As the ruling New Patriotic Party`s (NPP`s) National Delegates Conference scheduled to take place at the Eastern Regional capital of Koforidua, the race for party`s chairmanship has also heightened with various contenders optimistic of carrying the day based on their competency and support for the party. But election pundits and pollsters have predicted the contest is a straight-forward electoral fight between the three-time unlucky but quite formidable candidate and billionaire business magnate, Mr. Stephen Ayesu Ntim and the former die-hard Nkrumahist, and the recently Convention Peoples Party (CPP) member turned NPP man and Acting Chairman of the Party, Mr. Frederick Worsemao ArmahBlay, aka Freddie Blay. The other contenders for the race, Dr .Amoako Baah, Political Science Lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST) and Mr. Kankam-Boadu, former Spokesperson for the late Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, are just observers.
For many blue-chip old Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition adherents and the emerging radical youths, Stephen Ntim longstanding services, loyalty and support makes him the best candidate to be elected as the Chairman now. This, they, claim would send strong and reassuring message to its teeming supporters across the country that services to the party actually pays off. As many old and youthful party folks keep reminding their folks, “if Nana Addo maintained the message of ‘yɛnimwafiritete” (we know him since ages) to remind NPP Delegates to win the flagbearship contest against his contenders, then it is fair that Ntim should also be given the Chairmanship nod for the NPP, a party his political umbilical cord was cut in and has forever given his longstanding unadulterated support to its causes and development.”
They maintain that this clarion call for Stephen Ntim is also grounded in the sagely Akan adage “Nia adeyɛ ne diɛnnaɔdienanieɔkɔm de no”, to wit, ‘it is just and right for the labourer to eat from what he owns from his hard labour and not the one who is hungry.” This adage explains in an unequivocal terms that in every facet of life, including politics, people who have dedicated their time, money, business, personal image and other resources towards any societal upliftment for a very long time without perverting that course deserves platitudes. Thus, any new-comer, who comes in with questionable past must be made to understand the virtues of longsuffering, dedication, loyalty and support for a particular course or organization. And in NPP, it is known for rewarding its longstanding dedicated leaders and there is nothing like a short-cut for ambitious newcomers who think they can circumvent this age-long tradition to satisfy their personal notions of self-actualisation.
For Ntim himself, the race for the chairmanship is not a do or die affair; he rather sees it as an opportunity for the party supporters to think critically and rely on their objective conscience to judge contenders based on their services, dedication and loyalty to the party in order to make their sagely choice. As a result, whenever he had lost to the uncontaminated party contenders such as Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey and Mr. Paul Afoko in the chairmanship race, he moves on to work with the party and support it with financial and logistical support as well as get personally involved in the national election campaigns of the flagbearers. For Ntim, NPP comes first in all his political decisions, and he always assure the party supporters: `I won’t quit until I become NPP Chairman!`
So who actually is Mr. Stephen Ayesu Ntim within the context of internal NPP politics; his educational background, work experiences, party positions and contributions towards its development?
Background and Education
Stephen Ntim was born about 59 years ago in Wamfia in the Dormaa East District of Brong Ahafo to an Asante father, Mr. Augustine Ayesu Ntim of Nsuta in Ashanti Region and Bono mother, Madam Kate Asamoah of Wamfie. His peripatetic basic education took him through Wamfie, Duayaw-Nkwanta, Tuobodom and finally Bantama in Kumasi. From Bantama, Ntim entered Asanteman Secondary School in Kumasi where he completed his GCE ‘O’ Level education in1977. He moved up to the Upper East Region for his GCE ‘A’ Level at Navrongo Secondary School (NAVASCO), which he completed in 1979. After his ‘A’ Levels, he went for his Diplome Superieurd’ Etudes Francaises at the Universite Nationale de la Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan in 1982 before going for his National Service at the Kaneshie Secondary Technical School between 1984 and 1986 as a French Tutor.
From Kaneshie, Ntim furthered his education at the University of Ghana and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and Linguistics in 1984. As a true scholar, he proceeded to the United States of America (USA) to grab his MBA in Management Information Systems at the Curtis Carlson Graduate School of Management, in St. Paul, University of Minnesota in 1991. Ntim topped his studies up with Diploma in Computer Programming at St. Paul Technical College at St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
After his education in USA, Ntim stayed and trained as a Programmer/Analyst at St. Paul Fire and Marine in St. Paul, Minnesota. He moved on to work as a Systems Engineer at Electronic Data Systems (EDS Inc) in Michigan from 1993 to 1995. Having gained experience, he came to Ghana to set up his own Systems Engineering entity to offer electronic data systems and other software solutions to the Ghanaian public and private institutions. His experience in the field of programming solutions and trainings spans over 20 years.
