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30.03.2007 General News

Aliu on shaky ground up north

By The Chronicle
Aliu on shaky ground up north

While lieutenants of the Vice President Aliu Mahama travel round the country to canvass for support from party delegates for his presidential bid, with him putting in an occasional showing as he did in the Western Region, the party's wing in his own home region, which he is expected to strengthen, is fast disintegrating without records of any efforts on his part to resolve those problems.

Regional branches of all the political parties, including the smaller ones like the PNC and the CPP have started diving deep into the sea to find alternative means of re-strategizing, rebranding and restructuring their tactics for possible victory in the 2008 general elections. In the Northern region however the ruling New Patriotic Party, is currently afflicted with several problems that may blight its chances in the region.

At the peak of the troubles for the party in the region is a serious brawl between the regional leadership of the party and the Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha AIi Iddris. The bad relationship between the Regional Chairman of the party, Mr. Alhassan Yakubu Adoo and the Minister is now beyond that of the cat and mouse.

The acting Regional secretary of the party, Mr. Faisal Gbangili, confirmed to The Chronicle in an interview on Thursday that there were problems between them in the executive and the Minister, but added that the relationship between the Chairman and the Minister was getting worse.

Asked what had been the cause of the frosty relationship especially between the chairman and the Minister, the regional secretary said it was only the Chairman who could explain what had caused the bad relations between him and the Minister.

"For me and the other executives the• main cause has been that the Minister has failed to recognize the need to work with us as a party and I think that does not augur well for the party in the region. There is the big problem of access to the Minister as far as we the executives are concerned and I think the earlier he is made to understand the problem he is causing for the party, the better," the acting secretary said.

The regional Chairman himself declined to comment or explain the cause of the bad relationship existing between him and the Minister when he was contacted but the secretary said, "As for the relationship between the chairman and the Minister, I think people must intervene now, to save the party."

Calls made to the Minister went unanswered. It was later suggested by people close to him that the presence of the Vice President in the region, might have kept him busy and may explain why there were no answers to the calls.

Already, several constituencies of the party have been engulfed in divisions, strife and power struggles, which are almost bringing the party to its knees in the region.

Pieces of reliable information gathered by the Northern Region bureau of The Chronicle from the various camps of the NPP portray a very flimsy and unprecedented gloomy picture of the party's chances and popularity in the region at the moment.

Political analysts and followers of the political terrain here say if stringent measures are not
marshalled to unite the front and also address the squabbling among supporters of the party in the region, the NPP is likely to suffer an embarrassing defeat in the region come the 2008 polls.

Sometime last year, an uncontrollable internal strife engulfed the party in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo Constituency between the current Executives, and the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Elizabeth Pijit Poyari amidst life threats and destruction of property. Consequently, the driver of the DCE was severely beaten and people loyal to the Constituency Chairman also seized the official vehicle of the DCE.

The Chronicle can confirm that the protracted problem still exists, in spite of Mr. Peter Mac Manu's pledge last year to move into resolving the matter.

The Constituency Chairman, Mr. Nubik Mahama Yakubu told the paper on Thursday that the main cause of the problem between him and his colleague executives on one side, and the DCE was that Madam Poyari does not regard them as leaders of the party. He said the DCE had her own people that she wanted to be party executives.

Mr. Yakubu said he and his colleague executives were duly elected and sworn into office by National and regional executives of the party and thus expected the DCE to accord them the necessary respect and cooperation as party leaders in the area but that was not happening.

The Chairman said he had the hope that in future, Madam Poyari would cooperate with them to ensure peace and harmony in the party.

Madam Poyari could not be reached for her comments as calls to her cell phone could not go through.

One other problem, which has attracted the concern of party loyalists in the northern sector of the country is the creation of several camps along the lines of various presidential aspirants of the party.

This has further created cracks in the party up here.

Other constituencies like Salaga, Alhaji Malik Alhassan Yakubu's Yendi, Bimbilla and Karaga have also experienced several internal party conflicts which are yet to be resolved.

Currently, at the Savelugu/ Nanton District, there is a serious problem mounting between the District Chief Executive (DCE), Alhaji Abubakar Atori and the party's Constituency Chairman, Alhaji B. Sulemana. The standoff between the two is said to be traceable to a struggle for the possession of the party's pick-up for the constituency.

An NPP source in the district hinted that the problem started some few months ago when the construction of a jubilee six classroom block and master's bungalow were transferred from Savelugu to Nanton by the DCE, who had earlier announced to build the structure at Savelugu.

The source also indicated that, all efforts to settle the impasse between the two gentlemen by some elders of the area had proven futile since the DCE and the Chairman were all not ready to soften their entrenched stands.

When contacted by a local radio station in Tamale. the DCE. Alhaji Atori asserted that, the problem had been settled between them. and called for peace and unity among members to enable the NPP capture the parliamentary seat from the opposition NDC. He however denied ever seizing the party pick-up truck from the NPP Chairman as was being alleged. According to him, the vehicle was taken from Alhaji Sulemana to be designed with NPP colours.

But the Constituency chairman, Alhaji Sulemana insisted that the DCE actually seized the vehicle and gave it to the Regional Women's Organizer of the party, Hajia Fati who eventually travelled with the vehicle to Kumasi for a conference, and had since not returned it.

The regional secretary told the paper yesterday that most of the problems in the various constituencies in the region had been resolved and added that numerous measures had been put in place to ensure that problems in other areas like Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo, among others are speedily resolved.