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05.02.2009 NDC News

Controversy in Northern NDC Over nomination of Regional Minister

By The Statesman

There has been controversy and rebellion among supporters and sympathisers of the ruling National Democratic Congress in some parts of the Northern Region over the nomination of Stephen Sumani Nayina as the Regional Minister-designate. 

 Since his nomination, Mr. Sumani Nayina has been receiving a lot of bashing from groups and individuals in the party believed to have lobbied for other personalities for the same position but did not receive the favour President John Evans Atta Mills. 

 Interestingly, the attacks have been more intense from the Minister-designate's own people in the Mamprugu area, especially in the Walewale constituency, who think the President has not done any good to the people in the area by nominating Mr Sumani for the position.

They argue that if the President needed somebody from the Mamprugu area, he should have considered a person who had contributed towards the advancement of the party in the area.

 "We do not want Chief Nayina who is not known in the party, and did virtually nothing towards its success. We don"t know him in the party', they insisted.

At a press conference in Walewale in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, some leading members of the NDC petitioned President John Evans Atta Mills and the Appointment Committee of Parliament to take a second look at the nomination of Stephen Sumani Nayina as the Northern Regional Minister because "he is not a party man.'

'We are not advocating for Mamprusis to be given positions. What we are saying is that   all the people who have made a lot of sacrifices, who are party people and have stood firm for the NDC, should be considered for nomination,' they stressed. 

 The leader of the group, Seidu Amin Mallam, stated categorically that Mr. Nayina is not known by the rank and file of the party in the region. 'He is someone who has been missing for a long time. Since 2004 we have not seen him in our campaigns, and most people do not know him.'

Mr. Amin Mallam added that the Northern Regional Minister-designate is also not approachable. 'Mr. Nayina is somebody we cannot send our concerns to, but politics is about the masses, improving our welfare.

And if somebody is not approachable how do you send your concerns to that fellow? That's one of the reasons why we are against his nomination. He doesn"t even know some of us foot soldiers who were doing the door-to- door campaign, and who were helping to finance the party,' Amin Mallam insisted.

The NDC youth fervently rubbished the claims by the MP for Walewale, Alhaji Iddrisu Zakaria, that Mr. Sumani was secretly financing the party, and challenged the MP to come clear on his claim.

Asked whether their actions had been informed by lobbyists for the position of the Northern Regional Minister, the foot soldiers of the NDC, on behalf of the Walewale NDC youth, reiterated that they had not been influenced or manipulated by anybody.

They accused the Minister-designate of not identifying with the traditions and ideals of the NDC. 

Meanwhile, when The Statesman contacted the leadership of the party in the region for their views on the issue, they maintained that the choice of the Northern Regional Minister-designate was at the discretion of the President, in consultation with the party's hierarchy.

Mr. Rashid Tanko, popularly known as 'computer', hinted that Nayina was an executive member of the party in 2004, and to date had remained loyal the party.