Ntim has served several executive and corporate positions. He is a Director of BINSCO Associates, Accra; Managing Director of Espan Company Limited, a construction and engineering services company; and Managing Director of a commercial printing firm, Detroit Computer Images at New Achimota, Accra. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of an Accra based NGO for the preservation of Ghanaian Culture, Heritage Protection Foundation; Board Chairman of Aqua Drill Company Limited. He was a Board Member of Electricity Company of Ghana from 2007 to 2009 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Ghana Lands Commission, where he has put his very rich experience and expertise in Management Information Systems to drive the agenda of creating a digital platform for land service delivery.
Apart from being hardworking and savvy tech man with rich business portfolios, Mr. Ayesu Ntim squeezes time out of his hectic schedules to engage in social activities through his membership. Thus in his social service, he holds membership with the National Black MBA Association, Minnesota Chapter, USA, the National Council of Patrons of the Association of Methodist Church Choirs, and Methodist Men’s Fellowship, St Peter Methodist Church at Mile 7, New Achimota in Accra, where he serves as a Counselor. In addition, Ntim is also Life Patron of Wamfie Youth Association, Wamfie and a member of the Brong Ahafo Patriotic Caucus (BAPAC).
Stephen Ntim as a Politician and his track records
Stephen Ntim ranks with Kankam Boadu as the two candidates in the 2018 Chairmanship race with an unequalled and enviable track record as the Founding Members of the NPP in 1992. This truly establishes his unshakable roots to the NPP without question from even his vile detractors. He was there from the beginning of the formation of the party with stalwarts such as B J Da Rocha, Professor Albert Adu Boahen, John Agyekum Kufuor, Dr Joseph Addison, Dr Kwame Safo Adu, Dr Kofi Dsane Selby, Rev Kodua, Prof Fred Torgbor Sai, Peter Ala Adjetey, Roland Issifu Ali, Aliu Mahama and many others in Ghana, from his base in USA, supporting financially towards the party in its embryonic stage when one of his opponent`s in the race was also busily building another party, CPP, to compete against the NPP.
When Ntim returned to Ghana in 1994, he worked behind the scene from that time and contributed immense financial and logistical support towards the development of the party. Having performed these selfless duties towards his beloved NPP, he finally made his debut into NPP Executive position by contesting and getting elected overwhelmingly as the First National Vice-Chairman of the party during its National Annual Delegates Conference held at the University of Ghana, Legon in 2001. It was under his tenureship as the First National Vice-Chairman from 2001 to 2005 that President J. A. Kufuor got elected for the second term as the President of the Republic of Ghana. Thus Ntim re-echoes: “It is for this reason that I have garnered courage to enter this contest in order to bring my rich experience to bear in the party’s effort to return to power in 2016.”
In addition to his First National Vice-Chairmanship role, Ntim who is a core member of the Brong Ahafo Patriotic Caucus (BAPAC) and a National Patron of NPP, was drafted into the 2004 National Campaign Committee and served as the Chairman of Vetting Committee for five regions which selected parliamentary candidates for 2004 elections and after. As a result of his dedication and hard work, he was appointed as a member of the 2008 National Campaign Committee. Indeed, from 2006-2010, he was a member of the National Council`s Communication Committee, served as the Chairman of Brong Ahafo Regional Conflict Resolution Committee in 2012; member of Pastors and Chiefs Special Task Force during the 2012 campaign and a member of the National Council Organisation Committee (2010 – 2013). In the 2016 elections he contributed his quota towards the party in campaigns, financial and logistics.
Ntim is ‘Mr. Clean’ and Consensus-builder
In terms of the Chairmanship race, Stephen Ntim has lost the Chairmanship race thrice and has still supported his party. In all his losses he never made uncivil, divisive and bitter comments against the party or his opponents. Even when he was scathingly attacked by Mr. Harona Esseku in the 2005 chairmanship contest for promising that he would set up a think tank or research centre for the party; he (Ntim) never engaged his senior colleague in a media banter. In recent chairmanship campaigns, when the defunct campaign team of Alhaji Abubakar Abdul-Raman, popularly known as Alhaji Short released a leak tape suggesting that he (Ntim) in conversation with some party leaders made uncompromised remarks against President Akufo-Addo as a vile propaganda, Ntim through one of his campaign groups, Youth for Stephen Ntim (NAYOSAN), just refuted the allegation as untrue without attacking the person of Alhaji Short. Ntim explained that he ‘made no such comment to belittle the personality of Mr. Short or to cast aspersions on the hardworking President H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo in whose government he has been appointed to serve after working hard for President Akufo Addo’s victory in 2016’.
At a time when factionalism poses such a serious threat to party unity, and served as selfish window of opportunity for some opportunistic aspirants to secure party positions by aligning with a president or party flagbearer, Ntim promises to dedicate himself to the effort at unifying the party. He said: “I am in a position to play this very crucial role because I have been able to demonstrate beyond every reasonable doubt, which I frown upon this unfortunate phenomenon that besets every truly democratic political party like the NPP.” It is his fervent hope to win and strive to ensure that the politics of insult is eradicated within the party, and move on to work with the leaders of the other political parties in an effort to stamp out that culture of insult in the body politic of the country.
