The President H.E Mr J.A. Kufuor recently called for peaceful electioneering, urging all in other political parties to do the same.
We welcome the President's message as peace is something that every Ghanaian is praying for this election year.
On our Part the CPP in its 55th Anniversary message has called for peace in the country, our National Chairman Dr Edmund Delle has repeatedly called for peaceful campaigning and for peaceful elections in December.
The General Secretary of the CPP Prof. Nii Noi Dowuona has at every opportunity at party functions or primaries called for all party members to respect their opponent and to be restrained in their language.
The tensions in the country at the moment however and the threat to peace is largely resulting from the NPP primaries and we would humbly appeal to the President that the time has come for him to direct his thoughts towards unity in his own party.
The appeal that he makes to the country should now firmly be directed at those who are hell bent on causing trouble within the NPP and are raising tensions within constituencies up and down the country in the ongoing selection of Parliamentary candidates.
No sooner had we entered election year 2004 than reports of “NPP Divisions”, “NPP Trouble” , “NPP Strife”, “NPP Tensions”, “NPP Looming Danger” began to emerge from around the country and we wish to bring to the Presidents attention a number of examples which should prompt him to act and act decisively to bring order among his own:
Mrs. Gifty Kusi's , - NPP sitting member of parliament (MP) for the Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency in the Western Region - selection early this year as the unopposed NPP candidate brought a reported “furore among party followers” , with a section of the constituents swearing to resist “the imposition”.
”Mob action” was the result of NPP divisions within the Lower Manya Krobo constituency, at the Liberty Hotel.. “Tempers flared “ with a vote of no confidence in the NPP Regional Chairman Nana Adi Ankama and his entire Executive.
The base of the tension is the simmering wrangling between Messrs Teye and Narh, rivals for the parliamentary candidature.
The rivalry has lead to the use of hundreds of policemen locally in the past, with some volleys of teargas canisters and hundreds of warning shots at the time.
NPP tensions has also surfaced in the Bantama constituency, Kumasi NPP supporters in the Bantama constituency had stormed their own offices over selection irregularities, detaining a local Chairman Mr Anto and forcing him to comply with their demands.
There has been huge tension and acrimony in the selection by the NPP of a parliamentary candidate for the Effutu Constituency in the Central Region, and a Constituency Executive member took Mr Ernest Kweku Yamoah Kufour, the chosen candidate to court .
NPP Youth in the Salaga Constituency, have been fiercely resisting their National and Regional Executives of the Party in what they called an” imposition of Mr Boniface Abubakar Saddique”, Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City.
Mr Braimah Mohammed Joe, NPP Assistant Youth Secretary in the Constituency, did not recognise Mr Saddique as a member of the NPP.
Mr. Prince Kwame Fosu-Adjei, “an aspiring NPP parliamentary candidate” Nkoranza North Constituency reportedly assaulted a member of the campaign team of another NPP candidate, Mr. Kofi Poku – the NPP Youth Organizer. Mr Fosu-Adjei had given his Youth Organiser “slaps in the face” . The Police were brought in to investigate.
In the Kade constituency of the Eastern Region, simmering tension and verbal assaults, the hallmark of rival NPP contestants - Ofosu Asamoah and William Ampem Darko. Each had accused the other of vote buying and even the use of juju had been mentioned.
The Constituency Secretary, S. E. Asafo-Agyei, said the NPP was divided, with rival supporters at each others throat. “We are only praying that this kind of politics will end for us to have a peaceful and united primaries and general elections as usual”, He had said.
A court injunction was used in the NPP Fanteakwa constituency parliamentary primaries with a similar scenario in the Binduri constituency in the Bawku East district of the Upper East Region. There was enormous tension among members over the candidacy Mr. Sebastian Yakubu Bugari.
Six NPP stalwarts in the Gomoa West Constituency of the Central Region were reportedly ready to unleash their macho men on one another before their primaries to the extent that the NPP Gomoa West Constituency Women's Organiser, Miss Grace Okoe, had appealed to the NPP leadership for an urgent primary election, saying that this would “end acrimony and tension, which have characterised the campaign of the supports” of the candidates contesting the primaries. “On a number of occasions some of us have had to hold the supporters in check to prevent them from taking the law into their own hands,” she said.
Even in newly created constituencies the NPP has already began to fight among themselves - Old Tafo constituency, is the newly created Constituency where there has been reports of NPP division among the leadership of the party and aspiring parliamentary candidates.
Whilst it is the democratic right of every citizen to contest a parliamentary seat if they so wish, respect for opponents is something that the CPP has been preaching at every opportunity and with 18 years experience of governing Ghana in the last 50 years we would humbly ask the President to bring order and unity to his Party for the sake of our democracy.
Long Live Ghana's Democracy!!!!!! Long Live Ghana!!!!
Nii Armah Akomfrah
Chairman- CPP UK