Even before NPP congressLegon TESCON protests over alleged bloated register
Just as the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is preparing to go to its national delegates congress, slated for February 27, 2010, issues have started emerging about the list of delegates and institutions being presented by the leadership of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of NPP (NPP), amidst suspicion of possible rigging and vote buying.
One Emmanuel Attafuah, the National Coordinator of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of NPP (TESCON), is being accused by the Presidents of the University of Ghana, Legon and Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) branches of TESCON, Ernest Kumi and Evans Asamoah respectively, of trying to undermine the process of selecting delegates.
According to them, Attafuah is deliberately inserting new names of tertiary institutions which do not even have TESCON branches, such as the Data Link University, Jayee Institute, Ashesi University, Wisconsin University College and the Accra Training College.
In a petition dated January 21, 2010, tabled before the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NPP, the Presidents of the University of Ghana and IPS TESCON branches urged the party to resolve the issue of the bloated list as early as possible, or the matter might take a different dimension.
Meanwhile, the provisions of the recent amendments that enlarged the electoral college of the NPP give every TESCON branch one vote. The fear is that whoever controls the TESCON list can enhance their electoral chances with a bloc vote by the body. In the current tight race for national positions in the NPP, such an advantage could prove devastating to other contestants.
Whilst the petitioners do not disagree with the inclusion of students of the aforementioned institutions in the NPP, they doubt their functionality as TESCON institutions and when they were exactly inaugurated, stressing that “the coordinator can not prove that the institutions have been inaugurated as TESCON branches and whether they are functional.”
They therefore noted that “if in Grater Accra alone, a lot of institutions have falsely been included by the TESCON coordinator, then we suspect same in the other regions.”
This, according to them, is because a competent TESCON coordinator should have an accurate database of all reorganized and functional TESCON institutions in the country, made available to all delegates before the election of the NPP executives, rather than trying to bloat the list and allowing unqualified people to represent and vote as well.
“If this impersonation engineered by the TESCON coordinator should be curbed, then every representative of a recognized and functional TESCON institution should provide a student identification card during for the upcoming elections”, they emphasized.
Attafuah has, however, denied any attempt on his part to bloat the delegates' list and referred this reporter to the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, Mr. John Boadu for the veracity of the case.
In an interview with the paper, Mr. Boadu denied the claim, stressing that it is never true. “The boys are just ignorant; what happened was that if you look at the total list that we have, the list of the total schools that they mentioned were not even included”, he said.
According to him, his attention was brought to the issue at a NEC meeting in the presence of all regional chairmen and their organizers. At the said meeting, the National Youth Organiser of the NPP said they ended up adding more to the list that he had, especially the list of Northern and Upper East of the institutions.
He thus asked rhetorically; “if you are a President in Greater Accra or Legon, how will you know what we have for Enchi Asiamah Nursing College, St. John Bosco and Pusiga Training College? You wouldn't know.
Mr. Boadu, however, said the issue has been resolved and the regional representatives of the institutions have validated the list.
Meanwhile, Chronicle sources can reveal that the temperature in the race for various positions is getting hotter by the hour. Already, contestants are being tagged as belonging to the Nana Addo or Allan factions, with the Chairmanship contest appearing to be a straight fight between Steve Ntim and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey. The General Secretary race is still tight.
Two lawyers, Yaw Buaben-Asamoa and Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as 'Sir John', appear to be neck in neck ahead of the rest, with Buaben-Asamoa appearing to be slightly ahead.