Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has revealed that the super delegates conference held by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to downsize the number of flagbearer aspirants of the party to five is an easily fixed arrangement.
According to him, due to the makeup of the party and the members who constitute the super delegates conference, he does not have confidence in the entire process at whittling down the number to contest in the November 4 elections.
Justifying his stance, Mr Ayariga stated that for a party leader, who is believed to be leading in a certain direction, and there are people who benefit from his appointment, it will be difficult to imagine that those in the position of voting for him will be able to exercise a reasonable degree of independence when they are taking a decision in a setting like that of the delegates conference.
“I have indicated that this is an easily fixed arrangement because who are the members of the super delegates? Ministers, national executives, regional executives, council of elders, members of parliament and past national officers. Check the background of all these people – these are people in ordinary parlance will be considered as part of the establishment. It is not in all cases that they act with a reasonable degree of independence or autonomy…”Mahama Ayariga
Again, Mr Ayariga noted that the setup of the election makes it difficult for people to express their views. He explained that with a very small college as it was with the super delegates conference, one can easily be identified.
“For example, North East has just 28 people out of the several thousands that might in the general delegates conference representing the North East, and you say they sit in North East and take a decision about the Dr Bawumia. What degree of independence and autonomy do they have in taking that decisions, especially when you say they should remain in North East and take that decision…”Mahama Ayariga
Transparency within the NPP primaries
In his view, Mr Ayariga reckoned that if the NPP had done what in the past it would do, which was to bring all the delegates to Accra or Kumasi or anywhere, and allow delegates to vote, with the ballot papers mixed and counted, the party is more likely to have a situation where people will “really, truly and independently express their views”.
He highlighted that if the NPP insists the delegates remain in their regions and vote, it’s an “intimidatory tactic” because those who voted for and against an “establishment” candidate can easily be identified, fished out, victimized and punished for taking those decisions.
“So, right from the onset, I say this is fixed arrangement and people won’t really exercise a degree of independence and autonomy that one would expect.”Mahama Ayariga
To determine the actual position of the party with respect to the appropriate candidate who resonates with the party, Mr Ayariga revealed that the November 4 election will really determine what the thinking is within the party. However, he stated that this preliminary steps provides some “propaganda tools” for Dr Bawumia and his team, although there’s a lot more work to be done.
Moreover, the Bawku Central legislator highlighted that if indeed the delegates conference was not a fixed setup, the victory is not as overwhelming as some expected it to be.
“I really fear for the general delegates conference… We’ve seen that very often, the establishment and the grassroots are not on the same wavelength especially when there’s such apathy and grumbling within the party and the country. I really I’m concerned and I don’t think that those who are part of the Bawumia team should be celebrating and declaring victory at this stage. I also don’t think that the rest of the candidates should give up because of the 68% that Bawumia made within this category.”Mahama Ayariga