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25.02.2009 NDC News

NDC vetting committee under fire..As Zongo, Ewe caucus besiege vetting venue

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MEMBERS OF the National Democratic Congress (NDC) vetting committee tasked to scrutinize prospective applicants for various public positions in the Ashanti Region came under serious attack yesterday when angry supporters of the party besieged the residence of the Ashanti Regional Minister, demanding the immediate withdrawal of certain names from the list of applicants.

Members of the committee were compelled to suspend the process for nearly three hours to engage the irate supporters in verbal battle.

The aggrieved supporters, who claimed to be Zongo and Ewe indigenes, were protesting against the exclusion of their cronies for appointments to various positions in the region, including the KMA, Deputy Regional Ministerial position and government appointees to the Kumasi Metropolis Assembly (KMA).

Members of the committee made up of the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon.Jospeh Yileh Chireh, Mr. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye and the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party, Mr. Daniel Ohene-Agyekum had difficulties dealing with the thick angry crowd, who were raging with fury and threatening to vandalize the residence of the Regional Minister if their buddies were not appointed to certain public positions in the region.

They contended that some of them toiled during times of adversities to ensure the victory of the party but the party hierarchy has sidelined them during consideration for positions.

Some of them also claimed their names had been penciled for persecution if the NPP had won power because of their open support for the NDC.

The supporters alleged that they had information to the effect that some Ashanti conclaves in the party including Mr. Kwame Peprah, P.V.Obeng and Daniel Ohene Agyekum were spearheading the acts of nepotism to get Ashantis selected to key positions in the region.

The angry supporters made particular mention of one Samuel Sarpong, the Regional Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) who reports say is being considered for the position of the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer.

According to them, there were a number of defeated parliamentary candidates in the region who should be considered for the position rather than going for somebody they claimed had not been involved in the course of the party.

They therefore called for the withdrawal of Mr. Sarpong, whom they alleged was being forced to take up the position even though he had personally rejected the offer.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. Doe Tamakloe, has described the actions of the supporters as unjustifiable and accused certain power seekers in the party of being behind the act.

Speaking to The Chronicle in an interview, Mr.Tamakloe debunked the assertion that outsiders were being considered for positions, saying all the names that have come up before the vetting committee were people who are known to be staunch members of the NDC.

He said the fact that some of them did not openly campaign for the party did not mean they did not support the course of the party, arguing that the loyalty of Mr. Sarpong, whose name has generated a lot of controversy, to the ruling party could not be questioned.