“For me I believe that the party is more supreme than any individual so whether I win or lose, I will still work for the party”.
The words above are those of the Upper West Regional Chairman of the NPP, Alhaji Abubakari Abdul-Rahaman who is aspiring to lead the party as its National Chairman in the election which will be held later this year.
In the bare-it-all interview with me in his residence, the media shy Upper West regional chairman of the NPP for the first time shared with me his plans for the party nationwide.
Alhaji Short as he is popularly called disclosed that his intention is to return the three regions in the north to the UP tradition which started up north. According to him, it’s unacceptable that most of the founding members of the UP tradition such as Jato Kaleo, Abayifar Karbo, SD Dombo and a host of others came from the north and yet the NPP is not dominant in the area.
He said, “My priority is to first make sure the north returns to the UP tradition where they should belong and then make sure the rest of the country see the NPP as the only party that has their welfare at heart”.
What is he bringing on board?
The Upper West Regional Chairman of the NPP who has been at the helm of affairs for three consecutive terms believes his experiences at the grassroots level is key to keep the party winning elections.
“I have been tried and tested and that is important in politics. We won three seats in 2008 but lost all in 2012 and we came back strongly to win 5 seats in 2016. This should tell you that with team work we can do wonders for the party in the region”, he told me.
“We worked hard to win more seats and though we did not meet our target we have proven that we can get there with team work”, he stressed.
His response to a question on contesting against people who have been contesting the position for some time now was simple; “O! I have also been contesting my position for some time, so there is no question of who has kept long in the race”.
A Fund for Retired Party Officers
As a way of motivating party executives who have gone on retirement, the aspirant intends setting up a fund for them.
Alhaji Short said, “As party executives we will not be there forever so when we retire there should be a way of catering for us. I therefore intend starting such a fund to take care of party officers who retire. Already in Upper West we have started something like that where monthly we give some amount to the elders of the party to cushion them”.
An ideological institute for the NPP?
Party members must have an idea of what the party’s ideology is hinged on hence the need for an institution to inculcate that knowledge in members.
As part of his intentions, the aspirant is acquiring a 10 acre land at Saltpond to put up an ideological institute to educate members of the party on its ideology.
“I also have finished with drawings of offices for the party at the regional and constituency level to be executed when I am elected. What you see here in Wa is just a model of what I want to do for the party”, he disclosed.
What I Know about Alhaji Short
I came into close contact with Alhaji Short in 2017 during the constituency delegates conferences of the NPP in the Upper West Region and I must say my initial impression about he not being media friendly fizzled out.
He was ready to engage in a conversation about his work as a regional chairman which hitherto he would decline commenting on. He will normally refer you to the Regional Secretary when issues about the party came up.
At this point his mantra of allowing the structures work struck me. He will always avoid taking over the jobs of other people.
My interaction with party members reveals a man who is passionate about winning more members for the NPP. He has a vision of winning 100% seats for the party in the next 8 years (which is an ambitious dream).
Though not seen as media friendly my getting close to him has revealed a man who only wants people to do work they have been assigned.
The question on the lips of many is whether he can win the hearts of delegates of the party so as to win the National Chairmanship Race going into a contest with Stephen Ntim and current Acting Chairman Freddy Blay?
Going round the country and observing party offices, I think his decision to build party offices across the country will be good if only it is not a campaign promise. He tells me he has concluded the drawings and he will implement it. If party members are serious with activities of the party, they should embrace this promise and ensure it is done as soon as he is elected.
The ideas of a fund for retired officers, ideological institute among others should be welcoming news for party members and Alhaji Short should be elected as next National Chairman of the NPP.
By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Musah Lansah