nkrumah told the CPP that "Our lone seat, our victory in Jomoro in the Western Region (pauses to ask for water to quench her thirst), has set the trend - we will no longer need the endorsement of another party to become successful."

Accompanied by the outgoing chairman, Ladi Nylander, Prof. Edmund Dele and other top officials of the party, Madam Samia dedicated her victory to Ghanaian women, and called on the party faithful to help close all ranks within the CPP, in order to become a formidable side to compete in the 2012 general elections.

"I am standing here with the outgoing chairman, Ladi Nylander and Prof. Edmund Delle, one of the contestants, and I am doing this in the name of our father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to protect the unity and solidarity of our great party. I want you to help us close ranks. There are no losers and winners. We want all to be inclusive.

"We will involve everyone, especially our senior commerades and those who serve our party. We will involve them in all decision-making. We need the input of every single member to lift this party up," she noted.

Sounding more positive about her all inclusive administration, the Jomoro legislature brought smiles to the faces of the young commerades in the CPP, by tasking them to use their exuberant energy and dynamism to lift the party up, since the onus lies on them to propel the party to victory in the 2012 general elections, and subsequent ones.

"We want our youth to carry us. You will no longer be left out in the cold. We will be closely connected to you," she noted, whilst promising a transparent and accountable administration.

"What we can promise you is transparency and accountability in all our dealings. We want to lead this country as an example in transparency and accountability. We will stand united," she said, amidst the blowing of the vuvuzelas to cheer her up.

Sounding more optimistic, just like her father, Samia told the gathering that the focal point of her administration would be the various constituencies across the country, since that was the only place to amass more votes for the party in all elections.

Other positions contested for were the National Youth Organiser, National Women's Organiser, National Organiser, National Treasurer and General Secretary.

For the National Youth Organiser, Mohammed Mutala pulled 802 votes to secure victory, ahead of Kadiri Abdul Rauf Issifu and Francis Oppai Tetteh, who pulled 570 and 486 votes respectively.

The position of National Women's Organiser went to Madam Mary Ankumah Boakye-Boateng, who got 917 votes to beat her two other contestants, whilst Mr. Forgor Abubakar polled 1,093 votes to emerge as National Organiser of the CPP, ahead of two other contestants.

The Delegates Congress was conducted in a serene atmosphere, devoid of any violence, and this culminated in free and fair elections, which was supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Five polling stations were mounted for the elections, which started around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and ended around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Security operatives detailed for the function had long secured the venue in the forenoon on Friday, September 9, 2011, thereby preventing any unforeseeable violent behaviour.

Prior to the voting, all the 24 candidates vying for various positions in the party were given the platform to give their last campaign messages to the delegates for the last time.

Onetime candidate for the CPP flagbearership, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa and the former Youth Organiser of the party, Kwabena Bonfeh Jnr, could not hold their breathe, but burst into jubilation for Samia Nkrumah's victory, moments before the EC officially declared the certified results of the chairmanship slot.

Prof. Agyemang Badu-Akosa, in an interview, told The Chronicle that the daughter of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the right person to lead the CPP, since she had got the charisma to attract people to the party, just like his father.

"Samia is the best of fresh air for the CPP, and by that people are going to walk back to the party. She went to the people, talked to the people, and that was the mantra of her father. It is the magnanimity of a victor that the people will be back," he noted.

To him, Samia Nkrumah Nkrumah is a real match for both leaders of the NDC and the NPP, saying "she will stand the ground with them, and match them boot for boot."

The general perception among most Ghanaians is that the CPP has been static since the last general and previous elections, and has done too little to be attractive to the youth.

Divisions in the party are also so huge, to the extent that it has had a rippling effect on the party structures, both at the local and national levels.

However, with Samia's ascendancy to the throne of Chairperson of the CPP, Prof. Badu-Akosa believes the CPP will now become a party to reckon with, since all the constituencies are going to be rejuvenated, and give the "poor a voice in the country."

Below are the full certified results announced by the Director of Elections at the Electoral Commission, Mr. Albert Arhin.

National Youth Organiser

Mr. Mohammed Mutala 802 votes

Kadiri Abdul Rauf Issifu 570 votes

Mr. Francis Opai Tetteh 486 votes

National Women's Organiser

Madam Mary Ankumah Boakye-Boateng 917 votes

Aisha Sule Futa 313 votes

Hajia Hamatu Ibrahim-Haruna 635 votes

National Organiser

Mr. Forgor Abubakar 1093 votes

Mr. Amankwa Appiah 408 votes

Evelyn Alamisi Anabilla 347 votes

National Treasurer

Mr. Seth Gomnah 1,005 votes

Michael Kosi Dede (incumbent) 853 votes

General Secretary

Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet (incumbent) 716 votes

Ekow Duncan 471 votes

Nii Armah Akomfrah 672 votes

National Vice Chairperson (selected 3 out of the 6 contestants)

Susana Adu Amankwa 529 votes (Ist Vice Chairperson)

Rodaline Imoru Ayarma 385 votes (2nd Vice Chairperson)

Mr. Oteng Anane 311 votes (3rd Vice Chairperson)

Kojo Armah 184 votes

William Buckman 195 votes

Mr. Ibrahim. M. Seidu 220 votes

National Chairman

Samai Yaba Nkrumah 1,151 votes

Mr. Ladi Nylander (incumbent) 353 votes

Prof. Edmund Dele 322 votes

Araba Bentsi-Enchil 10 votes

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