Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Ishmael Ashittey has said that if he had his way, he would have fielded Nii Noi Nortey as the Parliamentary Candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency.
“As a former Constituency Chairman, he has been able to build a strong relationship with the grassroots…he is true party man,” he confessed.
According to him, the decision by Nii Noi Nortey – a man he said had a strong footing in the constituency to win the election – to go independent – was going to have a serious effect on the fortunes of the party in the constituency.
In August 2015, Nii Noi Nortey won convincingly in the constituency’s Parliamentary primaries by 393 votes, as against Lawyer Philip Addison and Nii Adjei Tawiah’s 22 and 19 votes respectively. Not satisfied with the results, Lawyer Philip Addison resorted to the law courts, where in the turn of events, a re-run of the election was scheduled for February.
The election saw the defeat of Nii Noi Nortey with 367 votes, as against Lawyer Philip Addison’s 396. Nii Adjei Tawiah did not contest.
Not only did the former Constituency Chairman reject the results of the elections, he was also urged on by his teeming supporters to go independent because he had not been treated fairly.
According to reports, he walked off in anger after the result was declared and did not wait to concede defeat or to congratulate the winner.
Just yesterday, at a press conference at Osu in Accra, Nii Noi Nortey made his intention to contest as Independent candidate known. Describing Mr. Addison as a transplant, he said the people of Klottey Korle needed someone of their own but not one who had been transported into the constituency.
“Philip Addison is not known in the constituency. He’s doing all these because he says he has the support of Nana Akufo Addo. I have the support of the people and since they have told me to go independent, I will have to listen to them,” he said.
“We do not want someone who feels he is bigger than the constituency; we need someone who is within the people,” he said, adding that there was no way he would obey some top men in the party who were trying to convince him to rescind his decision.
Mr. Ashittey told Accra-based Joy FM that he made strenuous efforts to prevent Nii Noi Nortey from making any pronouncement to the effect that he would go independent, “but all of a sudden I heard he had held a press conference making his intention known.”
For him, it was not a good move for two people from the elephant family to contest elections in the same constituency, with the explanation that it would have dire consequences on the party.
He, however, expressed the belief that it was not too late to settle the issue with the aggrieved candidate, saying, “He is the real party man. Nii Noi is not an ordinary man…We are talking about someone who has strong footing and can win votes for the party.”