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The leadership of the governing New Patriotic Party, NPP, has expressed concern about the trend where some supporters of the party turn funeral grounds into political campaign grounds to promote their choice of presidential candidate for the 2024 election.
According to the national leaders, the situation if not addressed and managed properly has the tendency to affect party unity and adversely affect the grand agenda of breaking the 8 ruling cycle.
There have been instances where supporters of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen in particular, have cheered or booed at each other at some public events like funerals.
Addressing party chairpersons from all 275 constituencies at the inauguration of the NPP Constituency Chairpersons Welfare and Workshop in Koforidua, the National Organizer of the party, Sammy Awuku, charged all chairpersons to remain disciplined and keep party unity intact.
“We can only break the 8 if we are disciplined as a party, we can only break the 8 when we get to understand that it is, and it will be a family contest. There is a growing concern that as constituency chairpersons we need to be tough on it so that whoever is a beneficiary or a victim, we need to put our feet on the ground. There is a growing sense and strategy of turning funeral grounds into campaigning grounds for would-be presidential candidates, as much as possible the constituencies are expected to preserve the unity of the party, but when it turns out that they act as constituency executives and send youth organizers to mobilize people to cheer Mr. A or B, it will make your work difficult”.
“If we want to also organize our party at the base, I am of the strongest view that the NPP will be going into battle with not an independent candidate, but with a candidate of the party. Let’s strengthen the base, get it right with our polling station reorganization, and pull the structures”.
“We want to appeal to you because this is a major concern throughout the rounds that we embarked on in the 13 out of 16 regions. It was a major concern for our party people on the ground and their fear is that if we don’t manage the internal primaries and party discipline we might end up breaking ourselves before breaking the 8, so we want to plead with you”.
He added that “Former President Kufuor’s words still resonate in our ears that it is better to be a messenger for a party in government than to be the General secretary of a party in opposition. At the least, if you are faced with a problem, and you check through your phone book, if you are not able to reach me on phone you may reach our party chairman”.