Thousands of people, mainly delegates, party sympathizers and observers, are trooping to Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Saturday, where the People’s National Convention (PNC) is holding its national congress to elect national officers and most importantly a flag-bearer for the 2012 general elections.
The immediate environs of the congress ground, the Sunyani Polytechnic, have been painted with posters of candidates vying for various positions.
This congress has become possible after several months of internal party strife and courtroom wrangling stalled the processes. An Accra High Court has only a fortnight ago thrown out a suit that sought to place an injunction on the leadership of the party from organizing the congress.
Another one, apparently filed this week, is said to be in the works but party leaders say they are set to get the congress done with to pave the way for party growth and organisation in readiness for election 2012.
Though various positions are up for grabs, that of the flag-bearer and the national chairman are the ones attracting more attention.
Four-time presidential candidate of the party, Dr. Edward Mahama is facing a stiff challenge from 40-year old entrepreneur, Hassan Ayariga, for the flagbearer position.
Four persons are keenly contesting the position of national chairman. All four candidates, in an earlier interview with Joy News, were very optimistic of victory.
67-year-old Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University for Development Studies, Dr. Edward Jaber told Joy News he cannot afford to let the party collapse because of bad leadership.
63-year-old retired civil servant and farmer, David Nibi sees himself as a unifier and is optimistic of mobilizing enough resources for a credible campaign.
Incumbent chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan is counting on his experience and track record. He says he will establish a PNC cadre corps if elected, to strengthen the party at the grassroots.
The fourth candidate and current Ashanti regional chairman, Thomas Akum-Young, who had earlier called for the boycott of the congress, says he prefers to help kick out those bent on hijacking the party than to allow it to collapse.
The congress is expected to kick off at about 10am. About 1,400 delegates would be voting to elect the leaders.
Many have taken advantage of the congress to sell party paraphernalia and do brisk business. Visit our galleries to see photos from the congress