9:45pm Ampofo wins chairmanship race
The chairmanship race is over! Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has beaten four of his competitors to lead the party into the 2020 elections. A loyal and committed member, a faithful and humble servant. A great victory for the former branch member, MP and Local Government minister.
9:20pm The General, Asiedu Nketiah has won the father and son battle against his deputy Koku Anyidoho. It was meant to be a cliffhanger but it turned out to be a stroll on the political field for the General.
Deputy NDC National Organiser Akamba Joshua Hamidu has won promotion to the National Organiser position. He beat former National Organiser Yaw Boateng Gyan who has said the party had missed his four-year absence.
Former NDC National Chairman Awudu S. Asorka has won one of three slots for National Vice Chairperson. The man famed for his vigilante group ‘Azorka Boys’ now gets a seat in the party’s National leadership.
His boys chant ‘never say die, never say die, we are Azorka Boys, we never say die’.
A Vice National Chairperson of the NDC Jemima Anita De-Soso has lost her bid to become the party’s first-ever female National Organiser.
In an interview with Joy News’ Parker-Wilson, she expressed satisfaction with the results which is yet to be officially declared.
“I have lost but I am not sad,” she said explaining she was contesting a position no woman has ever held.
“Now there is no Voltarian in the game, and that is we should think about”, the tough-talking NDC woman who gained popularity as a serial caller for the party said.
That statement signalled the defeat of Dan Abodakpi who hails from the Volta region and was hoping to become National Chairman.
The Volta region is the ‘world bank’ of the NDC during general elections. The region pulls staggering votes for the NDC.
Ex-convict Ako Gunn has also won one of two deputy National Communications Officer positions. Ako Gunn was among three radio personalities on Accra-based Montie FM who were jailed in 2016 for criminal contempt.
Kwaku Boahen has also picked up the other slot for deputy National Communications Officer.
4:00PM Provisional results trickling in
Sammy Gyamfi has won the position of National Communications Officer with 6,225 votes. Fred Agbenyo got 2,225.
Godwin Ako Gunn – 1816 (winner)
Mahama Seidu Samuel – 573
Kwaku Boahen – 2,851(winner)
Alhaji Mohammed Nasiru Seidu – 573
Adongo Atule Jacob – 978
Muhammed Nurullah Iddrisu – 4731,011
3:05pm: A candidate contesting the Deputy National Organiser position, Kobby Barlon, has been ordered by the MC to replace his agent or risk being taken out of the contest. No reason was given for this order and the identity of the agent in question was also not mentioned
The EC officials are done with the sorting of ballots and have begun counting the votes.
The role of the agents is crucial at this stage of the process because they are the only ones, not the candidates, who are allowed a space in the inner perimeter.
Another National Organiser contestant, Alfred Kojo Thriddles, has conceded defeat hours before the results are announced. We don’t know who won that contest yet but Mr. Thriddles wrote on his Facebook wall thanking delegates for the love shown him.
3:00pm: White powder, new power
After more than 36 hours at the Dome, white powder is out as supporters of winning candidates take an early lead in the celebrations.
12:30: Mahama takes over
Some nice 2016 Mahama campaign songs are rocking in the Dome. But it is sure to get other presidential aspirants complaining. Well, inside here – its all dancing.
11:34 am: Complaints turning into dancing
Dancing to the latest hiplife songs are the first, refreshing signs of NDC’s longest-ever congress coming to an end. The mist of confusion is disappearing and some supporters judging by the heap of uncounted votes have begun jubilating. The vigilance appears to have paid off for them.
11:00am Jubilation already?
Collation is far from over but supporters of some aspirants are already in a jubilant mood. Supporters of Samuel Ofosu Ampofo are the most excited waving posters and banners of Mr. Ampofo.
9:40am Voting ends!
What a huge relief! After more than 16 hours, voting has finally ended. EC officials together with agents of candidates are about to sort the ballots out and collate them. Hopefully, this will not take another marathon.
9:15 am: “It is like we are confused”
A contestant for NDC Deputy General Secretary Abdullah Ishaq Farrakhan has launched a scathing criticism of the party for what he described as bad planning. “It is like we are confused…we don’t know what we are doing”, he told Adom TV.
