Politics of Friday, 23 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

PNC mounts pressure on Hassan Ayariga

Some aggrieved members of the People's National Convention (PNC) have called on the leadership of the party to openly rebuke its presidential candidate, Mr Hassan Ayariga, to stop him from further damaging the party's enviable image.

That, they said, was to roll back the confidence and trust of party foot soldiers who were assiduously working for it to win the 2012 general election.

The aggrieved members who made the call include the National Youth Organiser, Abu Ramadan; the Communications Director, Henry Asante, and the Policy Analyst, Atik Mohammed.

According to the aggrieved members, Mr Ayariga had brought the party's fortune to its lowest ebb in the annals of the PNC.

They said, for instance, that while the party was able to file for 198 parliamentary seats in 2008, it filed for only 94 seats in this year's election.

Addressing the press in Accra yesterday, Mr Ramadan, on behalf of his colleagues, said at the Institute of Economic Affairs (lEA) debate in Tamale, Mr Ayariga went contrary to the party's manifesto on education and publicly dissociated himself from its free education concept and sought to adopt that of the NDC (his paymasters).

At the second IEA Debate in Accra, he said, Mr Ayariga consistently attacked and accused the ex-NPP administration by citing the promise of free senior high school as a corrupt act.

"Ironically, this promise has been captured in his abridged draft of the party's 2012 manifesto which was in the fold of the ruling NDC before his party executives got wind of it. His interest seems more on attacking the NPP than convincing Ghanaians on the need to vote for him," Mr Ramadan said.

Moreover, he said, most parliamentary candidates of the party had been left to their fate to fend for themselves in the upcoming elections.

He said Mr Ayariga's action had led to a level of frustration and subsequent protest through a press conference by three PNC parliamentary aspirants in the Northern Region.

He said Mr Ayariga had become more of a comic relief than a serious candidate for the presidency to the party's grass-roots support base. Mr Ramadan said the support the party enjoyed from the grass roots would remain resolute.

Furthermore, the grass roots would continue to support the 94 parliamentary candidates for the proper rebuilding and restructuring of the party in order to recapture power after 35 years in the political wilderness.

"At this juncture, we call on all aggrieved members of the PNC and all those who believe in the ideals and principles of socialism and Dr Kwame Nkrumah on free education to support those who believe in this ideology and discard Ayariga and like-minded persons whose interests are geared towards their masters who clothe, house and provide them with their needs, at the detriment of the larger party members and followers," he said.

He gave an assurance that the PNC would not become an appendage of the NDC government, adding, "The PNC is resolute and fully endorses free education as captured in all our manifestos."

Mr Mohammed said the press conference was aimed at salvaging the PNC by drawing the attention of the leadership to the current problem, adding that if Ayariga did not stop what he was doing, the grass roots would speak.

Mr Asante said he was not sure the aggrieved members would join the flag bearer's campaign but indicated that the parliamentary candidates would be supported to win their respective seats.