Former President John Agyekum Kufour has called on all NPP executives across the country to uphold the democratic pillar of the party by obeying the directive from the party’s headquarters to allow all aspirants to obtain nomination forms for the party’s forthcoming primaries.
In a strange twist of events, many constituencies in the Ashanti region, are refusing some aspirants nomination forms and hence denying them the opportunity to contest the party’s parliamentary primaries.
This is going on with the blessing of the regional executives of the party and threatens to divide the NPP as many are already angry and preparing for massive demonstrations and court actions.
The issue has persisted, despite the intervention of party elders, founding members and even the national leadership of the party.
Though no one knows, where the Ashanti regional chairman of the NPP and his executives, draw their authority from, it seems they are running a different show from what the Constitution of the party and the national leadership of the party is demanding.
The latest to add his voice to the debacle in the Ashanti region is former President Kufour, who in an interview on Kumasi-based OTEC FM, stated emphatically that the NPP is a legal entity with a Constitution, which should be obeyed by any well-meaning member of the party.
“The NPP is a democratic party and the power resides with the people. It is the people who decide who becomes MP or otherwise. The party does not belong to any individual” he said and added…”are nomination forms mined in Obuasi mines?”
The highly respected Statesman, said the party is a national party and not a local party and once the Headquarters has spoken, all local officers have to tow the line.
Former President Kufour, gave a brief history of the party, detailing his role in the rich history of the party and explained the role of the democratic principles of the party in the party’s growth.
He chastised those acting ultra vires the party’s Constitution and stated that anyone going against the Constitution and democratic principles of the party, are rather destructive elements who should not be in the party.
Recently, Gifty Arthur of The Herald reported about turmoil in the Ablekuma West Constituency of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), after a parliamentary hopeful,was for the second time, denied of the opportunity to pick forms to contest the forthcoming parliamentary primaries slated for April 2020.
Son of the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, who shares the same name with his father, is pointing accusing finger at the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of Communications, Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful of scheming to prevent him from getting the NPP nomination forms, which will allow him take part in the election.
Similar Machiavellian tactics are being employed in several constituencies, especially in the Ashanti region, the stronghold of the governing party to protect the seats for party bigwigs whose popularity has taken a nosedive, with fear they might lose the primaries.
The parliamentary hopeful, according to a Citi television report, stormed the Constituency office of the NPP on Monday, February 3, 2020 with his supporters after his first visit on Friday, January 31, 2020 yielded no fruitful result.
It is the first time, Mr Kan Dapaah Jr. is going into the race to contest the seat which has been occupied by Mrs. Ekuful, since its creation currently serving her second term.
But it appears the MP, who like a few others notably the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, OseiKyei Mensah Bonsu, is desiring to go unopposed, hence her determination not to be contested.
Mr Kan Dapaah Jnr on the other hand, is asking her “not to be a coward”, but avail herself for a clean contest devoid of machinations from the powers that be at the Constituency.
He is also urging her to allow the process to run as laid down by the party, rather than the schemes being employed by executives of the Constituency led by the Constituency Chairman and Chairman of the Election.
According to the parliamentary hopeful, it has always been the style of the incumbent to use machinations and clandestine means to hang on to the seat, adding that in the previous primaries, the MP produced her own voters register for that election which saw her coming out victorious. This according to MrKanDapaah Jnr, led to the resignation of the then Constituency chairman.
“This is not new at all to this constituency. Every time there is an election, the incumbent finds a way of massaging her way through. In the previous primaries, she brought her own register to contest the election which led to the resignation of the party chairman. And this time, history is repeating itself.
It is creating apathy and Ursula Owusu, should not be allowed to do these things. I have heard information and verily I believe same to be true that Ursula Owusu is behind all these. I will urge her to allow competition, she shouldn’t be a coward”, he dared the lawmaker.
It is believed the chairman of the election and the Constituency Chairman, are being used by the MP to hide the forms from her likely contender, a situation supporters of the parliamentary hopeful, say they are going to resist with all the forces at their disposal.
Last Friday when they thronged the office of the party, the chairman who is a Muslim, informed them he could not grant them their request, because he was going to pray and asked them to come on Monday, but when they returned on the agreed date, one of the supporters said “to our surprise we came here and no one was here, we went to his house and we were told he has travelled. What is happening?”
One of the supporters said, they are going to resist every opposition to their parliamentary hopeful, insisting the party does not belong to any family.
He angrily said, they would not allow themselves to be “bullied” nor “kowtow” to the whims and caprices of the MP, who is said to be very powerful in the NPP now due to her position as a Minister and closeness to President Akufo-Addo.
He retorted “We can’t do that, we won’t kowtow to anybody, in this constituency it is not for one family NPP is not for one family they should know and if they like they should try and see there will be apathy in this constituency they think she rides high, she is everywhere, she doesn’t control a thing”.
The NPP supporters, claimed, apathy will set in if the MP works her way through without being contested.
Constituency Secretary, Alexander Amoako, could not tell the whereabouts of the Constituency chairman, but urged the agitated supporters to be calm for the issue to be resolved.
“I urge all of them to exercise patience, because we are all one family, we don’t want any confusion, we want peace”, he said.
Mr Kan Dapaah and his supporters promised to return.