Mass protests greet NPP vetting
The vetting of New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirants in Greater Accra, taking place at the Regional Secretariat of the party, was greeted with protests by angry supporters of some of the aspirants who besieged the venue, expressing one reservation or another. The placard-carrying demonstrators mostly came from Ablekuma North, Okaikoi South and Ayawaso West Wuogon among other areas of the metropolis. As early as 6.00am the demonstrators had taken positions with various inscriptions on the placards.
The Ablekuma North demonstrators were calling for the disqualification of Kofi Ofori, popularly called Bella, who until recently was the constituency chairman. Bella resigned his position to contest the seat being vacated by Kwamena Bartels, Minister of the Interior, who is not seeking re-election after three terms in office. The furious party supporters chanted war songs and threatened to vote “skirt and blouse” should the party executives allow the former constituency chairman to sail through the vetting. They accused Bella of being corrupt and having a questionable character which could dent the image of the party during the December elections.
But the man at the centre of the storm and one-time Chairman of the Ablekuma Sub-Metro, Mr. Ofori, accused Hon. Bartels of masterminding the demonstration against him in order to settle on one of the four other aspirants for the seat. Bella alleged that the incumbent MP held a secret meeting with the other four aspirants in the persons of Dr. Albert Adomako, David Nana Yaw Asare, Isaac Kwakye Gyasi, and Justice Joe Appiah as well as a few other selected party members last Sunday in his office, where he mapped out strategies to thwart his political ambition of representing the constituency in Parliament.
Bella claimed that the demonstrators were not from Ablekuma North and could not recognize him if he passed by them and that they were ferried from other areas to serve Hon. Bartels' interest.
The Constituency Chairman for the area, Charles Amoah Kodom also shared these sentiments, accusing the Interior Minister of orchestrating the demonstration and described the incident as unfortunate and uncalled for. He said the NPP needed people who could unite the party members and that attempts by some to foment trouble in the constituency would not be accepted, adding that it would be proper for anybody who had something against Bella to present it at the vetting and not resort to activities which could disintegrate the party.
Meanwhile the vetting of aspirants for the eight constituencies took place amidst the earlier protests, with most of the expected “hot seats” being the Ayawaso West Wuogon and the Okaikwei North constituencies, where the chairman, John Owusu-Afriyie and others are challenging the incumbent, Elizabeth Sackey. The most anticipated hot seat would be the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, where the incumbent, Hon. Frema Osei Opare, is likely to battle it out with the former NADMO Boss and immediate past MP for the area, George Isaac Amoo and one Abraham Amoakohene. Supporters of Hon Frema Osei were all over the place in her T-shirts to rally support for her.
Vicky Bright, deputy Minister at the Office of the President who had earlier denied nursing ambition for the Okaikoi South seat, is challenging Nana Akomea, Minister for Manpower Development and Employment for the seat, seen as a safe one for the ruling party. Vicky also came with supporters who described her as 'Obaatan Pa', in apparent reference to the sewing machines she reportedly dished to some polling station chairmen.
Source: Daily Guide