A DISPUTE over who has direct control and ownership of the Old Tafo National Democratic Congress (NDC) constituency office in Kumasi has led to its closure. The office has remained closed to party activists since August 8, this year, pending the resolution of the impasse between the Regional Party chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Nti Fordjour and Alhaji Ballah Danjumma, a founding member of the party, who are claiming ownership and responsibility for running the office.
Alhaji Ballah put the office under lock and key to press home his demand for a refund and dared the regional chairman to substantiate his claim of ownership.
The transport owner financier of the party claims he single-handedly put up the constituency office in 1996 at the cost of ¢7 million.
According to him, when the said office was allegedly burnt down by New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in November 1996 which led to the death of Emmanuel Kofi Grukpone, he further renovated it at the cost of ¢4 million.
To date, the party has not made any efforts to pay the cost of renovation in spite of several demands.
Alhaji Ballah accused the regional chairman, described as a self-conceited leader, of running the party into a ditch.
He alleged that the regional chairman was using Alhaji Sanni Mohammed, Alhaji Sofo and Alhaji Osman Boakye of the Regional Secretariat to champion his interest.
The chairman is said to have dissolved constituency executives and formed a new Interim Management Committee under the chairmanship of Alhaji Osman Boakye, a member of the Regional Executive Committee with the pretext of imposing one King Naparo on the constituency as chairman.
The Chronicle has gathered that Naparo who claims to have paid about ¢3 million to the regional chairman, is bent on becoming the chairman of the newly created Tafo constituency for the party and that nothing would stop him from this bid.
Nti Fordjour is also reported to have ignored the report of Mr. A.Y. Kusi's Interim Constituency Executive Committee (ICEC) in order to impose a parliamentary candidate in the person of Mr. Salim Ibrahim, a semi-literate (Primary six leaver) and an Assemblyman of the Afia Kobi electoral area as the parliamentary candidate for the Tafo Constituency.
Chairman Nti Fordjour endorsed Ibrahim's candidature, according to the nomination form sighted by The Chronicle.
Alhaji Ballah believes the impasse could threaten the front of the party since the rank and file was currently divided over the issue.
He frowned on the candidature of Ibrahim, saying the action was a direct sell out of the Tafo seat to the NPP.
Reacting to Alhaji Ballah's claim that he renovated that office at the cost of ¢4 million, Chairman Nti Fordjour said the party footed the bill for the reconstruction of the Old Tafo office when it was burnt down in 1996.
According to him, a total of ¢4.5 million had been sunk into the rehabilitation through the then constituency chairman, one Mr. Banahene.
He recalled that while the reconstruction work was at the lintel level, Alhaji Ballah had approached him to be allowed to continue the project on the basis that he had built the office initially, but he was not allowed.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Mobisquad Group, Uthman Nazir Hamza has called on the National Chairman of the party to resolve the impasse to save the party from further collapse.