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General News of Friday, 11 July 2008

Source: chronicle.

"Breakaway NPP" Rejects NPP Offer

THE REFORMED Patriotic Democrats (RPD) has rejected advances by eminent members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to let go its decision to contest the December elections as a political party. Mr. Kwabena Adjei, alias Bambaata, founder and interim national chairman of RPD alleges that Mr. Apenten Appiah Menka, chairman of the Council of Elders of NPP in Ashanti Region, led some NPP personalities to attempt to dissuade him against the formation of the RPD.

The NPP Elder, at a meeting at his residence last May, is said to have suggested that Bambaata discards the idea of forming a party with the intention to contest the 2008 elections. The said meeting held over two days was initially to ascertain whether it was true that Bambaata had actually formed a party, and when he (Appiah Menka) realized the truth, they tried to dissuade him (Bambaat) to discard the idea.

Bambaata claims he rejected their offer, though he did not give details about the offer, saying “they (NPP) cannot break our (RPD) front.” He added that the RPD is not for sale.

According to Bambaata, a similar thing happened in 2004 when as the national chairman of the United Youngsters Convention (UYC), he attempted to break away from the NPP. He said he was summoned to various meetings at the residencies of President Kufuor and Mr. Francis Poku. The outcome of the said meeting at the then Security Minister’s residence was for him to submit expenses so far made for a possible reimbursement. Copies of the expenses are said to have been given to Mr. Francis Poku, the Chief of Staff and Kwabena Agyepong, then the Presidential staffer.

One Dr. William Asamaoh Ntim, the General Secretary of the UYC, accompanied Bambaata at the said meetings. When The Chronicle reached him for confirmation of the story, Dr. Ntim admitted going to the President’s residence with Bambaata to discuss purely private issues which he cannot explain now.

According to Bambaata, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, alias Sir John, was privy to the said meeting. Bambaata, however, claims that up till now, he has not been reimbursed by the NPP as promised.

He explained that even though he agreed to the offer in 2004 on realization that the time was too short to go into the 2004 elections, the NPP reneged on its promise and the situation cannot be said to be the same today. “I don’t even need the money”.

The RPD founder said he had to refuse the offer this time round because the RPD has a programme and an agenda and that it had come to stay and to make a positive impact on the electoral process. “More so, I know they (NPP) would not honour their promise even if I agree to back out,” he said.

Bambaata claims there have since been a number of attempts by agents of the NPP to dissuade him, citing the recent meeting at Appiah Menka’s residence as one of them. According to him, the other meeting was with the NPP General Secretary, Nana Ohene-Ntow and then Mr. Gabby Otchere Darko, the Editor of The Statesman and a known close aide of Nana Akuffo-Addo, the NPP flag bearer.

Nana Ohene-Ntow is on record on Joy FM to have said that Bambaata made “unreasonable demands” when he met him on the issue.

Gabby, who attended the inauguration of the RPD in Kumasi, is said to have made clandestine moves recently to dissuade Bambaata from pursuing the coming elections, with the excuse that the RPD could not make any impact in the elections.

Meanwhile, Mr. Appiah Menka has confirmed that he met some leaders of the RPD but declined to make further comments, saying the issue had long been disposed of.

When reached on phone, lawyer Owusu-Afriyie declined to comment because he did not want to dabble in such matters. He said, even though he did not recollect any such meeting taking place, Bambaata might have benefited if there was a “gentleman’s agreement” and stated that the NPP was prepared to accept Bambaata back into its fold.

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