The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has referred the violence that occurred at its Greater Accra Regional Office during the vetting of aspirants for the Odododiodio Constituency parliamentary primary of the party to a Special Committee.
The decision was taken at FEC’s regular meeting yesterday Tuesday, October 17, 2023, after extensive deliberations.
The Herald’s information is that, the violence was sparked by the illegibility of one Michael Nii Yarboi Annan, who defected from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to join the NDC.
He is said not to have met the criteria set by the opposition party; the number of years he had been an active member of the party.
Allegations are also that, even his membership card has been forged by his sponsors.
He was said to have contested the NPP primaries that elected Edward Patrick Nii Lante Bannerman as the 2020 NPP Parliamentary candidate for Odododiodio Constituency.
Per the NDC guidelines for the primaries, Michael Nii Yarboi Annan, would have been eligible if he had joined the NDC in 2018.
He is reported to have joined the NDC in February 2021, and there are claims that he is being sponsored by the NPP, as well as some notable NDC faces who are said to have collected money to push him to succeed Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, the outgoing Member of Parliament and ex-Minister of Youth and Sports.
The NDC’s FEC, has tasked the Special Committee to investigate an appeal process that has been filed regarding Michael Nii Yarboi Annan’s illegibility.
The Special Committee is made up of the following members: Edward Doe Adjaho – Former Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Samuel Sarpong – National Vice Chairman, NDC, George Loh – Deputy, Director Legal, NDC, Obuobia Darko-Opoku – Deputy Director of Communications, NDC and Peter Lanchene Toobu – MP for Wa West Constituency.
In the meantime, all processes relative to the party’s parliamentary primary in the Odododiodio Constituency, have been put on hold pending the outcome of investigations by the Special Committee.
The NDC General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, signed the press statement announcing FEC’s decision.
The Odododiodio Constituency parliamentary primary has been marred by controversy, with some aspirants accusing the party leadership of bias and favouritism.
The violence that occurred at the NDC’s Greater Accra Regional Office during the vetting of aspirants has been widely condemned and many are hoping that the Special Committee will be able to investigate the matter thoroughly and make appropriate recommendations.
Citi News’ Akosua Otchere was attacked by thugs who vandalised the NDC office at South La.
The opposition NDC has since expressed its commitment to ensure that the people who attacked Citi FM/Citi TV’s Akosua Otchere are arrested and punished appropriately.
During a visit to the management of Citi FM/Citi TV, the National Communications Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, extended the party’s sincerest apology to Ms. Otchere and the station for the unfortunate attack at the party’s South La office during the vetting of parliamentary candidate aspirants for the Odododiodio constituency.
“We are here from the NDC’s headquarters and we have been delegated by the leadership of the party to come and visit the managers of Citi TV and Citi FM to express our sincerest apologies to the station for the unfortunate incident that happened at our regional office sometime last week,” Gyamfi said.
“It is very unfortunate that Akosua Otchere, who has been covering a number of NDC events, got attacked. We have seen the extent of the injury she sustained, and we are praying and hoping for a speedy recovery. We are committed to providing some support to assist her medical treatment. But more importantly, we want to express our commitment to investigating this matter with the objective of apprehending the perpetrators and punishing them appropriately, both at the level of the party and the level of the state. We have officially reported the matter to the police, and the functional executive committee will be discussing the way forward on this matter.”
Sammy Gyamfi added that the NDC is committed to empowering journalists to freely and fairly work to hold political leaders accountable.
“The NDC does not subscribe to violence at all. We are a peace-loving democratic party, and we believe in the role of the media in nation-building and in holding the leaders of this country accountable. Therefore, we would be the last people to endorse or support something like this,” he said.