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Regional News | Apr 20, 2004

Manya Krobo NDC Rift Deepens

Ghanaian Chronicle

Barely two months after a latent crack within the hierarchy of the Lower Manya Krobo constituency of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had caught media attention, The Chronicle can say authoritatively that the political shoulder rubbing in the party there is far from over, and may not be settled behind closed doors.

In fact, as at last Sunday, it had become obvious that what the paper noted and published some weeks ago that the fans on the political stands in the party might be getting restless with what they saw as 'a monotonous game plan', was fast becoming a reality.

The call to field fresh limbs in the political game, which started in a classroom at Asite, near Odumase Krobo, last month, had now spread to various parts of the constituency. And from Asite, Kpong, Lolonyo, Berle Korpe through to Akuse, the 'new new scent' seemed to be catching up fast.

This reporter bumped into one such meeting on April 4, this year, aimed at preparing the grounds to stop the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Mr. Michael Teye Nyaunu's third parliamentary bid for the West Kpong electoral area and noted with dismay that the campaign team of his current unofficial opponent, Mr. Ebenezer Tetteh Angmor, had continued to swell by the day and was now far larger than the size in our last story on the political temperature there.

Still led by Joseph Narh Kwablah (alias 'No Problem'), a former constituency chairman, the team now included Kotoka, Zazak, Masa Awudu, Justina Quarshie, in addition to old horses like Nomo Gbertey, Hevi, Ayertey Osino, Major (Rtd) Ted Tetteh and the Sackitey sisters, who now prefered to pull the strings from the touchlines for a change in strategy.

Addressing the large gathering at the forecourt of the community headman's residence, 'No Problem' explained to members why there was the need for change this time if they could make the necessary impact in the constituency.

He said after two terms in parliament, Nyaunu looked evidently tired and badly needed immediate replacement to accelerate the tempo of the game, or spell doom for the party. Apart from that, he said the MP's relationship with traditional authority had now faded to an all time low due to pride, and added that only a replacement would save things for the party.

Asked whether they were not violating the party's constitution by presenting another candidate at this stage of affairs, he said 'No Problem,' his team was on course.

According to him, he had no case to answer at the regional and national levels of the party, except that things were not going on well in the constituency, and he wanted them done properly.

"My brother, the last time Professor Mills toured the region, I was among the team that met him and took him round with Ohene Kena, Ampofo and others. There is no personal vendetta here.

It is just a political game and I want everyone to see it as such," said Kwablah.

He recalled how in an attempt to discuss a constituency rift some time ago, Mr. Wisdom Tsatsu, alias 'Satchimo' of the MP's camp, insulted them in the presence of E.T.Mensah and other party gurus with impunity.

"That was why we filed a suit at the Koforidua High Court to restrain the leadership from doing the wrong things again. But later, respectable people like Kwame Peprah, Kofi Attor (Ho Central), Obed Asamoah (national chairman) and Kweku Baah, (party's lawyer) called us and pleaded with us for a discontinuation of the suit", he disclosed, and hinted further that it was the same leadership that gave them the go-ahead to look around for a marketable person to compete with the incumbent in a primary election.

When The Chronicle contacted the aspirant, E.T.Angmor, after the well-attended meeting on why he joined the fray, he explained that he felt after two terms, the MP could not fulfill his own campaign promises, let alone meet the other aspirations of his rural constituents.

The 53-year old Tema-based businessman said he would tackle the needs of the rural folk in the areas of education, health, roads and sanitation if he was given the mandate to serve his people in parliament. He talked also about he fact that the constituency lacked telephones (Ghana Telecom), potable water and electricity.

"Nyaunu has failed the people. He has failed to deliver on his promises, and the people are more frustrated. I have come to bail him out of more trouble because he (MP) is tired. That is the message I get wherever I go," said the confident-looking business man.

A week later, the campaign train moved to Akuse for an even bigger meeting with delegates and members for the same cause. One participant whispered to this reporter that many of the delegates had shown interest in Angmor's message, and were rallying behind him. Beside, the paper had wind that on picnic day (last Monday), more frantic moves were made to expand the support base of what started as the 'rebel faction' within the party, but now seemed to be gaining legitimacy. The team hoped to shake Kpong Central this Sunday, according to reliable sources.

Even though a date has not yet been fixed for the primaries, speculations are that, forms had begun going round in other places for aspirants to file nominations and officially join the race.

In the case of Lower Manya Krobo, the selection of delegates to choose a parliamentary candidate was still on going, and all the skirmishes going on were seen by political observers as mere warm-up exercises.

What they could not predict was whether 'Maradona' would be able to do his usual dribbling this time around, as he still had a minimum of two more 'defenders' to beat before shooting at goal.

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