Chief Of Staff Hits Campaign Trail; Takes Upper West, as VEEP Takes Eastern
In a move to plug any potential vacuum in the 2016 campaign of ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the absence of President John Dramani Mahama who is attending the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations, Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, is stepping in, thecitizensghana.com can confirm.
Julius Debrah and Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur will this week be spearheading the double-pronged NDC Presidential campaign.
The Chief of Staff, known in many circles as an affable, proactive strategist, is storming the Upper West region while Vice President Amissah-Arthur will be tackling the Eastern Region-the stronghold of the opposition NPP where NDC has estimated splitting the votes 50/50.
President Mahama in the past weeks has led a very euphoric Presidential campaign across the country; the Chief of staff would be required to lend a hand to the H.E Amissah Arthur to maintain the tempo.
Top ranking members of the ruling party believe he is likely to be able to sustain the President’s campaign tempo due to his vast experience as a grassroots party member who has risen through the ranks of the party.
It is quite rare for a Chief of staff- who basically plays an administrative role in government to take a lead role in a Presidential campaign but party sources say Mr. Debrah has an uncanny ability to effectively sell the ruling party given his vast experience and reputation.
Whilst on the campaign, his two Deputies are expected to step in to handle the daily administration schedules.
He is also well respected within party ranks because of his quick intervention in bridging the hitherto growing gap between the party structures and government.
Through his relentless efforts, officials of the NDC party administration are enjoying an unprecedented cooperation with the officials of government.
On his campaign drive to the Upper West Region, Mr Debrah will be accompanied by top party functionaries such as Koku Anyidoho, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, the Majority Leader of parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin and a host others.
Other cross-section of the NDC’s top functionaries including some appointees from the area will be accompanying Vice President Amissah-Arthur to the Eastern Region.
The Chief of Staff is driving the campaign from Monday, September 19, 2016 to Sunday September 25, 2016 when President Mahama returns to take speakers the all out NDC campaign targeting 57percent of votes in the December 7 elections.
In the Upper West, Mr. Debrah is expected to launch campaigns in several constituencies, including Nadowli Kaleo where the party’s parliamentary slot is held by Hon. Alban Bagbin, the current Majority leader in Parliament and that of Dr. Seidu Danaa, Minister of Chieftaincy Affair in the Wa East Constituency.
Other activities of the Chief of Staff include courtesy calls on traditional leaders in several communities in the region, including the Wa Naa, Nandom Naa, Lawra Naa, Bulinga Naa, Takpo community and elders, Jang Naa and elders, Issa Naa, among others.
He will also address rallies and constituency seminars across the region.
These activities were scheduled for the President who also doubles as a UN Ambassador on poverty eradication but has to be in the US for the equally important UN assignment.
Over the weekend, the Media bureau of the Presidency at the Flagstaff House announced that President Mahama left Accra on Sunday for New York to attend the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations.
This year’s General Debate will open on Tuesday, with President Mahama scheduled to address the world body on Wednesday, September 21.
“As Co-Chair of the UN Advocacy Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), President Mahama will be co-hosting a number of side events related to the successful implementation and advocacy for the SDGs.
These include a GSM Association- organised event on the role of Mobile Innovation and the Private Sector towards accelerating the implementation of SDGs and achieving the 2030 Agenda,” the statement from the Presidency read.
According to the release, President Mahama’s activity-packed trip would also see him co-hosting the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), a side event on ‘Pathways to Zero Hunger’, which will showcase concrete transformations in food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture in support of the delivery of the 2030 Agenda.
President Mahama accompanied by his wife, Lordina- who will be chairing meetings of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV & AIDS (OAFLA) and other side events for First Ladies, will also hold bilateral meetings with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, President David Granger of Guyana, the Chief Executive of the Millenium Challenge Corporation and other Organizations.