General News of Saturday, 18 August 2012
The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress says the party will not bend the rules in favour of errant and unruly supporters.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia told Joy News’ Evans Mensah they will be rewarding violent conducts if they should alter the rules in the face of intimidation by party supporters- something they will not do.
He was reacting to threats of vandalism by angry supporters in Tamale who were protesting the disqualification of some parliamentary aspirants from contesting the primaries of the newly created Sagnarigu constituency.
The supporters also threatened to lynch the General Secretary who they accused of being behind the disqualification of their candidates.
Eight candidates were seeking to contest the seat but three of them- Alhaji Mohammed Amin Adam Abio (NYEP Regional Coordinator), Mohammed Abdul Salam (Metro NHIS Coordinator) and Iddrisu Andani Mohasu were disqualified.
Among those who passed the vetting included Hajia Boya Gariba (Deputy Women’s and Children’s Affairs), Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini (Night Editor, Daily Graphic), Richard Andani Yakubu, Olivia Hawa Yahaya (Regional School Feeding Programme Coordinator).
The supporters claimed their preferred candidates were disqualified without basis and poked at some of the candidates who they claimed were unknown in the constituency.
“The National Executive must rescind their decision or else we are going to do something which will not be good for the party and Ghana as a whole,” one of the angry supporters told Joy News Norther Region correspondent Clement Boateng.
“The youth here, we are very upset. We are going to vandalise the regional party secretariat and we will vandalise the executives. And we will make sure that the election will not come on,” another said.
But for the timely intervention of the military and other security agencies the safety of the General Secretary and other members of the vetting committee would not have been guaranteed.
They had been held hostage for several hours.
After securing his freedom, Johnson Asiedu Nketia told Joy News he will not succumb to the wishes of irate supporters.
He told Joy News the party has rules and regulations which it will follow religiously without fear or favour.
He said “there were eight people contesting; three did not meet the criteria so they were disqualified and five are going to go into the contest over the week-end.”
“…I hear people were not satisfied but I wasn’t out there to satisfy anybody. I was out there to implement the party’s rules and the same constitution allows people avenues to seek redress,” he emphasized.
He said all those unhappy with the decision of the vetting committee can appropriate action as provided by the constitution.
He would not however give in to threats of death and vandalism.
“The best thing that could be done to bring the party together is to apply the rules evenly across board. So the way to bring the party together is not to bend the rules to favour somebody who is threatening violence or threatening court action."
“We must conduct the affairs of our political parties in such a way that we do not reward violent conduct so that our supporters will not project that one onto the national scene.