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Politics of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: gye nyame concord

NDC Chides Mills’ Men

*Mahama Ayariga, Mubarak and Nii Lante Vanderpuye summoned from battlefield

The troubles confronting the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader, Prof J. E. A. Mills, seem not to abate as three members of his campaign machinery, who had been sent to contact some chiefs and opinion leaders on behalf of the Prof in the Northern and Brong Ahafo regions, were on Thursday hurriedly asked to return to Accra by the party’s General Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketia, to answer why they undertook the mission without the consent of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Information gathered by this paper indicates that the NDC’s NEC, not happy about the manner in which it is being sidelined by the campaign machine of the NDC flagbearer, took the decision to recall the three from the mission that was meant to grease the next campaign trips of Mills.

A top member of the party anonymously told this reporter that the team made up of Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, MP for Asawase, and Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central, were ordered by Asiedu Nketia, a.k.a. General Mosquito, to cut off the trip and return to Accra.

The team had been sent as emissaries of Mills to present drinks and financial packages to key traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the three northern regions as well as in the Brong Ahafo Region.

This, according to our very reliable source, infuriated the NDC leadership as per their arrangements all campaign strategies by the party have to be taken by the party leadership in collaboration with the Mills’ machine.

This paper learnt that Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak and Mahama Ayariga had made significant incursions in the three northern regions and had started work in the Brong Ahafo Region when General Mosquito summoned them.

The three, widely believed to have strong ties with the evergreen Fante Confederacy of the NDC, have since returned to Accra face the wrath of NEC.

“Nobody in the NDC hates Mills but we had to do this in order to show that the party was in charge and also indicate to the world that nobody has hijacked the party”, another top NDC guru insisted, stressing that as party leaders, it was their duty to prepare strategies together with the Mills’ team for the good of the party.

He said this would ensure a coordinated NDC campaign which could be monitored and assessed at every stage when the need arises and that this would also enable them give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) a good run in the 2008 elections

“Going to meet traditional rulers for the visit of a presidential candidate without the involvement of the party leadership does not give the NDC a good image”, he argued, adding that the leadership had to step in the collective interest party.

He, however, cautioned that such a move ought to be done with utmost circumspect.

Attempts by this reporter to contact Mr Asiedu Nketia for his comments proved futile as his mobile phone was switched off throughout press time yesterday.

This move by General Mosquito comes in the wake of an emergency NEC meeting attended by the movers and shakers within the party, including party founder, Jerry John Rawlings to be briefed by Prof Mills and to address concerns on whether he was in good condition to go the full length of this year’s elections.

Reports after the meeting suggested that the learned Professor stunned the gathering with a bold declaration that he was not contemplating stepping down and that he was in the very best of health to complete his mission.

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