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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Columnist: Clement Fonjumah Ibrahim

A critical look at the political intrigues of the Dafiama Bussie Isa constituency

I write with candour on the above-mentioned subject matter and I do that with circumspection and self-introspection in laying it bare for the consumption of the general public especially the public of the Upper West Region and the Dafiama Bussie Isa constituency in particular through this esteemed medium.

The Dafiama Bussie Isa constituency was under the then Nadowli District when the government in line with the constitutional article 47(1) of the 1992 constitution which states that “Ghana shall be divided into as many constituencies for the purpose of election of members of parliament as the Electoral Commission may prescribe, and, and each constituency shall be represented by one member of parliament”, in an attempt to broaden and entrench democracy in the country hence the creation DBI district.

Until then there was a parliamentarian representing the people of DBI then under Nadowli district, with the first parliament, with Member of Parliament been Honorable Zumakpeh, an accomplished educationist from the constituency.

The DBI has a very peculiar nature perhaps it was because of this that the authorities who wanted to bring development to the area that a new district was carved out of the then Nadowli district. The creation of the district with the sitting of the district capital at Isa was quite strategic since the creators of the district knew in advance how deprived the area is.

The DBI has several communities dominant among which include Dafiama, Bussie, Fian, Worgu, Jolinyiri and Kojokperi and Isa among many more.

In the district, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the most dominant party even though the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in recent times has been making some gains electorally speaking. I have therefore read with mixed feelings the shocking Headlines: “Kojokperi Zone, NDC Party Executives and Members vigorously resign from the party” citing discrimination, insensitivity and unfair treatment meted out to them by the party when it comes to appointment of NDC members into executive positions.

The executives who resigned said they were left behind as the Kojokperi zone members are being sabotaged whenever they showed interest in any party position that is vacant for appointment; continuing, the resigned executives said: “It is very interesting to note that, the great National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is the best party in Ghana and beyond will soon be a thing of the past for its faithful members within the Kojokperi Zone.

In fact, it is very sad and difficult for us the party executives on behalf of our supporters to take this painful but necessary decision. All these are attributed to discrimination, insensitive and unfair treatment meted out to members of the said zone within the constituency level since 1992. We the party executives and our supporters have therefore resigned from the activities of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.As a concerned citizen of DBI, for me, this is very bizarre and unwarranted!

The 1992 constitution has made it categorically clear at article 17(1) that “All persons shall be equal before the law” and article 17(2) says that “A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status”, therefore the assertion that the people of Kojokperi zone of DBI are being discriminated against begs the question.

The popular saying is that DEMOCRACY is not a spectator sports and therefore when there are vacant positions it is up to individuals to prepare themselves very well with good average academic qualifications, interest and then above the desire to serve the people, as the guiding principles for grabbing such positions within the rank and file of the party.

For example, the recent constituency elections held within the constituency, people from varied backgrounds contested the elections prominent among which were the current chairman Poolabon Richard who polled 264 to beat his rival Banaale Ambrose who had 164 votes. The vice chairmanship position went to Samba Muoa with 201 votes, beating Abraham Maga and Waris Yendor with 140 and 76 votes respectively.

The position of a constituency secretary went to James Wor who garnered 165 votes beating Bartholomew and Emmanuel Konigini with 140 and 114 votes in that order. I can go on and on to give out the various positions of contestants from various parts of the DBI constituency of the Upper West Region. Where then lies the justification for the Kojokperi Zone members to claim that they were been discriminated against by the party since 1992? But the answer or answers to these problems are not farfetched as the entire members of the constituency are very much aware of the machinations of one man who is the cause of all this confusion within the constituency.

The belief is that he will bulldoze his way by destroying the very party that made him what he is today due to his political ambition. Almost all the people of the constituency are pointing an accusing finger to the former deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Honorable Abu Kasangabata as the brain behind the recent mass or is it ‘vigorous’ resignation of the Kojokperi zone executives.

Information picked from various points within the constituency showed that the former deputy regional minister has been having various meetings especially with the Kojokperi zone as to how best to torpedo the current system for his selfish political benefit.

For example, it would be recalled that the same deputy Regional Minister was in 2016 defeated massively by the current member of parliament of the DBI constituency Dr Sebastian Sandare at primaries and the people of the constituency are well aware of his political mischief and machinations during before and after the 2016 parliamentary election.

This time around, election 2020 is just around the corner, the schemer that he is, he must start right on time and ensure his electoral victory whether by fair or foul means. But we want to issue this note of caution to all such mischief makers and political self-seekers, that the people of the constituency are wide awake and the saying that “you can fool the people some of the time but you can’t fool the people all the time”, it is now the catch phrase with the people.

Therefore, the former deputy Upper West Regional Minister Honorable Abu Kasangabata and his cohort must be wary and take note appropriately. The constitution of the republic and the constitution of the National Democratic Congress and that of the NPP are the guiding principles in all dealings so far as the activities of the NDC are concerned. So is the same with the ruling party NPP.

As a citizen of DBI I am particularly worried about the activities of the two dominant parties in the district to the detriment of the people. For example in the 2016 primaries of the NPP, can you believe that the winning candidate Lawyer Lwanga Bagonluri refused to shake hands with his main contestant Mr Mujeeb Kele openly? Such is the nature of the political leadership of DBI forcing some of us to voice out our concerns.

The question is that the Kojokperi Zone executives have all resigned what do they want from the party? The solution does not lie in the resignation it is about facing the problem of the so-called “discrimination and unfair treatment” been meted out to them since 1992 head-on, instead of this cowardly act of mass resignation? What have they done all this while to either draw the attention of all particularly the leadership of the party in the region and beyond?

Now that they are gone I want to urge that all is not lost as new people would be put in place and the forward march will continue. For the former deputy Upper West Regional Minister, my humble appeal is that do not destroy the very house that once sheltered and nurtured you into what you are today. We still need your contribution in the development of the DBI as a district and a constituency.

I write as a person in the DBI constituency who wants cool heads to reign supreme in both the NDC and the NPP and as somebody who believes in the constitution of Ghana.

For example, Article 55 of the constitution talks about political parties which are captured at article 55(1) “The right to form political parties is hereby guaranteed. And at 55(2) “Every citizen of Ghana of voting age has the right to join a political party”.

I write to draw the attention of all, especially the leadership of both the NDC and the NPP, that we need the political parties in our political dispensation as they are the building blocks of our democracy. I am worried that the time energy and money invested in coming up with such political parties would only be destroyed by people within the party and outside it for nothing short of selfish reasons.

I speak to all political parties in Ghana! This is my humble appeal to all and sundry!