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General News of Friday, 28 March 2008

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

Trouble Brews At Manhyia

The Manhyia constituency Executives of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP) has come under intense pressure following leakage of reports of alleged attempts to disqualify one of the parliamentary aspirants in the constituency.

Dr. Mathew Prempeh, a 39-year-old medical doctor and grandson of President Kufuor, who is contesting the seat on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party, has complained vehemently by what he describes as moves by some constituency executives to thwart his ambition of becoming the MP for the area.

Information reaching The Chronicle reveals an attempt to disqualify the 39-year old medical doctor on the basis that he was not a paid up member of the party in the constituency.

The aspirant was reported to have had a tip-off from inside sources about alleged plans by some party executives to debar him from contesting, on the basis that he had not been paying his dues since 2004.

He said even though he took the rumours with a pinch of salt the first time he heard it, because he knew he had always paid his dues and even donated some cash periodically for the upkeep of the constituency office, he set his own mechanisms in place to investigate and to ascertain the facts of the case.

It was, however, revealed after the investigation that the dues which he (Dr. Prempeh) had been paying since 2004, were not entered in the party's official ledger where fees and other payments are recorded, either deliberately or as a result of oversight.

This was, however, confirmed by the constituency chairman, Nana Osei Mensah who told The Chronicle in an interview that he was aware that some monies were paid to the constituency secretary, Attah Annor but he had failed to record them.

Nana Osei Mensah refuted the allegations that some constituency executives were masterminding the disqualification of the aspirant, adding that the NPP believes in democracy and that the constituency would welcome anybody who wishes to contest the seat.

Ironically, the file containing records of dues paid by party faithfuls could not be found at the constituency office as at the time the paper visited the constituency office, but it was later traced to the house of the constituency chairman.

An examination of the book revealed that records of dues paid by Dr. Prempeh since 2004 had also been cancelled from the book; remaining only the ones he had been paying since last year.

Meanwhile, the Glasgow trained medical surgeon says he is not bothered by alleged reports to kick him out of the race, because according to him, he had fulfilled all the requirements in line with the party's constitution.

He told The Chronicle in an interview that he had nurtured the ambition to become the MP for Manhyia a long time ago and believed the time was ripe for him to put his political expertise at the disposal of the constituents.

While choosing his words carefully not to make any unnecessary promises, which he might not be able to fulfill, Dr. Prempeh said he would work diligently with all stakeholders in the constituency to make sure people in the constituency benefit from his membership in parliament when given the nod.

The former NUGS President pledged to help devise measures and put in place practical laws which will help change the livelihood of every Ghanaian.

"I have always believed that as a legislator, your duty is to promote good governance, rule of law and formulate policies which will help curb poverty and alleviate the sufferings of the masses," he added.

On his contribution to the party at the constituency level, Dr.Prempeh, popularly known in the constituency as Napo, said his contributions towards the party's activities could be traced back to the 1990s, when he played a leading role in the formation of the Danquah/Busia group at the KNUST campus, long before the NPP was formed.

The aspirant also stated that he had on several occasions donated cash for the upkeep of the constituency office, which was donated by his grandfather and the incumbent MP, Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor.

Napo, however, denied allegations that he was being sponsored by high profile political personalities within his family, adding I am a man of my own and capable of making my own decisions.

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