With a few days to the regional conference to elect executives to lead the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region for the next four years, Odeneho Kwaku Appiah is wrapping up his campaign and believes the odds are favouring him to carry the day.
Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah (COKA), a former constituency chairman for Afigya Sekyere says he has what it takes to lead the party for the next four years and argues the incumbent chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly known as Chairman Wontumi has had his turn and it is time to hand over to "fresh blood with new ideas."
Wontumi himself has decided to go silent in the media space and rather opted to engage with the grassroots, declining to speak to the media, as he wraps up his campaign.
The other contestants, Oheneba Agyei Adum Bawuah, Robert Asare Bediako and Kwabena Owusu Aduomi are equally confident of victory.
Other officers would be elected as well at the conference happening this weekend but it is the regional chairmanship race, which has generated keen interest.
Apart from Chairman Wontumi, the four other candidates have raised issues with some irregularities including the absence of the voters register with just two days to the elections, a conflict of interest issue with the chairman of the election committee, Simon Osei Mensah who is also the Ashanti Regional Minister and a campaigner for Chairman Wontumi according to them, and the venue for the election, which is at the premises of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council. The venue, they say is problematic for a party activity to be taking place at the premises where government business is done.
Bawuah for instance has offered to step aside as a form of protest if the national officers of the party do not act on the outstanding issues following a petition he has sent to the national headquarters endorsed by the four candidates.
Asare Bediako, himself a former constituency chairman for Asokwa and a former contestant for the same position but withdrew at the last minute in 2018 is wrapping up his campaign.
Aduomi, a former Member of Parliament for Ejisu is entering the chairmanship contest for the first time and confident of winning.
For COKA [Odeneho], his number three position on the ballot paper was an indication he would be leading the party to a third term in office thus helping the party to break the eight.
He is insisting that the forthcoming regional election was an opportunity for the party to re-organise and put its house in order to face upcoming general elections as a more organised, united and focused party for the battle ahead.
His promise is to administer the party at the regional level to adopt a bottom up approach of decision making where most of the decisions of the party would be from the grassroots rather than the top down approach where the grassroots felt detached from the party structures.
He said that he would strengthen the structures of the party and build the capacity of the youth and women wings of the party to enable them to work effectively “so that together, we can work with all to help break the eight.”
According to the astute businessman, all benefits and opportunities that would come to the party in the region, would be shared equally among the members to ensure fairness.
He said whatever is due anyone would be given to them in order to engender oneness and eschew rancour and divisiveness and petty squabbles that could derail the course of the party in the region.
He thus appealed to all delegates of the party to cast their votes for COKA to lead the party to the promised land of breaking the eight come December 2024.
Below is a copy of Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah's press statement delivered on Wednesday morning
Good Morning members of the Media
I thank you all for being here this morning, I cannot tell you how moved I am to be with you today on the great stress to fight for the future of our party to restore trust and confidence in the Ashanti Region NPP as a whole.
My name is Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, aka COKA, I have passed through all the party ranks, and this makes me the best candidate for this chairmanship race.
My political work started as political campaigner, I was a chairman for Concern Citizen Association, pressing for development in Ashanti region and beyond, as Ward Organizer for Subin Constituency, as Government Appointee to Bekwai District Assembly, as Regional Financial Secretary for Ashanti Region under chairman F. F. Anto and as Constituency Chairman for NPP Afigya Kwabre South for many years till now.
Delegates, these experiences show that I understand the political environment and I am ready to take the position of chairmanship in the region
Delegates, Now as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, those who accept politics of "Anything Goes". Let me say to them, there is only one NPP, that is what I am fighting for, unified NPP.
Delegates, the policies I set out today are rooted in the day-to-day concerns of the party members. And today, I lay before you a reasonable plan for my chairmanship that starts with assuring the party members; fair, accountable, successful party, also a better and fair future for all.
Delegates, every statement of policy needs to have an idea at it(s) heart.
The basic principle that has pushed my idea is something I have always believed in.
This is not a promise, it is a plan.
Working together with you, we can change our party for good.
We will do and run our party differently together, for once.
We have learned from our mistakes, “NOW!!! and NOW!!!” we are going to try something new…I believe:
“We can turn anger into hope!!!
Frustration into ambition!!!!!!!!!
Hopeless into chance for everyone!!!!!
