Storm over NPP primaries
....Protestors besiege party hq.
Accra, July 20, Chronicle - The National Headquarters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was yesterday the scene of another demonstration by party supporters in the run-up to constituency primaries in the Greater Accra region for the selection of parliamentary candidates for the December elections.
After last week's protest by a section of the party's rank and file, which appeared directed against the incumbent MP for the Odododiodioo constituency, Mr. Reginald Niibi Ayi-Bonte, another group, this time supporting the MP, took their turn and presented a petition that demanded that Mr. Ayi-Bonte be proclaimed the constituency's candidate without a contest
Presenting their petition to the National Youth Secretary, Mr. Isaac Asiamah who received it on behalf of the party executives, Mr. Adjaidoo Amarteifio, the spokesman for the demonstrators, called for nullification of the candidatures of Dr. Nii Okine Hammond and Nii Laryea Squire in the up-coming primaries of the constituency.
According to them, the two aspiring candidates did not qualify to contest the seat on the basis that they joined the party and picked their party cards only a couple of months ago contrary to the party's constitution. The constitution states: “ People who stand for primaries should be active and well known in the constituency for two years”.
“It will be unfair for the party to allow these two individuals to contest. How can somebody who picked a card in March, this year apart from not playing any active role and not known in the constituency, be allowed to contest in the primaries?
“Mr. Laryea Squire who sits in front of the door of the constituency meeting grounds only to chat has never attended the party's meeting until April 2004, when he decided to contest the primary.
“In the case of Dr. Hammond, he returned to the country last year and had his identity card of the party done in March 2004, when he decided to contest the primary”, the petition stated.
Receiving the petition, Mr. Asiamah said it was good for democracy for people to be allowed to express their grievances. He promised to pass on their complaints to the executives who are currently in Sunyani for the training of the party's polling station officials.
“I will let the appropriate party authorities have it and work on it”, he added.
Mr. Omane Quaye, one of the demonstrators told The Chronicle that some national executives of the party, for their “parochial interest” were bent on destroying the youth, who they perceived as threat to their political ambitions.
“If you manipulate to have Niibi removed, we will help the NPP to lose,” he threatened.
Some elderly supporters said contrary to what some constituency executives have told them, they thought the MP had achieved a lot for the constituency.
When asked whom they would vote for, they said if all the three qualified to contest, Niibi should be given the nod.
They recalled that when the former MP, Nii Okaija Adamafio appeared “invisible”, all these aspirants were around and never participated in any party activity for fear of losing their jobs.