Politics of Thursday, 25 October 2012
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled is highly disappointed in the ruling National Democratic Congress, for the raw treatment it meted out to one of its members Andrew Okaikoi.
Mr Andrew Okaikoi, chairman of the National Disability Council, who was elected as the NDC’s candidate for Okaikoi North constituency in November last year, was replaced just a week to the filing of nominations on technical grounds.
The incoming president of the federation, Mr Yaw Ofori Debrah told myjoyonline.com the only thing the party can do to appease Mr Okaikoi is to compensate him for all that he has committed into his campaign since his election last year.
“We are asking his political party, that is the NDC, to actually find a way of addressing his issue, even though registration is over, we think that he has invested so much and if anything, they should find a way of compensating him, because he has already printed a lot of paraphernalia and T-shirts which have caused him so much.”
Mr Ofori Debrah, who is visually impaired, said Andre Okaikoi's elimination also makes nonsense of calls on persons with disability to go into politics.
“Persons with disability were asked to do their best to take part in political activities in the way that they could, and we also encourage that they should try and take part in the governance of this nation. And the best way to do it is to join political parties and also do the best they could to secure candidature of political parties and to also find their way to parliament.
“So when Okaikoi was able to do that we were very much happy until we heard the disappointing news that he has been eliminated technically and that was not our expectation at all…they way he was treated was not the best.”
Mr Ofori Debrah described the party’s action as discouraging and frustrating.
“We believe that the way he has suffered could be a disincentive for other persons with disability to tread the same course,” he observed.
When the party fielded a different candidate other than him, Mr Andrew Okaikoi decided to contest the 2012 parliamentary election as an independent candidate.
This decision, according Mr Ofori Debrah, was borne out of “frustration, it is not his desire to actually quit the party or ignore the party in this wise, but it appears that he did that out of frustration”.
He said the failure of the party to even contact him to explain matters to him after the disappointing incident makes Mr Okaikoi “feels isolated, and feels left out”.
The federation, he said, has instructed its advocacy officer to formally write to the National Democratic Congress to ensure that Mr Okaikoi is adequately compensated.