Diasporian News of Monday, 7 April 2014
Source: Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa
The aftermath of the just ended NPP UK Branch Executive elections which can be aptly described as a Coup d’état Style of ousting the old executives has plunged the unity of the Branch Party into serious disarray. As I write today, the elections are over but not without any ordinary skirmishes but serious controversies worth the attention of all, if indeed any resolutions at-all can be forged.
Mudslinging in its worst form was prevalent in the chairmanship race; usually not by the contestants themselves but by their surrogates. In what has been made to be understood recently in a post-electoral victory analysis, a bragging response by Michael Yaw Sarpong, former Branch communications director and campaigner for Michael Ansah, the newly elected Chairman has indicated that dirty ways and means methods and tactics were used to win the elections. This has been read to mean the use of electoral fraud as well as people identified as hired ‘mercenaries’, who have been members for less than six months and in some cases, even non-registered members, yet had the loudest voice with the most frequent audacity and penchant for insults sprayed indiscriminately on long-standing members.
This report analyses a coup d’état style elections because the Branch Party constitution was overthrown through a collusion of the Council of Elders, the Election Committee and some of the in-coming contestants. They did this because they realised that in any fair contest, their preferred candidates would not win, hence, the overthrow of the constitution. The overthrow of the constitution allowed for chapter members who otherwise would not qualify to vote in Branch elections by reason of the fact that they had neither paid any dues nor been members for more than months the opportunity to vote.
By ousting the constitution, some selected members of the Council of Elders who were detailed to supervise the elections failed in their responsibility to guard and protect the constitution as well as the values and principles of our NPP tradition. Behaving like ostriches, they have recklessly supervised over an invasion of lawlessness and systematic fraud in NPP UK Branch elections.
In the Milton Keynes Chapter for instance, almost a score of fake NPP identity cards were made and distributed to hired non-party members to come and vote for a particular candidate and his associates. Concrete report indicates that there were clear instances of vote-buying and interference with the ballot boxes.
In 1995, a similar fraudulent incident occurred whereby bus loads of church members who were not party members were hauled in by a particular candidate to vote in a similar way to his advantage. Upon this incident, the Branch Party sought to avert any such similar occurrence of mischief by changing the Branch constitution.
Although the Branch executive elections are supposedly over, whereby not just ordinary water has passed under the bridge, in fact, so much dirty, muddied and filthy water has passed under the bridge. It has left heavy sticky silt along the river bed. It has deposited dark despicable alluvium all along the banks, under the bridge itself and even beyond, putting the Branch unity in jeopardy.
The most worrying of it all is that, in April 2013, hundreds of NPP members, thousands of NPP sympathisers and many Ghanaians gathered at the forecourt of the Ghana High Commission at Belgravia Square, London, defying rain and cold weather. We demonstrated against electoral fraud in Ghana, whence the gathering thronged to No-10 Downing Street and delivered a petition to the UK Prime Minister. This not-withstanding, hypocritically, electoral fraudsters have proved to be in existence within NPP UK, ironically telling the world that given the chance, worst than what Afari Gyan and his EC did can happen by use of a system they have coined as "any means necessary" to win power here at Branch level.
For ease of all these deleterious situations that have developed wings and flight access into our fold, the blame is squarely on the door-step of the clearly biased Council of Elders and the Electoral Committee.