Crossing the Big 8: Next NPP leader must’ve confidence, eloquence to defend party’s record – Otchere-Darko

For the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to break the eight-year political swing, its next presidential candidate must be someone who “has the confidence and eloquence to defend the NPP record”, Danquah Institute founder Gabby Aasare Otchere-Darko has said. 

Also, that flag bearer must “give as much as he/she can take and present a vision that builds on the gains so far chalked”, he wrote on Facebook on Thursday, 26 May 2022. 

Additionally, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s cousin said the successful candidate must have the “courage to admit what needs to be fixed, and the integrity to inspire the majority of Ghanaians”. 

Mr Otchere-Darko outlined these qualities in an article he posted on the party’s upcoming regional elections. 

Apart from getting the right flag bearer, Mr Otchere-Darko also said the party machinery must get certain things right to enable it to cross the ‘Big 8’. 

Read Mr Otchere-Darko’s full piece below: 

The NPP regional officers’ elections are on this week (end), and all eyes are mainly on the chairmanship race in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions. The contests in these two big regions are the hottest. Western Region is the one place where the incumbent has no challenger. 

Fortunately, the candidates for these two crucial places, Ashanti and Eastern, are all known quantities from their performances and contributions in 2020 (and for most for many years down the lane) and the delegates know this. For all but one, the main candidates had served previously as chairmen, at least for several terms as either an incumbent or as constituency chairmen and registered many key victories for the NPP over the period. They have records to stand on. 

In Ashanti, the contest is really between the incumbent Chairman Wontumi and Chairman Odeneho (ex-Dean of Constituency Chairmen). In Eastern, it is between the current Regional Secretary Jeff and Chairman Cudjoe (ex-Dean of Constituency Chairmen).

Chairmen Kissi, the incumbent, who pulled out of the race, is moving up and deservingly so. Chairman Kissi is a perfect candidate for a national vice chairman slot, to, like, former Ashanti Regional Chairman FF Antoh, bring his rich experience as a successful Regional Chairman of an NPP stronghold, to bear at the top, especially since whoever becomes national chairman will be new at the job. Chairman Kissi will be great and strong for the party at National and I wish him well. 

2024 will be like 2008, an extraordinary contest by the NPP to attempt to cross the two-term barrier; which no party in Ghana has so far achieved. It is the more reason why what happens in the regional elections this weekend, more so in Ashanti Region (Friday) and Eastern Region (Saturday), is extremely vital. 

For the NPP to cross the Big 8, a few fundamental things must be in place (starting this weekend): 

(1) All the Regions, Ashanti and Eastern Regions, in particular, being the biggest support pools of the NPP, must have strong, united and competent leadership that has the confidence of both the grassroots and the top hierarchy of the Elephant. 

(2) The Government must first be seen as to have delivered (even under these challenging circumstances and there is surely time to turn things around). 

(3) The Presidency and the Presidential Candidate must be fully aligned. 

(4) Finally, present a presidential candidate who has the confidence and eloquence to defend the NPP record, give as much as he/she can take and present a vision that builds on the gains so far chalked, the courage to admit what needs to be fixed, and the integrity to inspire the majority of Ghanaians. 

Before you vote for a regional chairman this weekend, please ask yourself: “Can my choice hold the Region and lead us competently and confidently to victory in 2024?” 

I wish the NPP a positive contest this weekend!


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