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Politics of Thursday, 1 September 2005

Source: Chronicle

Fallout of Odododiodoo crusher

... As party activists bash executives for doing nothing
THE JUST-ended by-election at the Odododiodio constituency in the Greater Accra Region, won by the National Democratic Congress (NDC)?s Nii Tackie-Kommey, has created anxiety among the rank and file of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in their Ashanti stronghold.

Several people believed to be sympathizers of the party, yesterday morning, bashed the party executives, especially the national chairman, Mr. Harona Esseku on various radio stations in Kumasi for what they considered to be archaic ideas and strategies employed in the by-election.

?They only take fat salaries at the end of the month but are virtually doing nothing to ensure that the party climbs the ladder of victory,? a caller fumed.

The perceived supporters of the NPP believe that time has come for the party leadership position to go to a young, dynamic and energetic person, who can overhaul and bring transformation to the party.

Mention was made of the disenchanted and disaffected members of the NPP who had abandoned ship because the party could not meet their expectations.

Another school of thought among the various callers to the radio stations says the NPP?s defeat at the Odododiodio constituency is a show of disillusionment and protest votes for failing to care for them after tireless efforts to bring the party to power.

They called on the government to be proactive in living up to its promises and ensure also that more jobs were created within the three-year period, or forget about power in 2008.

Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng, who is a leading member of the NPP in the Ashanti region, on his part, urged the leadership to re-organize the party from the grassroots level to the top.

The NPP rolled into battle this week at Odododiodio with virtually all the top generals on the battlefield, only to lose the seat it had captured in the 2000 general elections.

Mr. Tackie Kommey of the NDC polled 26,841 votes against the NPP?s Asafoatse Mankata, who had 18, 454, followed by Convention People?s Party( CPP) Christian Shanco-Bruce with 946 while 98 votes went to the DPP candidate.

About 8, 387 votes? difference between the winning candidate and the close contender, coupled with the big shortfall in votes, indicating voter apathy, should serve as enough warning signs for the NPP, which continues to delude itself with presumed invincibility because of flattering reports about the government, a caller warned.

The party lost the Asawase by-election a couple of months ago and the National Chairman justified it with what he termed as ?the well-planned and communist-inspired tactics of the NDC,? said another.

He complained also of arbitrary impounding of their vehicles, which were taken off the road by the police on trumped-up charges, while thugs of the NDC were left off the hook to harass and intimidate the law- abiding citizens of Asawase, with impunity.

One wondered what excuse the NPP would adduce for the defeat at Odododiodio; the results of the two by-elections must be a dress up call for 2008, he added.

Even though Information Minister, Dan Botwe believes a by-election cannot be used to assess the outcome of a general election, he should not forget that the people who voted at the two by-elections would as well vote in 2008, unless they were dead.