A former Director of Communications of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called on the party to reserve some slots in its upcoming national elections for non-Akans to contest.
Nana Akomea is concerned the party may end up electing persons from the Akan Ethnic group to lead the party, a situation he said will create “an undiversified leadership”.
The NPP has been accused, mostly by its biggest rivals, the National Democratic Congress of being an Akan party. The indefinite suspension of the Chairman Paul Afoko who is from the north, together with other leaders has not helped in demystifying that assertion.
In order not to worsen what is likely to be an Akan dominated elections, Mr. Akomea has decided not to contest the first vice chairmanship position in order to increase ethnic diversity.
“In an election, you cannot force people to step down but others can look at it and decide not to run. The party can also decide to speak to people before the vetting stage or behind the scene,” he said.
According to him, inasmuch as the party wants democracy to work, they are mindful about churning out a particular result.
The former Okaikoi South legislator said he disagreed with the NDC's continuous tag of NPP as an Akan party because the evidence on the ground does not support that. He was quick to add though that the party structure, through its actions must dispel that rumour.
“NPP has a massive representation in all the regions; Upper West and East as well as the Northern region, but our opponents are still happy to tag us otherwise.
“If you are going to have an executive structure and its only Akan, then, of course, you give them a good excuse to go on the rampage with that tag,” he said.
The Chief Executive of State Transport Company (STC) believes representation is important and he hopes the party steps in to dispel the perception.
“For example, it would be my wish that the Vice Chairmanship slot provides an opportunity for people from other areas to come in…so it is my wish that we do not have a lot of Akans contesting for that slot,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Danquah Institute, a pro-NPP think tank also wants the party to look into the matter.
Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Kingsley Nyarko told Joy News it’s time for the party to wean itself from the Akan tag.
He said although all institutions pick people based on knowledge and competence, however, having been tagged first as an Ashanti and later an Akan party, the NPP must diversify.
“The party has to be very careful and see if it can engage in some balancing act to ensure that that perception fueled by propaganda does not affect the fortunes of the party,” he added.