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Politics of Friday, 6 July 2007

Source: Chronicle

84 Defect From NDC to NPP

Eighty-four staunch supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Banda-Ahenkro in the Tain constituency of the Brong Ahafo region, hometown of the NDC General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah have defected to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Banda-Ahenkro is known to be an NDC stronghold in the constituency and the results of the 2004 presidential poll in which the NPP had 115 votes as against 1500 votes polled by the leading opposition, NDC was clear evidence.

For many NPP supporters in the area, the defection of the 51 females and 33 males announced by the NDC supporter on Sunday, July 1 in addition to reports that more would follow suit is an indication that the trend is gradually changing, with the ruling NPP gaining effective grounds in the area. In separate interviews with most of the defectors after a ceremony organized by the Tain Constituency Executives of the NPP held at the Banda-Ahenkro Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church to officially welcome the 84 converts, it was observed that virtually all of them sang the same song of, “we've seen the light and the variation is obvious the NPP is better.”

Some of the converts told The Chronicle that their decision to back out of the opposition party stemmed from their realization and conviction that, the NPP government does not discriminate in terms of execut¬ing developmental projects. According to them, one would have thought that the Tain traditional area dominated by the opposition NDC would not benefit much under the current government but that has not been the case.

They explained that, though citi¬zens of Banda-Ahenkro voted massively against the NPP in previous elections, the area has benefited enormously and continues to benefit from developmental projects that are being provided by the NPP government in the area.

Further, they averred that the policies of the NPP government had transformed their living standards, adding that though the transformation has not been complete, they are better off now than during the NDC's reign. They specifically mentioned the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Youth Employment Programme, the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme which demonstrate the resolve by the ruling party to better the lot of Ghanaians in general and the people of Tain in particular.

Spokesman for the converts, Thomas Gbemgbe, who said he was a polling station chairman of the NDC and identified several of his colleagues as being people who held similar positions or higher in the opposition party, disclosed that they have not joined the NPP for anything but to support it with all their energies to ensure that the party retains power in the 2008 polls to continue with "the good work being done." The Tain Constituency Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Seth Oteng commended the group for independently assessing the work of the NDC and NPP and discovering that the NPP was a party that could deliver the people of this country from their economic woes.

The party Chairman urged defectors to contribute immensely to the party's policies and agenda, so that the good works already initiated could be completed for the betterment of the country. Also, he advised the converts to continue sensitizing their colleagues who were yet to come to terms with the good works of the party, so that they would also st';e the light and be converted. "You are welcome, your contributions would be well acknowledged, so don't feel isolated" he accepted them into the NPP's fold.