In what appears to be a shift in priority, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is voting some substantial amount of party funds to set up an office along the Eastern border of Ghana, sparking a bitter row among party members.
The decision to set up offices along the borders of Ghana follows an agenda inspired by Dr. Mahmud Bawumia, the vice presidential candidate of the party, who he alleged in a phantom research that thousands of Ghanaian voters on the national voters’ register were foreigners invading the electoral process from Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Two of the said offices would be located at Nyive and Shia in the Ho Central Constituency in the Volta Region bordering Togo. They are expected to be inaugurated by March 17, 2016 by Dr. Bawumia.
The Coordinating Secretary for the project, one Michael Danso issued an official statement to announce the opening of these controversial offices, saying it was being done “as part of our measures to reduce alien votes in the Volta Region”
The setting up of these offices has sharply divided opinions within the main opposition party where it is being argued that the offices were a waste of party resources. Others are certain that is is just a ploy by certain individuals to siphon party funds into their private pockets.
It is unclear the specific amount sunk into this project by the NPP, but sources hint that it runs into tens of thousands of Ghana cedis.
Some suspicious party members are convinced that this latest project was a mere money-milking venture by loyalists of flagbearer Akufo Addo who have seized control of party affairs.
Protests against the flagrant pocketing of party funds has already let to several casualties within the opposition party, including Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, National Chairman and General Secretary respectively,who were kicked out of their positions for daring to question the blatant dissipation of party funds.
The two are said to have resisted the way individuals such as Freddie Blay and Kwabena Abankwa-Yeboah-NPP National treasurer where expending party funds at the blind side of the party’s hierarchy.
The two known loyalists of Akufo Addo were involved in the infamous Ecobank secret account scandal that saw the incredible expenditure of over GHC 6 million within two months on unknown projects.
At the time the account was being operated, Paul Afoko and the Kwabena Agyapong had virtually no idea of the transactions going on their blind side, the raised the alarm when it became apparent, a mistake that earned them their suspension.
After the Talensi by-election, Paul Afoko is said to have called for a National Steering Committee meeting to take stock of the accounts of the party and what possibly went wrong in Talensi, however, the meeting was boycotted by his fellow executives, most of whom are believed to have aligned themselves to the flagbearer who is at loggerheads with the National Chairman and General Secretary over their supposed activities aimed at causing him his presidential ambition.
The lack of accountability encouraged by the party flagbearer, critics say, would be the main undoing of the main opposition NPP as it goes into the crunch 2016 elections against the ruling NDC as its main contender.
Kweku Baako Fumes At Npp-Blames Leadership For Party Woes
Old age and tiredness seems to be catching up fast with Nana AkufoAddo, NPP Flagbeaer and this is affecting his judgment. Abdul Malik KwekuBaakojnr, staunch spokesperson of NPP flagbearer, Nana AkufoAddo, and an unrepentant ally of former President Kufuor, has declared his disappointment in the leadership of the New Patriotic Party following the declaration of the party’s ousted parliamentary candidate, NiiNoiNortey, of his intention to contest the KlotteyKorley seat as an Independent Candidate.
NiiNoi, who was recently muscled out through a re-run of the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries, on Wednesday, officially announced his intention to contest the KlotteyKorley seat as an independent candidate at a press conference held in Accra.
The obviously disgruntled NiiNoi expressed his disappointment at the leadership of the party who, according to him, showed open bias in favour of his opponent, Phillip Addison who many consider to be Nana AkufoAddo’s poodle.
Phillip Addison was the Lawyer of MrAkufoAddo in the latter’s failed attempt to overturn his 2012 electoral defeat at the Supreme Court.
Many political observers and commentators have met this news with disappointment. MrKwekuBaako declared on Peace FM’s Morning Show, Kokrokoo immediately after he was informed of the declaration that, “I blame the leadership of the NPP for what is happening at KlotteyKorley”.
Others who were interviewed on the matter expressed muted disappointment. Poll Star Mr Ben Ephson’s response was no different on Kasapa FM’s morning show. The immediate general response from key media persons point to a certain poverty of leadership at the top of the NPP.
For now it appears that, while one cannot fully estimate the local electoral strength of NiiNoi, the general postulation is that Nana AkufoAddo will struggle to make any gains in KlotteyKorley during the 2016 polls.
There are other views following the declaration by NiiNoi that suggest that, perhaps the single most important objective of the NPP flag bearer is not to win political power on November 7, but rather to consolidate his ownership of the NPP for the next 20 years as claimed by Andrew Awuni, a formers Presidential Spokesperson under the erstwhile Kufuor/NPP government.
“My bid to be the Parliamentary Candidate was frustrated from day one because I was deemed not to be the favorite of the “big wigs”. Even when it was clear, I had the support of the masses and the voiceless, all attempts were made to ‘steal’ from us what rightly belong to us.” NiiNoiNortey 4 Independent, KlotteyKorle Constituency.
“Ladies & Gentlemen, just when I was about launching my campaign to unseat the NDC in the constituency, I got wind of some petitions to NEC by Philip Addison and NiiAdjeiTawiah. I was convinced the party will allow the voice of the masses to hold. A court action was brought against the party and to my surprise, the current managers of the party failed to attend to the issues raised. In effect, there was a default judgment because the Party failed to file any Statement of Defense. The judgment was obtained the same day I was joined to the action. Realizing that as a Party, my lawyers will apply to have the judgment set aside, Lawyers for plaintiffs, quickly discontinued the case against the Party. There was no relief against me, so with the action against the Party gone, there was nothing to try and I was therefore not heard in Court. The issue as to whether there should be a rerun was never tried on the merits.” NiiNoiNortey 4 Independent, KlotteyKorle Constituency
“I come into this race with a heart filled with passion to see our constituency develop. A heart to see our youth gain employment. A heart to see KlotteyKorle as the heart of Ghana. As Addison said, he has the blessings and backing of NANA ADDO. I NiiNoi, have the blessings and unflinching backing of the grassroots.” NiiNoiNortey 4 Independent, KlotteyKorle Constituency
“The Nomination form for the Parliamentary Primaries of 2015 contained the regulations for the elections. On page 13 of the document, it reads, “The General Secretary in consultation with the Regional Party may vary the election dates in certain constituencies as deemed necessary”. This provision obviously was to cater for unplanned eventualities and gave the necessary authorization for the conduct of these elections.
Friends of the media, these regulations were approved by the National Council of the party. The General Secretary, after postponing the elections three times due to appeals and court issues, in consultation with the then acting Greater Accra Regional Chairman who is the current substantive first vice chairman, Alfred Boye, fixed 2nd August 2015 and they communicated same to the Constituency Chairperson, Chairman of the Constituency Elections Committee who then informed all aspirants about it. In fact on Friday 31st July, 2015, Phillip Addison admitted on Citi FM, a local radio station, to seeing the press release from the National Party but decided to boycott because he was not consulted. It is worthy to note that the machinations to kick me out from the contest by my opponents delayed and frustrated our constituency for 3 months, denying us of selecting our candidate. Commentaries such as what my opponents were crying over should have come from NiiNoiNortey, whose campaign had been frustrated by his fellow aspirants. They deployed all means within their plan to frustrate our constituency for almost 3 months.” NiiNoiNortey 4 Independent, KlotteyKorle Constituency.