The good intentions of the organisers of the Ashanti Regional 26th annual delegates’ conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to hold the programme in an inflatable nylon dome at Ejura nearly marred the programme as the ventilators could not adequately ventilate it.
The dome, about 40 metres square and 10 metres high, turned out to be an oven because it was so hot that former and sitting ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs) and other delegates could not bear the near suffocating heat and lack of air and could be seen using whatever they could lay hands on to fan themselves.
Others who could not bear the threat to their lives moved out while others stayed on and started complaining in the hope that the ventilators could be fixed by Owner Rental Services, the owners and operators of the white inflatable dome, which was obviously very small for over 800 delegates, security personnel, journalists and other invited guests.
When the situation reached alarming and unbearable levels with almost all the delegates getting drenched in their sweat, the Ashanti Regional Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), who was also a candidate for the First Vice Chairman position, Mr Kwabena Nsenkyire, announced that there could be disaster if people continued to stay in the dome and asked that they move out.
Incumbent Regional Chairman, who was later re-elected unopposed, Mr Benard Antwi-Bosiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, also took the mike and urged all the delegates to move out. With the help of others, including the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, they carried the chairs from the dome to already erected tents outside.
Due to the delay occasioned by the heated dome and the movements, the programme which should have started at 7 a.m. as advertised kicked of around 2:30 p.m. and so to avoid further delays, voting commenced straightaway without any speeches from any candidate or party official.
Because the new area for the conference was not originally prepared for the six polling stations, voters, Electoral Commission (EC) officials, party executives, candidates and their agents were crammed into a small area. In fact, some polling stations were too close to each other.
There were some usual skirmishes between party executives and the candidates’ agents but the most prominent one was an issue raised by some party people from the Manhyia North Constituency who insisted that seven persons from the constituency should not be allowed to vote because a court had placed an injunction on them.
After a heated debate, Mr Osei-Mensah announced that the people would be allowed to vote and that he was ready to be cited for contempt of court.
Both the incumbent regional chairman and the Secretary, Mr Samuel Pyne, were elected unopposed.
Incumbent Women Organiser, Nana Ama Ampoma, polled 473 voted to brush off her only contender, Beatrice Owusu, who had 408.
Another female incumbent, Hajia Zainab Salu, secured 738 votes to beat Frederick Adei, who had 144 votes, for the Treasurer position.