The incumbent Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) is under fire from some outspoken members of the party who say he is too partisan to lead the party to make any significant electoral gains.

Mr Ladi Nylander, who is seeking re-election in violation of his earlier pledge not to seek a second term in office as party chairman has been accused of presiding over a party which has not only diminished in strength and attractiveness but also become more divided and fractured.

Mr Nylander had been touting his credentials as having brought dynamism into the CPP on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday but a flurry of calls from CPP leaders must have left a sour taste in his mouth.

First on the list was the current Women’s Organiser of the CPP, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim who said she was disgusted by claims of the party Chairman that she and the Youth Organiser, Kwabena Bomfeh alias Kabila, systematically worked to undermine the electoral fortunes of the CPP in the 2008 elections.

“Chairman Ladi himself will know that Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim is not somebody that could be influenced by anything because I have had series of meetings with him, I am the one supporting him quietly, and even in our meetings so now if I have Chairman Ladi sitting in the studios saying that maybe myself and Kabila were influenced by maybe money or something, in fact I [can only be outraged],” she said.

The Women’s Organiser said she was a target of Mr Nylander’s vicious attacks because she refused to tow a certain line. She believes the Chairman simply wants to scuttle her campaign for re-election.

Parrying Mr Nylander’s criticism that a few weeks to the 2008 elections she publicly stated that she was waiting to be resourced to go to the field and campaign, Hajia Hamdatu said she was only responding to false claims by the flagbearer then, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, that he had given her enough money to campaign and yet she was doing nothing.

She told host of the Super Morning Show Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah she could not sit by while her reputation was being dragged into disrepute.

Mr Nylander’s criticisms were not directed only at Hajia Hamdatu, Youth Organiser Kabila also came under attack for working to dissipate the goodwill of the CPP prior to the elections.

“Two, three weeks before the elections, you know that our National Youth Organiser went on the airwaves and started talking about not voting for our flag-bearer. I keep saying that if the frog comes of the water and says that the crocodile is polluting the water, who are you to start questioning him”? he asked.

He is convinced the comments of Kabila and Hajia Hamdatu collapsed the vote of the CPP as they created doubts in the minds of voters if the party was a credible alternative.

“I like to think that our ranks were infiltrated, I like to think that there were some influences which led [to the party’s poor showing]…, I like to think that these are people who were influenced. …We need to have people who are incorruptible, people who believe in principles, who believe that hard work is what gets you there and not taking short corners. Those are the people that CPP wants,” he noted.

Responding to the chairman’s comments considered offensive, Kabila said, “My National Chairman is making very dishonest aspersions about my person, my character and my conduct and I’m disappointed in him that he wants to use that as a platform to seek re-election. When he told the constituents of the Convention People’s Party he wanted to be chairman of the party for one term, (he later violated that,) that is the highest level of dishonesty.”

Kabila claimed that after his election as chairman some three years ago, Mr Nyalnder never visited any constituency in the country to try and strengthen the structures of the party until now that he is seeking reelection.

“Ask him…, when I wrote a letter to him complaining about the character and the conduct and some commitments that the flagbearer of the party had made which were very disingenuous to the character of the party and also the credibility and ideology of the party, what did he do about it,” he stated.

Kabila said the chairman rather dragged him before the disciplinary committee of the party because he took a national issue, the STX deal, to court.

Then came Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa who lost the CPP’s flagbearership to Dr Nduom and was accused of not campaigning for the flagbearer.

He told Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, “I’ve sat here and listened to Chairman and what I just want to say is that the CPP needs a change and we need a radical progressive change that would put the CPP on a [better] platform.”

He doesn’t think Mr Nyalander is the man to lead that change because the current chairman is a partisan of one and only one person – Paa Kwesi Nduom.

So he is looking forward to “congress where we can make a dramatic change and move the party forward.”

But Mr Nylander is unfazed by the flurry of unfavourable response to his presentation.

“The point is that it is always easier to criticize than to praise and of course the people who called – Mr Kabila, Hajia Hamdatu, Prof. Akosa – they are the ones that [have] actually been against [me] right from the start, so I don’t expect them to heap any praises [on me],” he parried.

He accused Prof Akosa of not forgiving the CPP after losing the flagbearership race.

For Mr Nylander some leaders of the party were not proactive and were waiting for others to work for them to benefit. “Paa Kwesi Nduom for all his faults – and he has many of them – he goes out there and he campaigns, he goes out there and he fights, he is a fighter and if you sit in Accra and you expect that he should be suspended or taken off or whatever just to benefit you, it is a no, no, it can’t happen,” he maintained.

He said the CPP can be a formidable force but that is only if “we can weed out the negative people.”

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/