‘It is unfortunate that I have failed once again in my bid to serve to the party as National Chairman, but I remain loyal.’
Those were the brave words of a man who has lost the contest for National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party for the fourth consecutive time.
He must have uttered those words with bravely-withheld emotions because it looked as if at last he was going to finally achieve his life-time ambition of leading the New Patriotic Party. That was not to be.
At every national delegates conference to elect new leaders, Stephen Ntim has ended up giving concession speeches since 2005.
In 2005 he lost to Peter Mac Manu by 76 votes. Defeated but not disheartened he tried again in 2010. But he lost to the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey by 226 votes.
All those who beat him to the post were however not able to lead the party to victory in the general elections of 2008 and 2012 as NPP Presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo lost to his NDC rivals.
Nana Akufo-Addo after two defeats would however not give up and perhaps Stephen Ntim took a cue from their common book of stoic determination.
Stephen Ntim went again for the same post in 2014, battling it out against Paul Afoko. But the buts were on replay again as he lost by 532 votes.
His trump card of faithfulness and loyalty was greatly enhanced however when Afoko proved disloyal and was eventually suspended in 2015 to allow his deputy Freddie Blay to act.
There would have been no better time for the serial loser to feel hopeful. All he had to do was tell the story of how loyalty must be rewarded using Afoko's debacle as his case study.
And with Nana Akufo-Addo winning his presidential elections after three tries, Mr. Ntim would feel even more buoyed in contesting. Akufo-Addo, his now former colleague in serial losses had shown the way.
But if Akufo-Addo had shown the way the question was who showed him the way? Apparently, Freddie Blay as acting NPP Chairman had supervised victory.
When Freddie Blay made it clear he was going for the position, the theme floated within the NPP is 'you don't change a winning team', leaving Stephen Ntim with a CV of deep loyalty but no victory with quite a mountain to climb.
He did however put up a very determined fight against a candidate who had 275 buses to share for constituencies and a formidable incumbency backing.
The delegates appeared to feel great sympathy for Ntim as he polled his highest vote tally of 2,515. But still lost to Freddie Blay by 506 votes. A better losing margin than in the 2014 contest against Afoko.
But there is no post for a better losing margin and much to his chagrin, the system engineer could not engineer the political system in his favour. Stephen Ntim has once again lost what appears to be his life ambition to become NPP National Chairman.
The system engineer could not engineer the political system in his favour.
He has lost to a man who came into the NPP from the Convention People's Party in 2008. Before that Freddie Blay, a CPP MP, had been helped by the NPP to become First Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2001 after the party won the 2000 general elections.
During the campaign he raised questions about Freddie Blay's loyalty after the party had also raised questions about Paul Afoko's loyalty. But the party has chosen to be largely loyal to the people the President wants to work with, it is believed.
Success has many friends. Stephen Ntim does not.
There has been several buts at his bid to become chairman since 2005. But the bigger but that remain is will Stephen Ntim give up or is this new news of old defeat a signal to try again in 2022?