A Former National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Harona Esseku, has blamed the defeat of the party in the December 2008 elections, on some of the regional and constituency executives of the party.
He said funds sent from the National Secretariat of the party in Accra, to the regions and constituencies, were misappropriated by some of the party executives, and therefore did not get to the foot soldiers of the party.
He said the national executives could not detect the malpractice on time, because they misconstrued the large number of people who were attending their rallies, to mean that the party was on course to winning the elections.
They later discovered that huge rallies do not win elections, but rather door-to-door campaigning.
Speaking in an interview with the Chronicle on Saturday recently, Mr. Esseku, who was the party’s Chairman from 2001 to 2005, said during his reign the party had five polling station executives in the 22,000 polling stations across the country, and because they were well catered for, these foot soldiers were able to garner more votes for the party.
He, however, regretted that this did not happen during the 2008 elections, because the money that should have gone into that was squandered by some of the executives.
“I have clear evidence in the Awutu Senya constituency, my constituency, others are compiling theirs, the monies did not reach the foot soldiers in the values they were sent, it is not easy to find out, but somewhere along the line some executives blew the money,” he indicated.
He noted that though the party lost in his constituency, the votes they secured were very encouraging, because of the way he motivated his polling station chairmen, who are the foot soldiers of the party.
To avoid a recurrence of the problem in future, Esseku suggested that the party put stringent measures in place to monitor the disbursement of party funds at the grassroots level.
The former National Chairman said when he was the leader of his party, he was able to increase the number of NPP seats from 101 to 128 with his region, the Central Region, doubling from eight seats to 16.
He attributed the success story to his 45 years experience as a politician.
He, however, regretted that the Awutu-Senya and Assin North, which polled the largest votes during the period under review, dropped significantly this time round.
“I am sad in opposition, but I feel that this loss may be what we need to ginger us up to ensure unity, stability and hard work by all of us, because we were all complacent,” he lamented.
When the paper asked him about his judgment on the competence of the national executives, he stated “I don’t want to comment on it, because we will sit down and discuss how weak or otherwise.”
He opined that one of the factors responsible for their loss, was that some District Chief Executives thought they had become mature in politics as a result they abandoned their posts and concentrated on their intention to enter parliament.
Mr. Esseku stressed that the party elders had not yet met to determine the cause of the party’s defeat, and that they were waiting for the transitional team to finish their work before convening a meeting.
Source: The Chronicle