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19.08.2004 NPP News

Lies, sabotage rock Biakoye NPP

By Chronicle
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Weeks after historic primaries at Kwamekrom

*As party gurus look on 'lamely'

The name is Biakoye, and it is supposed to instill some unity and oneness among the people of the five or so traditional areas in that half of the Jasikan district. But in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the area, the opposite is the case.

For pre and post primary election developments in the party at the constituency, coupled with findings unearthed by 'The Chronicle' go to suggest strongly the fears of many political observers that gluttony and perpetual bitterness could surely be the inherent characteristics of some aspirants, at least on the African continent.

And in the NPP, fallouts from the June 22nd hectic primaries that saw the Volta regional minister, Hon. Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, winning as the parliamentary candidate for the December elections, the latest of which was a press statement organized by the loser of that primaries, Edward Collins Boateng, executive secretary of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), in far away Accra, and followed by numerous radio interviews, sent this reporter to town on a fact finding mission.

The starling revelations there from paint a gloomy picture that can simply be described as dangerous lies and mischievous sabotage, being linked even to the already sensitive 80-year old Nkonya-Alavanyo land conflict.

And while the cocktails of lies were being brewed over and over in the constituency and region for the layman's consumption, party 'big shots' appeared helpless as political self-seekers had their fields day and are bent on sending the whole country on a collision course.

For instance, long before Boateng's press conference, the region was rife with rumours in the party and among delegates to the effect that, not only was the minister anti-Nkonya, but also that he was a solicitor to the Alavanyo faction of the conflict when he was practicing as a lawyer, and was therefore 'not fit' for Nkonya votes. It was even stretched further to say that his wife was an Alavanyo woman, and had the natural bias towards his 'in-laws'.

'Tha Chronicle' can now say for the records that Yeboah's wife hails from Apesokubi, and is the Gyaasehemaa of the Apesokubi traditional area. Her stool name is Nana Dwiraa II, but her maiden name was Ernestina Ama Asante. She is a professional nurse, but is not actively practicing at the moment. The last time this reporter called her phone, she was even away to her hometown, Apesokubi, which lies along the northern fringes of Jasikan district and much more closer to Kadjebi-Asato than Alavanyo.

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), which delves into the family backgrounds of the president's nominees, long before they get appointed, surely has these facts; since it is believed it did its work well at the time.

Ant when it came to the facts of the matter concerning who was the lawyer to the various factions in the conflict, the Alavanyo people have told the wide world their side of the story.

For, at a press conference in Ho ten days ago, the secretary to the traditional advisory council, Mr. W.K. Kpende, who said they had heard all the allegations, described them as 'wicked and malicious'.

Debunking all the allegations in the presence of the Paramount Chief of the area, Togbega Tsedze Atakora VII, and other high-ranking traditional leaders, the secretary stressed: “We view that the on-going allegations and accusations are a ploy to undermine the noble moves being made by the minister to settle the over 80 years old conflict.

If people have any scores to settle with the regional minister, let them do so outside the conflict”.

Kpende argued that the accusations had political flavours, and advised that those with their own hidden agenda, like Yeboah's opponents in the NPP camp in the Biakoye Constituency, should better go and 'adopt a more mature strategy, for no true statesman can enjoy fanning the unfortunate conflict between us and our brothers'.

Apart from that, the issue of who actually was counsel for any party throughout the dozens of hearings since 1923, is a verifiable matter at the registries of the courts concerned, and should not have been of any headache to any serious political or historical researcher.

But while all these remained rumours, whose sources were unofficial before the primaries, the recent press conference by the embattled GEPC boss that his arch supporter, and former constituency chairman of the NPP was banished from Kwamikrom by the chief of the town, Nana Siki II, because he supported him (Boateng) in the race is nothing but a shameless lie, the paper can say.

This is because; while the press conference was being discussed on radio in the national capital, the alleged victim, Senanu Agbenator, whose 'banishment' allegedly heightened tension in the town, was relaxing in Kwamekrom, this paper can again say.

A wireless message from the Jasikan district on the matter, spotted by yours truly, painted a security picture that was diametrically opposite to the contents of the conference as broadcast to the world.

The message, signed by the district-coordinating director (DCD), Mr. Omar, and dated 6th August 2004, some 24 hours after the conference, was an independent investigation into the allegation, and came on the orders of the chief executive, Solomon Donkor. The findings of a two-man team to the area described Boateng's allegations as 'an evil hoax'. Period.

According to the report, which is in the paper's possession, the DCD and the chief of Bowiri divisional area, Nana Salo, rushed to Kwamekrom, and surprisingly, they met both Agbenotor, who was allegedly banished, and the Kwamekrom chief, separately going about their normal duties.

“Interactions with Mr. Agbenotor and the chief of Kwamikrom did not show that there was tension in the town. There is absolute peace in the town. Reports of tension in Kwamikrom is just an evil hoax”, it revealed.

This now brings to mind whether Agbenotor was paraded before newsmen and allowed to also address the press conference in Accra, and if not, why? On the issue that the minister was not able to handle the conflict professionally, Yeboah retorted: “I don't get what he wants to say. And I doubt if he understands what he is talking about. Maybe he wants to use the word 'competently', and he ignorantly said professionally. But at any rate, it is an indictment against the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), whose members are bringing their profession to bear in handling the situation”.

“Is he questioning the competence of the Army, Police, BNI and other professional security people? He seems to have absolutely no working knowledge and understanding of the maintenance of security in a conflict area, and doesn't know the mandate and limitations of REGSEC”, he continued.

He said if he had the power and influence to get his opponents banished from the constituency, it would have been wiser for him to do so ahead of the primaries, and not after he had won the elections, and would surely need the votes and support of people like Agbenotor in the December elections.

On the journey so far in brokering peace in the area, 'The Chronicle' has documentary proof of REGSEC's positive moves, and the cooperation of members of parliament (MP's) and chiefs in the area, to settle the matter once and for all.

On Thursday 22nd April, REGSEC decided to initiate immediate actions leading to the setting up of committees to resolve the conflict. And subsequently, Hon. Kwabena Adjei, within a matter of five days, 27th April, held consultations with the chiefs and elders of Nkonya traditional area, and reported back with word on their willingness to participate and cooperate.

Then on the 5th of May, Torgbega Tsedze Atakora VII, Fiaga of Alavanyo, Togbe Yao Asigbalo V, Dufia of Alavanyo Wudidi, and Togbe Kojo Petekwatsi V, Dufia of Alavanyo Dzogbedze, unanimously wrote to the regional coordinating council, to support announce their support to the noble idea. This eventually led to the formation of the Consultative and Resolution Committees in June this year.

“If these moves are not competent and professional enough, then it is unfortunate. And if they think they are undermining me personally, they should remember they are also undermining the government and party too”, he concluded.

This is the intra-NPP politics in Biakoye, where old wounds never heal, even months after a mere primaries and weeks to a general election. There is also the full origin of an existing bad blood between the minister and the Jasikan DCE. This reporter has spoken to both of them, and interesting findings that border on tribal politics and alleged bribery are popping up. Who is deceiving the world?

Meanwhile, the paper is also gathering dossiers on the alleged death of a 'juju man', just days after the historic primaries at Kwamikrom. Two video clips spotted him being smuggled into the Church of Pentecost hall, where only accredited delegates and officials were to be present. The security men on duty would not allow him in because he was not a guest. There was a scuffle.

The rest is now being confirmed from the Hohoe district hospital, to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Stay tuned, as more chilling news unfold, because the Biakoye NPP, would, contrary to the meaning of the name of the constituency, fail to unite. More lies, more sabotage ahead.