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30.08.2004 Politics

Asikuma Odoben Brakwa To Vote "skirt and blouse"

By Chronicle
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Supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Asikuma Odoben Brakwa have vowed to vote "skirt and blouse" because of the behaviour and the utterances of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Peter Collins Appiah Ofori, who has won the primary to contest on the ticket of the party for the second time.

A random sampling conducted among the people from various towns and villages in the constituency last week by The Chronicle indicated that they would vote for President Kufuor in the presidential slot and vote for the NDC parliamentary candidate in the area. This is what they meant by "skirt and blouse" votes.

The reasons to vote against the MP were that he was a litigant having disputes with the Omanhene of the Asikuma traditional area, the Rural Bank Manager and Chief Gyamera as well as the District Assembly.

He is also said to have once taken the party to court, a move that goes contrary to party's constitution that could have okayed his sanction.

Besides that, Appiah Ofori was said to be launching a series of criticism on various programmes and policies of the government, paving the way for the NDC to use them as weapons against the party during campaigns instead of explaining them to the people.

For example, he has been in the forefront in campaigning against the adoption of HIPC initiative, and the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The last straw which broke the camel's back was his recent advice to the farmers in the constituency during the primary held on August 23, this year at Breman Asikuma, where he called on them to invest in pepper production which was more profitable than cocoa cultivation that was said to have been aired on Obuoba FM, a local radio station based at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region, and Happy FM also based in Accra last Friday.

As if these were not enough, the MP had launched another attack on the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Sampson Kwame Anfako, calling on President Kufuor to sack him because he was incompetent and greedy, stressing that the party stands the risk of losing the seat to NDC.

But Anfako told the paper in an interview that the MP had realised that he was going to lose the seat since he was a spent force.

For the past three years, he said, Appiah Ofori had never set foot in the constituency and, looking at his dwindling supporting base, he wanted to shift blame to him.

According to the DCE, President Kufuor already knew of the work he had done in the area and would treat the call from the MP as naïve.

He regretted that the MP had adopted rough tactics to thwart government's effort of increasing cocoa production in the country, which a colossal amount of ¢400 billion had been earmarked for this year's mass spraying exercise.

"Instead of Appiah Ofori reconciling with all the supporters so as to strategise to win the seat again, he is going round peddling falsehood," Anfako intimated.

The immediate past constituency chairman, Mr. Mathew Anan, blamed the national executives for allowing the MP to contest for the primary after they had made several complaints about his behaviour.

Mr. Anan alleged that Mr. Appiah Ofori had confided in some of the polling station chairmen who met at his residence at Breman Asikuma that he could have dashed out more money to them but for the ¢30million each he had paid to Mr. Haruna Esseku, the NPP National Chairman, and Mr. R. R. Amponsah, a leading member of the party. Another leading member of party told the paper that Appiah Ofori had become a liability to the party and called for the President's intervention, else the seat would slip to the NDC. Attempts by this reporter to reach the MP on his cellular phone proved futile.