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Politics of Thursday, 19 May 2016


Nov. polls: Unexpected shock looms at Chiana-Paga – NDC

Some executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Chiana-Paga Constituency have strongly warned that the party could suffer an unexpected shock at the 2016 general elections if the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kassena-Nankana West, George Nonterah, does not “sit up”.

The executives claim the “party is sinking” in the area because the DCE is “not concerned” about the 2016 polls. Mr. Nonterah is also alleged to have consistently refused to put the constituency executives and communicators of the party in the picture of government’s business at the district assembly.

There were earlier reports in the media in April, this year, that the same executives had petitioned for the DCE to be removed from office to salvage the party’s fortunes ahead of the November 7 polls. But the executives said Tuesday that their open sharp disapproval of the DCE’s administrative style was only misconstrued in the media for a demand for his removal.

The party’s Deputy Constituency Communications Officer and government appointee, Ayeoh-duko Akobulgo-zotipelba, had poured out his anger in an exclusive interview with Starr News after an expected crowd failed to show up for the commissioning of some quarters for health workers at Sirigu, a community inside the district. The project is said to have been financed by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

Mr. Nonterah, according to the executives, was to blame for the poor turnout at the event because he reportedly had strongly opposed the party’s earlier plan to mobilise as many members of that community as possible to witness the commissioning of the project. The plan was to celebrate that project as one of the socialist interventions of the government and it was aimed at broadening the NDC’s support base in the area in advance of the 2016 general elections.

“The DCE knew that he had got assembly members on the ground. And we are responsible to organise the people. We are with the people and we work for them. This is an opportunity for the ruling party to market the party. We can’t just come and commission this project for nothing. The party’s popularity is sinking.

“It would have been a great thing for him to liaise with us to organise it and organise it well. It’s not going to help the cause of the NDC. We should have used this one to explain to the electorate what we have done so far. If the crowd were to be there, the information would go far,” Mr. Akobulgo-zotipelba, who is widely known as “Bishop”, stated.

Key party executives did not attend
Key executives of the party, including the Constituency Chairman, did not attend the ceremony. The executives, according to the Deputy Constituency Communications Officer, were not informed about the programme.

“I don’t think he (the DCE) is concerned about the 2016 elections. I cannot even get the words to describe his behaviour towards the party. Last night, when I called the Constituency Chairman, he told me he’s not aware of the programme. How is such a thing going to happen in this constituency and the party chairman is not aware, the secretary is not aware, the organiser is not aware, the women’s organiser is not aware. Who is going to accompany the DCE to the occasion?

“This is not the first time. It has happened several times. It has been reported several times and action has not been taken. He is going to make our work very difficult,” Deputy Constituency Communications Officer complained.

Alhaji Ibrahim Ayamga, the Sirigu Zonal Chairman of the NDC, registered his disappointment at the grounds, saying: “If the DCE keeps on doing what he’s doing, [I doubt our chances]. We would [lose some votes]. It’s the DCE who should encourage the people to appreciate [government’s achievements] for the party to win.”

DCE satisfied with crowd
Reacting to the allegations, Mr. Nonterah said his accusers were being unfair to him. He said he officially invited the executives, who though eventually did not show up, to the event and maintained that he was impressed with the crowd he saw at the programme.

“The Constituency Chairman, the MP were given letters. And I cannot force anybody; I repeat: I cannot force anybody to attend a function that I invite a person [to]. What do they think I should have done extra that I did not do and they are blaming me? They are being unfair to me.

“I am satisfied with the crowd that came out. There were three canopies. And all of them were full. Some (people) were standing. How could that have been poor attendance? If they have an agenda, they can carry on with their agenda. They should go and find out from the chairman if he had a letter or not. They should find out from my officers who distributed the letters whether they gave the chairman and the MP or not,” the DCE said.

But when asked if the constituency chairman called him to explain the reason he did not show up at the event, the DCE answered in the negative, saying: “The chairman hasn’t called to tell me anything. It was the MP who came and I questioned him. As far as the MP is concerned, he said he didn’t get his letter. Whether that is true or not I cannot tell.”

When contacted for his side of the matter, the Constituency Chairman, James Kojo Kupanamo, was as measured and as brief in his reply as a leader fully aware that the slimmest blunder could fire up a disaster for the party at the impending parliamentary primary and the general elections in the area. Contrary to the DCE’s claim, Mr. Kupanamo said: “I received a letter inviting to the programme but I told the DCE I would not be able to attend because I would be doing something at that time.”

Chiana-Paga remains NDC stronghold.
The NDC’s Abuga Pele won the 2012 parliamentary election in the constituency with 21,552 votes, representing 63.49%. Leo Alowe Kabah of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) finished second, obtaining 7,246 votes or 21.35%. Aloah Adoa Muniru of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Francis Niagia Santuah of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP’s) Desmond Ayirevire polled 323 votes (0.95%), 4,705 ballots (13.86%) and 121 votes (0.36%) respectively.

The 2012 presidential election in the Chiana-Paga Constituency saw the NDC’s John Dramani Mahama attract 25,815 votes (73.59%), beating the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who got 6,659 votes, representing 18.98%.

Hassan Ayariga of the PNC garnered 498 votes (1.42%); Dr. Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), 161 votes (0.46%); the PPP’s Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom 158 ballots (0.45%); Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent candidate, 118 votes (0.34%); Akwasi Addai Odike of the United Front Party (UFP) 63 votes (0.18%) and the CPP’s Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster 46 votes (0.13%).

Clement Dandori, a retired civil servant, is the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the November 2016 polls in the Chiana-Paga Constituency. His main contender from the NDC will emerge when the party finally holds its long-delayed parliamentary primary most probably in May, this year, according to the Upper East Regional Secretary of the NDC, Donatus Akamugri. Abuga Pele, a tax expert and veteran legislator, is in the race for the ticket with Rudolph Amenga-Etego, a lawyer, and Jonathan Nyaaba, a conservationist of cultural heritage.

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