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General News of Sunday, 1 June 2008

Source: GNA

Navrongo NPP threatens defections if no primaries

Navrongo (UER), May 31, GNA - Some supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Navrongo Central constituency have threatened to defect to various parties if the party did not reverse its decision to impose Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, the incumbent MP on them. They said the party believed in internal democracy and expressed worry and disappointment in the leadership of the party for not allowing people to contest the primary but "wrongfully" disqualified the two other contestants at the last minute.

Speaking in separate interviews with the GNA in Navrongo at the weekend Madam Vida Azumah, a concerned sympathiser of the party said the disqualification of Mr. Abdallah Otito Achuliwor and Professor John Kaburise from the race had sparked tension in the constituency. She said the tension had brought about disunity in the party and indicated that more than 70 party delegates had planed to resign and join other parties if primaries were not conducted.

"Some of us are so worried that a party that believes strongly in democracy is now creating an avenue for the enemy to capitalise on it and score a cheap political points," she said.

Madam Azumah therefore called on the National Executive of the party to intervene in the matter to ensure that the right thing was done to bring all the aggrieved parties back for total unity to retain the seat and to win the December election.

Mr. Charles Kaba, a member of the party alleged that there were external forces from Accra and Bolgatanga who manipulated the electoral process to ensure that Mr. Adda contested the seat unopposed. He described the situation as unfortunate and expressed fears that many party members would lose confidence in the NPP and vote against the party in the December polls.

Others who pleaded anonymity told the GNA that Mr. Joseph Adda had lost popularity in the constituency and would not retain the seat without the support of all members.

They said there was the needed for a more formidable person to challenge the NDC's strong candidate, adding that people had built the party and won souls from the People's National Convention (PNC) and expressed regret that few individuals were destroying the party for their personal interests.

Mr. William Aduni, NPP Navrongo Central Constituency secretary told the GNA that the other two contestants were disqualified based on the party's Constitution. He said article 4, (h) of the party Constitution, made it clear that, "A member who joins or declares his or her adherence to another political party automatically forfeits his or her membership of the party..."

Mr. Aduni said, Mr. Abdallah Otito Achuliwor was disqualified based on that basis since he resigned from the party and stood as an Independent Candidate in the 2004 elections and that he rejoined the party through a letter of pardon in November 2007 and was not up to the required mandatory two years before he could be a full member to contest for elections.

On the part of Professor John Kaburise, former Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Mr Aduni said the Professor also joined the party in 20th November 2006 and had a party membership card number (0151274), and was not also up to two years in the party.

He said article 11 of the NPP same Constitution, which talks about selection of Parliamentary candidates clause 4, again says, "No member shall be entitled to apply for nomination as the party's Parliamentary candidate in any constituency unless he or she is a known and active member for at least two years."

Meanwhile, Mr. Abdallah Otito Achuliwor has threatened to either collaborate with Professor Kaburise for one of them to contest against the party or support the NDC to win the elections.

He told the GNA that though he stood Independent, Mr. Mac Manu, NPP National Chairman granted a general amnesty to all those who broke away from the party to go independent and expressed regret that the party failed to ensure that the amnesty worked.

He said; "How do you say you have disqualified us without serving us with letters to give reasons for our disqualification." He challenged the party that if they had confidence in Mr. Joseph Adda, they should call on the delegates for acclamation to see if Mr. Adda would be confirmed.

Mr. Tahiru Isshaku Ahmed, Upper East Regional Chairman of the party also expressed fears that the situation would cause the party's defeat in the constituency, if the problem was not solved amicably before the December polls and expressed the hope that he would personally dialogue with them to rally behind the party for victory.

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