In order to resolve the consistent agitations by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) foot soldiers over what they consider as neglect, the foot soldiers have now formed an association, which would venture into the distribution of foodstuff.
The association, Foot Soldiers Welfare Association, intends to use its networks throughout the country to ensure an equitable distribution of foodstuff to all the regions in the country.
Speaking to The Chronicle in an interview, the Founder and Chairman of the association, Mr. Eddie Teye, said the main reason for the formation of the association was that the foot soldiers of the party were dissatisfied because it appeared that they had been abandoned after putting their energies and resources together to help in propelling the party to come into government.
Mr. Teye, former Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of NPP, told the paper: "We would bring down foodstuff from the producing areas to the cities and towns where they are urgently needed, instead of leaving them to rot on the farms where they are produced and cannot be carted to the cities and towns."
He was emphatic that in the long run, they would make it possible to bring the prices of food stuffs down to reasonably tolerable levels.
Mr. Teye said due to their pledge to assist the NPP government to implement all its goals and programmes, they intend to supplement the government's efforts to give every able-bodied Ghanaian three meals daily.
He disclosed that they had obtained sponsors to provide them with sound financial assistance.
"We have foreign sponsors who are willing to assist us carry out this venture in the interest of the people of Ghana," Mr. Teye said.
Differentiating the association from groups outlawed by the national leadership of the party recently, the Founder said the association's members do not hold any executive positions within the party.
Asked to elaborate on how the system would operate, Mr. Teye said every Association Coordinator would be in charge of one shop in his area of operation.
He said for now they have identified and targeted the northern regions and Brong Ahafo Region as the potential centres for distribution.
He explained further that these regions had been selected as the source because most of the time, farmers in these regions could not afford to cart their foodstuffs to urban markets to sell and therefore have no choice than to leave them to rot on the farms.
Asked why the Association had not yet been launched, he explained that membership was still being collated and immediately that was completed, the Association would be launched, intimating that it was in its 11th weekly meeting.
Mr. Teye expressed optimism at the Association's success in the venture because it was picking its ideas from the Workers Brigade concept that pertained during the CPP era, and a related programme during Prime Minister K. A. Busia's era, to assist the government.
He appealed to the NPP Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) to assist the association with any possible means to enable them win the forthcoming national elections in 2008.
Mr. Teye assured the party executives that the foot soldiers, who meet on Wednesdays at Asylum Down in Accra, do not have any intention of deserting the party to join any other party in spite of their grievances.
Asked about what sacrifices he had made to the party in the past as a foot soldier, Mr. Teye showed The Chronicle an introductory letter of March 1, 1999 from Tourism and Diasporan Relations Minister Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, then National Campaign Manager of the party, with which he said he sourced for a lot of support for the party.
He concluded that they had the conviction that their mother party, NPP would win about 70% of the total votes in the 2008 elections.