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20.07.2004 Politics

Tribal Politics Rock Ruling Party

By Chronicle
Tribal Politics Rock Ruling Party
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- MP aspirant fires salvoes at Gas - They will keep losing their birth rights Accra, July 20, Chronicle - MR DICKSON YAW Agyei Amankwah, an NPP aspiring parliamentary candidate for Okaikoi North Constituency and Special Assistant to the Mayor of Accra is alleged to have said that Gas would continue to be in servitude to strangers in the land of their birth.

Amankwah and his supporters did not spare the sitting MP for the constituency, Mr. Joseph Darko Mensah, whom they described as “a political lame duck”.

“If they care to know and to whom it may concern, Hon Joseph Darko Mensah can best be described as a political lame duck,” they were quoted as saying in a petition to the party authorities. They also allegedly wrote: “the natives (Gas) will continue to lose their so called right of political representation in the land of their birth to the so called strangers as long as they continue to remain that 'arm-strong' with clenched fists.”

The petition was in reaction to another filed against Amankwah about his residential status at the constituency by a section of the party faithful.

The Chronicle learnt that after filing his nomination some party members in the constituency petitioned the party's National Vetting Committee (NVC) against Amankwah over his residential status in the constituency.

Fearing that he might be disqualified, Amankwah allegedly organized some members of the party to write a counter petition for which they managed to woo people to sign a blank paper, which was attached to the petition and sent to the party headquarters. In the petition they allegedly warned that there would be bloodbath should Amankwah be disqualified.

Party insiders questioned the authenticity of some of the signatures that appeared on the petition while some of the signatories have since disassociated themselves from it.

Reacting to the statements attributed to him, Mr. Amankwah, denied that he was behind the petition. He said he had a copy from the polling station chairman for Wise-way at Blemagor Electoral Area, Mr. Francis Bebolm, three days after it had been presented to the party headquarters.

He initially said he did not see any attack on Gas in the petition and asked this reporter to point to him any part of the petition that maligned Gas.

But when the disparaging portion was shown him, Amankwah said he was yet to read the whole text.

He then asked: “which of the petitions are you referring to? There is one which was written in my house that has about 80 signatories and a second one which has 101 signatories.”

“It is nonsense and rubbish for anybody to say I wrote the petition or hid behind some people to write the petition and also say that I have forged the signatures on the petition because I don't need to hide behind anybody to write a petition.

People are prepared to die for me,” he claimed.

According to Amankwah, he was aware of attempts by some people in the constituency to soil his name but said such efforts would not deter him from pursuing his aspirations.

On the allegations that some of the signatures on the petition were forged, he said he knew nothing about it and that it was a ploy to soil his reputation.

He said since The Chronicle had drawn his attention to the alleged tribal sentiments contained in the petition, he was prepared to condemn it if he found such expressions in it. “I have not seen any tribal sentiments in the petition; if indeed what you are saying is found in the petition I would do something about it,” he said.

The Chronicle gathered that in order to avoid any unnecessary legal battle like the Wulensi incident in which an elected MP was disqualified as a result of his residential status, some party members in the constituency petitioned the National Vetting Committee of the party to look carefully into Amankwah residential status in the constituency since he was not known to reside there.

Following the petition, the committee gave Amankwah opportunity to provide the necessary information about his residential status in the constituency but he allegedly mobilized some people to write a petition threatening and accusing some members of the committee of taking them for granted.

The petitioners said it was now becoming clear that certain key elements in the party wanted to introduce tribal sentiments into the parliamentary candidate selection process.

“The Ga caucus in the region has now realized that Okaikoi North belong to the Gas and therefore show its preference for a native Ga to be selected as parliamentary candidate especially Mrs. Elizabeth Sackey,” they stated.

The Chronicle gathered that Amankwah, who had been residing at Gbawe, a suburb of Accra used to operate a communication center and a barbering shop at Nii Boye Town. To legalize his residential status, he had recently put up a two-room house in the constituency.

Meanwhile the constituency executives of the party have disassociated themselves, from the petition and condemned it for its tribal sentiments.

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