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16.05.2007 General News

Minister turns party office into his surgery

By myjoyonline
A cease fire workshop dubbed "Knowing Your Constituency For Better Teamwork" organised by the Greater Accra regional executive of the New Patriotic Party on April 28 this year at the Trade Fair Centre may have stemmed the tension that was otherwise mounting in the region.

The Heritage newspaper says though the purpose of the workshop was to thrash out all scuffles among feuding factions, all was not well with the Ablekuma North constituency branch of the party. The party office which was originally painted in NPP colours with the name of the constituency boldly written on it was repainted about a week ago with the old inscription being replaced with a new message: Ablekuma North MP's Office.

The paper said when it contacted the constituency chairman, Kofi Ofori aka Bella last Saturday in a telephone interview, he expressed shock at what had actually happened. “According to him, the issue came to his notice when a member of the party called to enquire about the sudden change. He said he initially did not believe it until he went and saw it himself.”

Accordingly he has authorized his secretary to write officially to the regional executives for explanation. Until then, he said he would not make any official comment.

The party rented the Ablekuma North office in 1996 when it was in opposition. Before acquiring the office at Kwashieman, the constituency executives used to meet in a storey building adjacent to the Gloryland Hotel which was donated by one John Brown, a dye-in-the-wool follower of the Danquah-Busia tradition. But, after the party's defeat in the 1992 election, some NDC miscreants went and vandalized the place, hence the need to move to a new place.

The current MP for the area and Minister of Information and Orientation, Kwamena Bartels who was then the constituency parliamentary aspirant went to the aid of the party to rent the new office. But recent developments in the party have brought divisions in it with four out of the ten constituency executives supporting the MP, whereas the other six seem to be in the camp of the Chairman Kofi Ofori.

The paper said it gathered that the Information Minister may not contest at the constituency primary again after his tenure. Should that happen the race to succeed him would predictably be a very widely open one. This kind of anticipation has made the chairman to express his interest in the race.

However, information available indicates that the MP is nurturing his brother-in-law to replace him; rather than the constituency chairman, one of the main causes of the bad blood between him and the chairman.

When the Information and National Orientation Minister was called, yesterday, he said he wanted to use the place as his surgery where he could easily meet his party members and have interaction with them.

He explained that he would have loved to have a separate office for himself as well as another for the constituency but it all boils down to funds. He said he had been paying the rent from 1996 when the party moved its office from the Gloryland area to a new site on the Odorkor Kwashieman road.

Source: The Heritage