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19.10.2006 General News

NPP Bleeds Eastwards:...Yilo Krobo burns while Nkawkaw boils

By chronicle
NPP Bleeds Eastwards:...Yilo Krobo burns while Nkawkaw boils
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SOME STAUNCH New Patriotic Party (NPP) members in the Yilo Krobo constituency have started comparing their party to that of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) with regards to conflict resolution.

They observed that the former President, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, often summoned feuding party members to appear before him and immediately resolved their differences before it got out of hand to avoid the situation whereby such differences would be used by the NPP as propaganda against his party.

Comparatively, they said leaders of the NPP “act slowly and allow the problems to escalate before making attempts to resolve them after the harm has already been done”.

They have therefore appealed to the national executives of the party to help solve the present feud brewing within the party in Somanya and to help reconcile the party members.

The concerns of the NPP party members were expressed to The Chronicle when the paper visited Somanya over the weekend to find out whether the feud brewing among the party members had finally been resolved, after they failed to resolve the issue some two weeks ago.

Party members in the Yilo Krobo constituency have been at each other's throat since 2002 when 14 of its members were expelled from the party for allegedly leveling allegations against the former District Chief Executive (DCE), Christian Kofi Tettey (a.k.a. Black Slate).

The Chronicle discovered that the expulsion of those party members had created factions within the party, thereby dividing its front in the area and dashing any hopes of the party ever winning any election in the constituency.

Similar tensions existed in Nkawkaw, and Abuakwa South, where Polling Station Executives were resisting the imposition of Executives on them by factions loyal to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Akuffo Addo who is the MP for the area.

The Chronicle gathered in Yilo Krobo that series of meetings had been arranged for some leaders of the party to reconcile the feuding members, but one faction comprising the former constituency and polling station executives had aborted all.

The paper learnt that an annual delegates' conference, chaired by the Eastern Regional chairman of the party, Mr. Yaw Gyekye Amoabeng, was held last week where he appealed to the feuding members to bury their differences and unite to enable them wrestle the parliamentary seat from the NDC.

After the appeal, the paper learnt that the delegates at the conference requested that a resolution be passed, demanding the reconciliation exercise to be conducted as soon as possible.

This was unanimously accepted and pursuant to this, the constituency secretary, Mr. Stephen Nyade, led the delegates to append their signatures to the resolution, which stated that the reconciliation exercise must be called within 14 days to stop the war of attrition within the party and in the constituency.

The NPP has never won any election in the constituency ever since 1992 when the country returned to democratic rule.

Electoral results recorded during the 1992 elections indicated that the NDC had 17,000 votes as against 5,000 accrued by the NPP.

In the 1996 elections, the same thing happened as the NDC swept all the polls with 28,000 votes as against the NPP 6,000. Then in the 2000 elections, the NDC dropped from 28,000 votes to 16,000 in the first round, whiles the NPP improved from 6,000 votes to 9,000 votes. There was a further backsliding when the NDC recorded 13,000 votes in the second round and NPP polled 2,000 votes.

What shocked the NDC in the 2000 elections was the NPP winning in 21 polling stations in the first round and then in 34 polling stations in the second round, as against none in the 1992 and 1996 elections, thereby closing the gap with a mere 2000-vote difference.

All this while, the NPP contested the election in opposition and with scarce resources to campaign and did well, as there was no division among the ranks in the party in the constituency.

But the party suffered badly in the 2004 elections, though it was in power and had the resources at its disposal to campaign effectively, due to the conflict within the party in the constituency.

The former DCE, Christian Kofi Tettey, contesting as the party's parliamentary candidate, was defeated by the NDC, which had 20,685 votes against 13,600 by the NPP.

The Chronicle observed that the party suffered this feat because most of the party members who could have campaign effectively were those expelled; hence their supporters were indifferent to the campaign.

Now, the party members were coming out from their slumber, observing that it could be possible to defeat the NDC in 2008 if only they would unite to fight a common cause for the party in the constituency.

Meanwhile, the Nkawkaw constituency – the usually peaceful stronghold of the NPP – is now turning into a war zone where party members are at loggerheads with one another.

There is no peace among the NPP members because 77 polling station executives have passed a vote of no confidence in their Kwahu West DCE, Mr. Kofi Kese.

But some party members have the suspicion that the MP for Nkawkaw, Mr. Okaakyire Kwame Adusah, was the brain behind the scene to see the DCE out of office.

The action of the 77 executives had also prompted the supporters of the DCE to swear to fight to ensure that he remained at post, since they do not see anything wrong with him or the way he carries out his duties as District Chief Executive.

The Chronicle made the discovery when it got a tip-off that the polling station executives had passed a vote of no confidence on the DCE on October 03.

Although the 77 polling station executives have signed the resolution calling on the President to replace the DCE, other party members are questioning the credibility of the resolution, arguing that only the Assembly Members could pass such a vote of no confidence in the DCE and not polling station executives.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Assembly members are yet to be sworn into office and it is they who could consider whether or not the DCE should be removed from office.

When The Chronicle combed the Nkawkaw Township in an attempt to contact the supposed leader of the polling station executives, Mr. Asante (a.k.a. Oshuromi), his apprentices told the paper that he had been invited to Koforidua and was therefore unavailable.

Neither was the DCE also present to comment about the resolution passed by the polling station executives to remove him from office.

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