Delegates!!!! There is room for everybody to leave happily, under my chairmanship, I plan to create “welfare and youth trust to assist those need in the region, trust me delegates, this is possible, I will do it !!!!!!, I will do it !!!!!!,
I am not going to be a chairman for Kumasi,
I am going to be a chairman for Ashanti Region.
These are promises, you can trust.
My idea recognises that the party has changed.
Delegates!!!!! Under my leadership as a chairman, I will restore trust back in the party, I plead with you to trust me.
Delegates!!!! Under my chairmanship, we are going to work together, think together, decide together, vote together, suffer together, enjoy together, solve our issues and differences together. This is what makes my idea different.
What unite us is bigger than what divide us, we are all working for one common goal, we have a party to manage and to protect to win power in 2024 (election)
Delegates, I am very positive that we can leave the party better than we found it for our future generation.
This is a promise you can trust.
Delegates!!!!!!! If you want a practical and reasonable help, instead of empty words: this is the idea for you, then COKA is the man.
Delegates!!!! If you want a leader with vision, passion, devotion, hard work and love, Vote for COKA. If you want promises you can trust, then is COKA.
Delegates!!!!! my leadership will show you love and respect, I will not abandon you, I will not leave you to your own resources; I will not stand taller than you. I will do whatever I think is right, not what my mind directs me.
My opponents may have (maybe) good ideas, but can they deliver?
Delegates!!!! under my leadership we will always think about the future for all, I will bring hope alive to the party, make our dreams come true, and meet the ambition of the party.
Delegates!!!!! you need to make the right decision now, the right choice now for our future generation in Ashanti Region as a whole.
Delegates, in building the future, I will do all my best to fight with all my strength, energy and resources to work with you to achieve our party goals and objectives. The vote from Ashanti Region is important for our party, let’s not under estimate this, we need a strong, competent, confident, strategic and wise leader like myself to lead the region.
Delegates!!!!! I will use my energy, skills and resources to deliver the best to achieve lasting results. I am passionate about uplifting the party better than we found it now
Delegates, my beliefs to have true meaning, I will live with them, not just most of the time but all the time. Not just for myself, but for us all.
Delegates!!!!! I belief that fairness is not just about the distribution of rewards, but the distribution of responsibilities, fair rules applied to all.
Delegates!!!! Please let me tell you, if anybody tells you that it does not matter who wins the regional chairmanship election; because they are all the same, just ask that person:
Which chairman stands for democratic principle and offer democratic change?
Which chairman believes in Accountability, Respect, Integrity, Stewardship?
Which chairman doesn’t use insult to solve problems?
Which chairman has done more party work and understand the party structures, the grassroots and understand the environment we are going to work?
Delegates!!!!! We want a Chairman who will keep our strategies secret.
Delegates!!!!! We want a Chairman who will discuss social and economic policies not a leader who will show and talk about his wealth, who created that wealth?, Is you who created it for him, you put him in power.
The answer is COKA – the Chairman with the plan for the future.
Delegates!!!!!! I say to you today: the future will be progressive; COKA is in the fight for our lives – and it is the fight for our future.
I have faith in the delegates and our party members.
I am confident that, together, we can make the future of our beloved party brighter; and can be both sustained and shared.
I am confident in the vision and the values that it will lead us to 2024 election victory.
I am confident in the team I will lead and the policies I promise.
I have to remember that you voted me to power, therefore I will always stay closer to you.
I will always come to you, live and learn with you. Love and serve you. I will plan with you and build on what you know. I will encourage all party members to be active in discussing all our major issues together and I will constantly examine, review and correct my actions to maintain unity in the party.
Delegates, I belief in politics of hope and politics of care, if there is a child that cannot get food to eat, that matters to me. If there is an old woman or old man, who cannot get money to buy medicine, that makes me feel bad. If there is a young man or young woman, who cannot get a job to buy his or basic needs, that breaks my heart, even if he/she is not my relative.
It is my basic belief that, I am my brother's keeper, or my sister's keeper, working together will allow us to achieve our individual dreams.
Do we want to practice politics of selfish or do we want to practice politics of hope? I believe in politics of hope and call on you for hope.
GOD IS OUR ONLY HOPE!!!!!! GOD BLESS GHANA!!!!!! GOD BLESS NPP!!!!!