Politics of Thursday, 15 November 2012
Andrew Okaikoi, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is running for the Okaikoi North seat as an independent candidate has called the bluff of the party stressing he will not rescind his decision to run as an independent candidate.
His stance is coming after the NDC gave members of the party who intend to contest the December polls as independent candidates ultimatum to rescind their decision or face expulsion from the party.
Andrew Okaikoi, who is one of the 24 independent candidates, speaking on Election Headquarters on Joy FM and Joy News on Multi-TV said no one can push him out of the party pointing accusing fingers at some unnamed persons in the party as being behind the motive: “It is not the party that is speaking, it is individuals that are speaking.”
He said he is unaware of any official communication on the possible expulsion of members who do not adhere to the directive.
Andrew Okaikoi said he will not comply with the directive and “will not be perturbed”; he “believes in people talking to each other in a more civil manner,” to find an amicable solution to the matter.
He disclosed that some party big wigs – Cecilia Johnson, Faustina Nelson, Dan Abodakpi – met him and asked him to go and contest in a new constituency which he wrote a “petition to the President and the National Chairman.”
George Lawson, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC said “once you don’t comply, you cease to be a member of the party … Once they don’t comply, they are not supposed to use our logos, colours, our Presidential candidate”.
He observed that while some have heeded to the call and have rescinded the decision, Andrew Okaikoi is calling “bluff of the National Executives … the indiscipline he wants to bring, my boss [John Aseidu Nketia], will issue a statement to that effect.”
Dr Kpessah White, Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana commenting on the impasse noted that it will not be wise to expel its members days to the elections.
According to him, “As far as politics is about numbers and it’s also a contact sport, I don’t think it is a prudent decision for the political party to tread that road because whether you like it or not these individuals have more or less positioned themselves as opinion leaders in their constituencies.”
He observed that these members might leave the party with certain amount of voters who would have voted for the party.
Considering the timing, “it is not wise for any political party to take this kind of decision,” he said.
He advised that, “The most prudent approach would have been to deal with this issue on case by case bases, empower the party executives at the constituency and local level to try and find a much more conciliatory way of resolving whatever differences exist.”