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11.05.2004 Regional News

Trouble Looms Over NPP Binduri Primaries

By Chronicle
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Barely two weeks after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Fanteakwa constituency parliamentary primaries was slapped with an injunction to establish the validity of some candidates, a similar scenario is rearing its ugly head at the Binduri constituency in the Bawku East district of the Upper East Region.

Reports emanating from the constituency say there is a growing tension among members over the candidacy of one of the contestants vying for the right to stand as the NPP parliamentary candidate for the 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr. Sebastian Yakubu Bugari, who is a teacher at the Tamale Ghana College, according to some NPP supporters in the area, is not qualified to contest at their party's primaries because he is a stranger in the party.

According to them, Bugari, left the National Democratic Congress (NDC) just around the same time he filed his application to contest for the NPP's 2004 parliamentary ticket.

Although Mr. Bugari could not be reached for his reaction, an official at the party headquarters told The Chronicle on Thursday that he did not know the individual involved but if Bugari were indeed a stranger in the NPP the result of the primaries would speak rather than people creating unnecessary tension at the constituency.

The source said the party is poised to support a candidate that has the potential to win the seat for the party in the coming elections.

However, supporters, who spoke to The Chronicle on Wednesday, said they would rather prefer to rally their support for Mr. Elias A. Binduri, an agriculturist and social worker or Mr. James Ayamba Anaba, also an agriculturist.

Asked why they complained if indeed the primaries would show the popularity of their favorite candidate, the aggrieved supporters said, what had prompted them to come up is the regional and national executives' silence over the issue, despite recommendations from the constituency indicating that Mr. Bugari was not a qualified candidate.

The complainants said the inaction of the regional and national executives was worrisome and that this had affected the schedule date for the primaries.

According to them, should Bugari emerge as the crown winner of the primaries it would create a problem for the NPP, which is bent on wrestling the seat from the NDC.

The Chronicle has also gathered that there were demands from some supporters of Mr. Elias A. Binduri for him to go independent; the reason being that he was deeply involved in raising their living standards. They claimed that Mr. Binduri currently runs an NGO in the constituency for women to go into bee-keeping and that there were other things he was involved in which made them think he is the right person to represent them.

The Binduri constituency is a rural community with its major source of income being agriculture. It has no senior secondary school, but seven junior secondary schools, and about twenty or more primary schools. It currently lacks electricity.