Mr Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Wontumi and the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), has candidly shared his experience from his last regional chairmanship contest against Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah (COKA).
He revealed that the competition was so intense that he found himself sitting on the floor during the contest at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in the Kumasi metropolis.
Chairman Wontumi explained: "To be completely honest with you, in the last NPP chairmanship contest in the Ashanti Region held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, COKA gave me fierce competition to the extent that at some point, I had to sit on the ground at the stadium.
A whole Regional Chairman, I sat on the stadium ground because the contest became tough.
So when I sat on the ground I would have said i was pulling out of the contest, would I have won the regional chairmanship again? No.
That is not how elections are contested", he said.
Chairman Wontumi successfully retained his regional chairman position after a closely contested battle with Odeneho Kwaku Appiah in May of the previous year.
He garnered 464 votes, while COKA received 306 votes, resulting in a difference of 158 votes.
Responding to reports about alleged intimidation by Dr. Mahmud Bawumia's campaign team towards the Alan Kyerematen team, which led to Alan's decision to withdraw from the NPP presidential contest, Chairman Wontumi disclosed that he now regularly meets with Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah to discuss the progress of the NPP in the Ashanti Region.
He emphasized that the NPP values free and fair elections but pointed out that NPP elections are typically highly competitive, requiring candidates to come well-prepared.
Wontumi questioned whether the NPP should withdraw from a national contest if the National Democratic Congress (NDC) intimidates them, highlighting that Alan Kyerematen might have continued to participate if he had won the super delegates' elections held on August 26.
Regarding Alan Kyerematen's role in the party, Chairman Wontumi acknowledged Alan's significant contributions to the NPP and suggested that he would continue to be a valuable member.
He added, "Alan Kyerematen knows the history of NPP.
In fact, he has done well for NPP.
Alan served in President Kufuor's government, he served in President Akufo Addo's government as Trade minister, and when the Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, wins the primaries and eventually wins the presidency, Alan will definitely get a position."
Chairman Wontumi expressed confidence in Dr. Bawumia's chances in the upcoming NPP presidential candidate elections, stating that the outcome would likely be consistent with Dr. Bawumia's strong performance in the super delegates' election. He asserted that Dr. Bawumia would emerge as the NPP's presidential candidate for the 2024 elections.
Wontumi also explained the party's electoral process, highlighting the role of the electoral college and the super delegates' election.
He firmly believed that Dr. Bawumia's support among the super delegates would carry through to the presidential candidate selection on November 4.
Chairman Wontumi made this admission while speaking in an interview with Kumasi-based Kessben FM.