Akuffo Addo Hounds Dissenting Voices
The sustained victimization of Nii Noi Nortey, the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for the Korley Klottey constituency in Accra, was responsible for his decision to abandon the opposition party and contest the seat as an independent parliamentary candidate,
Nii Noi Nortey, known as one not to kowtow to the whims of Nana Akufo Addo, the flagbearer of the main opposition party, was hounded out by pro-Akufo Addo party leadership, to be replaced with Akufo Addo’s lawyer, Philip Addison who had been eyeing the Korley Klottey seat for some time now.
Nii Noi’s problems could also partly be traced to the fact that he did not belong to the “upper class” of the extremely elitist opposition NPP. “I may not be a lawyer, I may not belong to the upper class, I may not be the favorite of the big wigs. I am Nii Noi, a young boy with my people at heart…what I have is the mass appeal and the desire to right wrongs in my constituency,” NiI Noi lamented when he addressed a press conference to announce his independent bid on Wednesday.
He flayed the NPP leadership, saying: “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 belonged to us.”
NPP parliamentary primaries were run twice in the constituency; the first time, Nii Noi Nortey defeated Philip Addison massively, but the latter resorted to legal gymnastics backed by the Akufo Addo-controlled party leadership, to have the elections re-taken.
Nii Noi Nortey insists that the he won the first primaries cleanly the first time it was held on August 2, 2016. “I won the duly conducted elections…just when I was about launching my campaign to unseat the NDC in the constituency, I got wind of some petitions to the NEC by Philip Addison,” he said, noting that the legal issue was cleverly staged to deprive him fairness.
The case was ruled for a re-run upon which he the contestants and the party leadership agreed on certain modalities, which they blatantly breached, noted Nii Noi Nortey. “…The election was to start at 8am but it began at 7am instead. There was no accreditation for delegates and my agent recorded a total of 715 votes, contrary to the figure being tossed around….”
On the final count of votes after the February re-run, Philip Addison polling 396 votes against 367 garnered by Nii Noi, a former Constituency Chairman of the area. This result contrasted sharply with the botched polls in August 2015 where Nii Noi had beatedn Philp Addison by over 370 votes. Nii Noi Polled 393 votes, while Philip Addison polled only 22 votes,
Conversely, the re-run of the Korley Klottey parliamentary primaries of February 27, 2016, saw Philip Addison finally emerge winner after what some cross section of the party membership reported a massive manipulation of the electoral processes to favour him.
This paper can report that the primaries was characterized by intimidation and vote rigging, where some long dead party delegates in the constituency were recorded to have voted on the day.
Nii Noi’s decision to go independent means an automatic expulsion from the party, but Nii Noi Nortey has said, the decision was worthwhile, particularly in the backdrop of unfair treatments meted out to him by the Nana Akufo Addo controlled leadership of the opposition NPP, and the fact that he believes a bulk of the voting masses would pick him over any other candidate in the troubled constituency.
“In the past week, many youth groups, opinion leaders and most importantly, the women who sell in the markets of Adabraka, Osu, Asylum Down, Tudu, etc. have called on me to contest the 2016 parliamentary elections with or without a political party, and I am immensely encouraged by the show of support,” he explained.
“While others may have the big men on their side, I have the footsoldiers…elections are won on the ground, at the polling stations, not in court. In this race, man’s will shall not be God’s will, the will of God shall prevail,” stated a mournful Nii Noi Nortey.
Some important party members have condemned the situation at the Korley Klottey constituency. A founding member of the party, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe described the malpractices at the Korley Klottey polls as “very alien” to the tradition of the NPP. He alleged that the flagbearer and his loyalists were bent on getting rid of any party member they perceived as not loyal to him.
Meanwhile, popular pollster and newspaper editor, Ben Ephson, has warned that Philip Addison’s victory would be short-lived because he would be punished at the main parliamentary polls in November 2016 where he will face-off with Dr. Zenator Rawlings, the highly popular daughter of the founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is contesting on the ticket of the ruling party.
According to Ben Ephson, the NPP cannot escape with their plan without being punished by some of their followers in the constituency because of apathy that has set in.
Already, Nii Noi Nortey believes he is the one to give Zenator Rawlings the most potent contests to unseat the ruling NDC from the constituency.
Analysing the situation in Korley Klottey, Ben Ephson noted that Nii Noi’s defeat, could see people voting “skirt and blouse” in the November 7 Parliamentary polls because there is too much anger on the side of the former NPP Klottey Korle Constituency Chairman.
Such act, he added, would also go a long way to affect the votes of the flagbearer of the NPP in November 2016.
NPP’s Hohoe cover-up exposed
Attempts Nana Akufo Addo, the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to cover-up the massive infrastructure projects undertaken by John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) across the country has once again been shot down by revelations from Hohoe in the Volta Region.
Akufo Addo bashed by several critics for peddling falsehoods about the real state of the Ghanaian economy when he recently staged a counter public address to President Mahama’s State of the Nation’s Addresss, where he singled out Hohoe as one of the towns that have been completely ignored by the current NDC administration.
Checks by this newspaper from impeccable sources from Hohoe revealed a mind-boggling array of projects, particularly investment in educational infrastructure , undertaken by the John Mahama –led NDC since assuming power in 2009.
Some of the projecst include the following: a 3-Unit Classroom Block, Office and Store at Alavanyo Agoxoe, a girls’ dormitory for HEPSS, a 6 unit classroom block with ancillary facilities located at Gbledi, a similar 6 unit classroom block with ancillary facilities at Alavanyo Abenase particularly in Hohoe in the volta region, has been exposed.
Others projects also include: a 2 storey 8 flats (Staff House) for Gbi Special School for the Deaf, an administration Block for the Special School for the intellectually disabled at Gbi-Kledjo, the construction of a 2 Storey 8 Flats (Staff House) for Gbi Kledjo special School for the intellectually disabled at Gbi Kledjo, among other projects such as water projects and public places of convenience.
Residents of Hohoe have stated being satisfaction with these projects which were mostly kick-started in 2010-a year after the NDC assumed power from the then ruling NPP.
Last Monday, in defiance to the picture of discontent by Hohoe residents towards the NDC government, as painted by Akufo Addo, residents overwhelmingly joined the NDC’s health walk train which stopped at Hohoe.
Reports reaching this paper indicate scores of residents joining top NDC executives and government appointees in the health walk.
“…recipients of development projects also reserve the right to give their own assessment of the impact of such projects on their communities and lives in general. I have searched for many of these initiatives and I can vouch my appreciation. I wish all across the country will not be passive observers but check, just for the records and make informed judgments,” a resident of Hohoe told this paper.
Among the top officials who were mobbed by Hohoe residents were the Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, Interior Minister, Prosper Bani, Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia, Deputy Environment Minister and MP of the Hohoe constituency, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo. Others were Francis Ganyaglo, Deputy Regional Minister and all NDC regional executives and some MMDCEs.
Akufo Addo had tried to use the Hohoe narrative as strategy to get into the minds of residents of the Volta Region, a traditional stronghold of the ruling NDC, but from the turn of events at Hohoe, this paper gathered that that strategy has backfired.
Akufo Addo boys turn border patrol
-In guise to siphon party funds
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.