A former General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) who is seeking to become the 2016 flag bearer of the party, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, has called upon the rank and file of the CPP to vote for a candidate that can unite the party toward the 2016 elections.
“I am calling upon all CPP delegates to vote for a unifier who will galvanise and energise all the talents of the party with a greater charisma,” he requested.
The CPP has slated its presidential primaries for Saturday, January 29 to Sunday, January 30, 2016.
Four candidates have so far picked and submitted nomination forms to contest the primaries. They include Madam Yaba Samia Nkrumah, a former chairperson of the party and former MP for Jomoro, Mr Bright Akwetey, a lawyer and leading member of the party, and Mr Joseph Agyepong, a party stalwart in the diaspora and businessman.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Greenstreet, who is a lawyer, expressed regret over the unfortunate departure of Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, who was the party’s presidential candidate for the 2008 election, and a sizeable membership of the leadership of the party after the 2011 party congress.
He equally bemoaned the recent threat of the 2012 presidential candidate, Dr Abu Sakara, to leave the CPP and said “…these are not normal happenings that a serious party should entertain.”
But according to Mr Greenstreet, who uses a wheelchair after surviving a near fatal motor accident in 1997, he was elected as General Secretary of the CPP when he campaigned on a neutral ticket and above all had the capacity to work well with all those factional interests.
On the question of his wheelchair disadvantage, Mr Greenstreet asked rhetorically, “Do you call it a disadvantage?”
He stated that UN statistics indicated that approximately 10 per cent of Ghana’s population had some form of disability and that if Ghana’s population was 26 million in terms of voters, this represented 2.6 million potential and very loyal votes.
Apart from this, he indicated that one of the United States of America’s greatest Presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), used a wheelchair as a result of a polio attack and is the only President in America’s history to be elected four times.
He also stated that Ghanaians had been disabled in their own lives by the debilitating policies of the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress over the last two decades.
He said from the scary unemployment situation to the rising cost of living and general discomfort, there was no reason for Ghanaians to be experiencing any of these, bearing in mind the country’s natural resources and the dynamic and creative people.
He stated that it was his desire that as the CPP emerges from its congress slated for this weekend, the party would make history for Ghana to work again.
Mr Greenstreet is the son of two Professors from the University of Ghana, Legon, and is the third of their four children. He is a lawyer called to the Ghana Bar and the English Bar (Inner Temple) as well as a writer and publisher.
He contested as a parliamentary candidate in 1996 on the ticket of the People’s Convention Party but had to withdraw due to the Great Alliance at that time. In 2004, he contested as a parliamentary candidate for the CPP in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and garnered 4,964 votes for the party (prior to that election the vote for CPP in that constituency had never exceeded 500). He was later elected as General Secretary in 2007 and again in 2011, being the only national officer to be re-elected for a second term.
He is one of the most visible party officers in the constituencies and the regions.