General News of Saturday, 13 October 2012
Source: Daily Guide
Confusion is brewing in the Okaikoi North Constituency of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) where Andrew Nii Okaikoi, the estranged husband of former Information Minister Zita Okaikoi, is the party’s parliamentary candidate.
Members of his own party including interim executives of the NDC in the constituency are leading a revolt against him.
They have therefore resolved to use various means including a pending legal suit to get him replaced.
But supporters of Mr. Okaikoi have equally waged a serious defense in his stead.
At a press conference in Accra, a spokesman for the group, Ato Haizel, indicated that “some disgruntled members who we have cause to believe to have been enticed with material wealth, coupled with their sycophant cohort who parade themselves within the corridors of power just to serve their selfish and parochial interests, are busily strategising on how to marginalise a duly elected NDC parliamentary candidate.”
The name of the interim chairperson of the NDC in the constituency, Margaret Atiso, has popped up as one of those pushing the agenda.
They have asked the leadership of the party to think through before falling for any such scheme to either replace Mr Okaikoi or conduct another primary for the constituency since he “has sacrificed and contributed so much towards the rejuvenation of our dormant party in the constituency”.
The Ato Haizel-led group could not fathom why a few weeks to elections, a group of individuals would initiate such a process. It said since the primary objective of the re-run some were pushing for was to determine the popularity of the aspirants, the argument could not hold since “it was the same delegates who undisputedly endorsed the candidature and popularity of Andrew Okaikoi when the NDC primary was held about 11 months ago, which he won convincingly”.
That, they said, was evident in the fact that he obtained 237 votes as against the 158 obtained by his closest challenger, Abdul Nasiru Abass of Nasona Oil fame who is believed to be behind the scheme to get rid of Mr. Okaikoi.
They therefore noted that the overt and covert actions and inactions of those disgruntled elements, coupled with those they described as ‘their surrogate cohort’ “who parade themselves on the corridors of power just to serve their selfish parochial interests and caprices are precipitating a sharp division and upheaval within the rank and file of our party”, insisting that “Andrew Okaikoi is our best choice for the prize is an understatement.”
Apart from that, they said, “he has really endeared himself to grassroots party members and has popularised himself within the circles of floating and first time voters” and that “a cursory tour and the experience on the ground, as held by many vigilant people in the constituency will attest to this fact”.