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Opinions of Saturday, 13 February 2021

Columnist: Daniel Adomakoh

Political cross-carpeting; a question of principle or interest

A one-time parliamentary candidate of the NPP has defected to the NPP A one-time parliamentary candidate of the NPP has defected to the NPP

I have read on the Facebook wall of Michael Nii Yarboi Annan, a one-time parliamentary aspirant of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Odododiodio constituency announcing his sudden resignation and defection from the NPP to the camp of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't have said a word but as someone who once lived in Korle-Workor (opposite Charles Laing Apostolic Church), I've vested interest in Odododiodio politics. Again, my dad had a shop in Odododiodio (around the Accra Central Post Office from 1976-2014 until the landlords sold their property to a foreign investor). That accounts for my ability to dissect the Ga language.

Back to the issue: Nii Yarboi, the failed parliamentary aspirant alleges inter alia machinations and plans by some elements to suspend him from the party but fails to mention his "crime". In his write-up detailing his resignation, he extended goodwill messages to some suspended delegates who supported his bid during the September 28, 2019 parliamentary primaries of the party. The truth or otherwise of that I'm yet to ascertain.

For purposes of this writeup, let me state that there were four(4) contenders in the last parliamentary primaries of the party held on 28/09/2019 and the results are as follows:

1. Nii Lante Banerman- 543
2. Nii Yarboi Annan - 230
3. Reginald Nii Ayi Bonte -70
4. Nathaniel Lartey -11

Although the Nana Akufo-Addo led government in its first term did all it could to develop the constituency, Nii Lante Barnaman and the NPP lost. Clearly, something is not right somewhere.

It's worth noting that under the 4th Republican dispensation, the first time NPP won in Odododiodio was in the 2000 election, when lawyer Reginald Nii Ayibonte wrestled the seat from NDC's Nii Okaija Adamafio, a one time Minister for Interior under Rawlings. Since then, we(NPP) have been struggling but to no avail.

For me, Yarboi Annan's decision, though unfortunate, honestly, is no news. After all, he isn't the first nor last. Hundreds, if not thousands of politicians have defected camp in the past and history will bear me out. To me, any politician who crosses carpet from the NPP to NDC and vice-versa, no matter the level of Machiavellian tactics, do that for parochial selfish interests and nothing else.

Alhaji Inusah Issaka, then leading member of NPP and a campaign manager of candidate John Agyekum Kufuor for 1996 election crossed carpet to the NDC at the eleventh hour to the 2000 election because he wanted to be the party's parliamentary candidate for AWW. I recall like yesterday how Mr. Kufuor, then as he was personally announced this decision at a press conference one afternoon at Ravico Hotel in Nungua. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey was then K4's campaign manager who helped the NPP won that election. Soon after the NPP's victory, Alhaji Inusah made a sharp U-Turn but this time, he became a common floor party member.

I also remember the case of Frances Essiam, a former Women's Organizer of the NDC, Bede Ziedeng, a former deputy General Secretary of NDC and now NDC MP for Lawra constituency and the venerable Dr. Obed Asamoah after the NDC's bizarre annual delegates conference of 2005 (where balls were pressed) resigned from NDC to form the now defunct Democratic Freedom Party (DFP). What became of that mushroom group is history.

Frances Essiam in 2008 further defected from the DFP to the NPP to join candidate Akufo-Addo's campaign and has since remained with us and until recently was the Managing Director of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company under president Akufo-Addo.

Valentino Nii Noi, then constituency Chairman of NPP in Klottey Korle constituency resigned from NPP and contested as an INDEPENDENT parliamentary aspirant in the 2016 election splitting the party's vote and allowing Dr. Ezenator to take the seat. This accounts for why Philip Addison Esq, lead counsel for the NPP in the famous 2012 election petition is not in Parliament. Today, he's back; the rest is history.

In fact, the list is ENDLESS! All I'm saying is this: people should stop hiding behind machinations in political parties to cross carpet. Their decisions CANNOT be anything other than their selfish interest. I say nothing more!

Mr. Yarboi, I wish you well.