Key campaign messages to the Delegates
Stephen Ntim is real focused people who believe in ‘Yes We Can’ spirit, and not even temporary failures should make one to give up so easily. This is why he is in the contest for the same position because as the saying goes, “winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win”. Thus he is keen on ensuring that the NPP wins the next elections again and again before considering a possible retirement from active politics. He explains, “People are elected or appointed to party leadership for one single reason; to take the party to power and continue winning.”
He argues in all humility that he possessed the requisite experience to steer the affairs of the party to re-win power in 2020. It is on record, and it is known to all party faithful that Ntim crisscrossed the length and breadth of this country from 2001-2016 to win power for the NPP. Indeed, there is no constituency or region in this country that he has not visit as National First Vice-Chairman and party member to resolve problems, or simply to socialise with and motivate party officials to give off their best in the discharge of their duties.
He sees the forthcoming elections as an intra-party contest, and that when it is over, all the contestants would have to come together to work in tandem to ensure victory for the party in the 2020 elections. Mr. Ntim, said the hallmark of his administration would be the consolidation of the infusion of technology into the activities of the party, as it was done in the last elections with the help of Joe Anokye and his team, to prevent any underhand technological manoeuvres from any quarters that could potentially affect their chances of winning the 2020 elections.
Perception and comparison with his main opponent
Despite Ntim`s hard work, neutrality and contributions to the party, his internal opponents have found a way to link him up with former President John Kufuor and Alan Kyeremanten. This move, which is currently, the most attractive strategy for winning and losing elections in the NPP has been activated against him and has been drummed into the minds of some delegates. These days, what any opportunist, lazy and the Johnny-just-comers in the NPP deploy to win elections is to identify themselves with the President or flagbearer and crucify their hard working and loyal opponents with longstanding dedication to the party as anti-Akufo Addo, Pro-Kufuor and Pro-Kyeremanten. This move has gained ascendency following the successful eviction of Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and Sammy Crabbe from the party, based on suspicion of being anti-Akufo Addo.
It is this clandestine strategy that is being used against Ntim by the campaign team of the die-hard Nkrumahist and the Ellembelle CPP-born but now turned NPP member and acting Chairman, Freddie Blay. They tell party delegates that Ntim is not neutral as he projects himself but in the camp of Kufuor and Afoko and move on to use the affairs of Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and Sammy Crabbe as a perfect reason why they should vote against Ntim and vote for Freddie Blay.
Consequently, some youths who do not know the history of Freddie Blay and his cozy relationship with Rawlings`s PNDC, serving as a mole in MONAS to stab his friends like Kweku Baako and Kwasi Pratt in the back as well as his political fair whether friendship with the ruling Rawlings` NDC and Kufuor`s NPP regimes to secure Second and First Deputy Speaker respectively, have been hoodwinked to believe that Freddie is more NPP than the others. Freddie may have used his paper for NPP`s electoral warfare but that alone is not a green card for NPP Chairmanship.
Ntim`s team have a duty to explain the history of NPP and the fight that was waged in 1992 to build it into a formidable party to attract many youths across the length and breadth of the country. That work was not easy, people were beaten, and Newspaper houses close to NPP then were shit-bombed. Sacrifices were made by NPP members whose businesses were targeted and collapsed to stop them from financing the party. It is the toil of these people who have supported the party from 1992 up till now that NPP has become attractive to some latter-day people who are using cheap propaganda to defame others to snatch the chairmanship from deserving true-party people.
The delegate must live above petty propaganda and look beyond personalities for their power is to ensure the tradition of the NPP is given to a competent and true-born Danquah-Busia-Dombo adherent. Persons who have always been with the party without branching out or for some personal ambitions left the party to another party and made a U-turn to eat what they have not labored for. Ntim has exhibited resilience, tenacity of purpose and stayed focused in his effort to annex the chairmanship position. As he keep saying, “I did not give up after losing in my three previous bids. I stayed the course, continued to offer my moral and material quota, and got involved in all party activities. I hope and pray that all contestants in the on-going internal party elections at all levels of the party would emulate this show of loyalty, and continue to serve the party even after losing elections.”
This attribute of his, in his view, has earned him the accolade “NTIM SCENT NO………….AGYE BAABIAA!!” (The Ntim fever is all over the place) among the rank and file of the party, even though he has been out of office for almost nine years. For the same reason, he said the latest slogan extended to him is “NTIM, YENIM WO FIRI TETE” (Ntim, we have known you for long). I am yet to approve a few others that are being peddled around: “NTIM ABRE” (Ntim has toiled) and also “NTIM, ADURU WO SO” (Ntim, it is your time). It is my contention that NPP Delegates will finally be fair and just to Stephen Ayesu Ntim. He has worked for it and he deserves the Chairmanship. Ntim Time Aso