He argued that the venue was unfit for the Congress where over 10,000 delegates and supporters have gathered. Farrakhan said if the party could hire questioned the Kumasi Sports Stadium for 5,000 delegates at the last Congress, then there was no way the NDC should have chosen the Fantasy Dome for an army of 10,000 party members.
“They failed before even the start of Congress”, he criticized. He warned that if the party carries this type of organization into the 2020 elections, ‘then we are in trouble’.
Despite branding the Congress ‘disgraceful’, he insists that NDC are better at developing Ghana than the NPP. In a streetwise analogy, he said there are some fathers who are bad at taking care of their nuclear family but great at managing organizations, societies, and extended families.
8:10 am: We could end by midday
NDC Elections Committee Chairman Kofi Atoh predicts the congress will end at midday. The initial plan was to start voting at 3 pm Saturday and end midnight. But huge numbers, few voting centres and logistics have conspired to force Congress into extension. Two more regions to go – Bono Ahafo and Ashanti region. Some constituencies in these regions have already voted.
7:15 am: Why the delay
Growing frustration at the Congress grounds after Saturday night’s sleep and slumber give way to Sunday morning of fresh questions about the organisation of the Congress. Voting began at 5 pm and still voting…14 hours straight. So here is what’s happening: a constituency says Asawaase in the Ashanti region goes to vote and is followed by another constituency say Hohoe in the Volta region. So you can’t say for sure that all delegates in say Eastern region have finished voting. And imagine Dome Kwabenya has over 100,000 delegates voting at five centres. We leave the rest to your imagination.
5:15 am: Disagreement between Ashanti region delegates and Greater Accra. Perhaps worn out by the process, delegates in Ashanti region want to vote before Greater Accra does. They are the ones to travel over 248km back to Kumasi. Security is called in to calm tempers. Delegates are becoming agitated. They appear not to have anticipated the Congress entering the second day with so much more to be done.
4:40 am: ‘No one knows when it will end’
There are five voting centres to harvest the choices of over 9,000 delegates. That’s the enormity of the challenge that has dragged on for over 12 hours.
“Dormaa Central, Jaman South, Dormaa East, Dormaa West, Central please these constituencies kindly process your self for voting” – and that’s the voice of the announcer signifying that a torturous process of choosing NDC leaders continues. Over 9,000 delegates are voting in one of the largest delegates Congress within the party. Inside the Dome, thick, complaining queues will tell you of the enormity of the task still ahead. No one knows when this will end.
3:30am Voting drags
For ten hours and counting, voting continues at a tortoise pace with no clear idea when it will be done for counting and collation to begin. For now, though it is all sleeping with journalists joining the fray.
10:30 pm Sleeping time!
The spirit is willing but the body is weak and the eyes can no longer be kept open. Delegates and observers alike have turned their chairs into beds sleeping the night away whilst some delegates who are yet to cast their votes continue to do so.
Any sleeping style will do for now. After all the chants, dance and queues to vote, the body must tired and weary.
8:30pm Spoilt Ballots?
It’s too early in the voting process but there are potential cases of spoilt ballots the elections committee suspects and has taken steps to minimize it. It appears delegates are casting their votes for more than one candidate in the Vice Chair category. Nine persons are vying for three slots. The persons with the highest number of votes will be ranked as first, second and third vice chairman but if delegates are voting for more than one person on the same ballot it will be considered a spoilt ballot. Election Committee members are now explaining to delegates to vote for just one person on the ballot.
7:00pm Interview Time
Allotey Jacobs continues his campaign against Asiedu Nketiah on campaign grounds.
It takes hours for voting to end. It is media time now as party stalwarts grant interviews to media houses. Supporters and some delegates also take to singing and dancing in the last gasp effort to prop us their various aspirants.
5:30pm Voting Begins
Over 9,000 delegates begin to cast their ballots to elect a new set of national executives to lead the NDC for the next four years. A total of 65 aspirants vie for positions including National Chairman, General Secretary, Vice Chairman, National Organiser positions. The elected Executives will be expected to facilitate the election of a flagbearer who will lead the party alongside the executives into the 2020 general elections.
The ten regions have been divided into two. MPs are expected to vote first followed by other delegates.
5:15pm EC officers arrive
Officers of the Electoral Commission take over proceedings at the congress. Voting is about to begin but they will have to put the logistics in place first.
4:30pm Introduction Time
Congress proceedings resume.
Election officers of the party take time to introduce 65 officers vying for the position to lead the party. One after another Bede Ziedeng and his men introduce the office and aspirants for each position. Delegates shout each time their favorite candidate is introduced. Sammy Gyemfi gets the loudest chants signifying his popularity for the party.
3:30 PM Congress temporarily suspended
Sammy Gyemfi flanked by supporters
Congress is temporarily suspended after delegates resist attempts for constitutional amendments that will reduce the position of National Communication officer into that of an appointment not an elective position. Two officers Sammy Gyemfi and Fred Agbenyo are vying for that position.
But the Delegates, however, resists “oppressors’ rule”.
“No no no,” they vociferously shout, forcing the party leadership to back down.
Sammy Gyamfi has been tipped to win the office without much hustle.
For these women drumming and dancing is also part of the Congress. Dancing is a form of campaigning. If you don’t know ask Nii Lante Vanderpuye former Sports Minister. He was probably the best dancer during the 2016 campaign.
Party delegates listening with rapt attention as leaders present the speeches. Are they considering changing their minds as to who to vote for or they have made up their minds already? Fear delegates former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie would say.
2:30 Mahama exits
Ex-president John Mahama exits the Congress grounds to visit some delegates, whom according to National Organiser of the party, Kofi Adams have been involved in an accident on their way to the Congress grounds.
1:30 General Secretary
Asiedu Nketiah takes over to address the delegates. He provides them with the state of the NDC under his tenure.He will and cannot end his speech without taking a poke shot at the governing party. He mocks at the NPP’s Free SHS policy hinting the NDC amy reverse it if it wins power.
In the meantime, it is fun for these beautiful girls obviously fans of Alhaji Sorogho who is vying for one of three spots for the Vice Chair positions.
1:00 John Rawlings
Ex-President John Rawlings arrives and takes his turn with the speech. He delivers one of the shortest speeches. Too short for his own standards. He charges delegates to go back to the old days. “The old days can only happen when we cultivate the habit of listening to ourselves; let’s listen to ourselves, let’s listen to our,” he says. That is short but loaded nonetheless.
John Mahama begins to address the delegates. He takes a swipe at the president Nana Akufo-Addo, using words from his [Akufo-Addo] inaugural speech to respond to him.
“We are citizens and not spectators,” he notes.
The ex-President urges the delegates and all aspirants to stick together even after the elections. He urges those who will be at the losing end to unite with the winners in order to wrestle power from the NPP. He responds to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s comment that he would not respond to any presidential aspirant of opposition parties.
Ex-president John Mahama arrives and takes his seat close to the incumbent General Secretary both of whom are ready with their speeches. He compares notes with the man affectionately called ‘General Mosquito.’
12:00 Solidarity Messages
The PPP General Secretary Murtala Mohammed hints that they are ready for a partnership going into the 2020 General Elections. He says no matter big the NDC is they are all in opposition.
Deputy General Secretary of the NPP Obiri Boahene charges political parties to eschew character assassination in their politics. “As leaders, we have to play the part well by demonstrating a high sense of maturity. It’s important that healthy politics is practiced in our country. It is obvious that the two leading political parties are NDC and NPP and so it’s important that we send this warm advice to our opponent.”
Representatives of the People’s National Convention, the Convention People’s Party all take their turn to deliver their speeches, asking the NDC to elect leaders that will lead a strong opposition force against the governing party.
11:00 Proceedings have started Haruna Idrisu is addressing the delegates. He appeals to the party leadership to protect and preserve the seats of female parliamentarians when the party goes for primaries to select parliamentary candidates. He challenges claims by Vice President Bawumia and Finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta that the NDC failed to introduce any social intervention programme. He urges the delegates to choose wisely leaders who will work hard “for the irresistible return of the NDC to power.”
You can trust the fanatics to take over the congress ground in the funniest and exciting way.
9:30 am In some few minutes the Trade Fair which is the venue of the 9th NDC National Delegates Conference will bubble with activities as over 9000 delegates are ready to elect new executives to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years. Party officers are already present and proceedings will officially begin. There will speeches from Minority Leader in Parliament, Party chairman, General Secretary, party founder Jerry Rawlings and former president John Mahama. There will also be solidarity messages from other political parties including the NPP.