09.09.2004 PPP News

Ato Quarshie's Supporters Defect to Nduom's Camp

By The Independent
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Signals picked from the Elmina township even before Energy Minister, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom launched his campaign for the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) seat, suggest that his strategy of "all-inclusiveness" has attracted supporters of incumbent Dr. Ato Quarshie of the NDC.

This was manifested in the presence of a number supporters of other political parties, especially the NDC supporters at the Benya Lagoon Landing Bay at Elmina even before Dr. Nduom launched his bid for the KEEA seat to offer their unflinching support.

Although Dr. Nduom's abortive bid for the KEEA seat in 2000 came under circumstances that can be described as bizarre, The Independent picked from the rally ground that the man who torpedoed Nduom's ambition with all manner of tricks including intimidation, one Mohammed Alhassan, a hard core loyalist of NDC's Dr. Ato Quarshie is now the main man leading the NDC defectors to the camp of Dr. Nduom.

Alhassan together with other NDC activists, who The Independent gathered, managed all three success stories of Dr. Ato Quarshie in all the three parliamentary elections from 1992 openly campaigned and hailed the all-inclusive approach of the Energy Minister.

In an interview, Alhassan admitted that he and other NDC activists went every length possible for Dr. Nduom to lose the KEEA seat in the 2000 elections.

He said in some instances, he chased out the campaign team of Dr. Nduom, especially at his (Alhassan's) Kissi home base in the Abrem area of the KEEA Constituency.

People (supporters of Dr. Nduom) who defied the threats of his group, Alhassan said, were manhandled by his (Alhassan's) boys, adding that on the day of voting, some polling agents of Dr. Nduom who were so scared could not come near the ballot boxes when counting began for fear of reprisal from his men.

Alhassan, whose tentacles were virtually spread to every nook and cranny of the KEEA Constituency, we found out, especially at Ampenyi and other villages in the Constituency, where Dr. Nduom performed badly in the 2000 elections.

In these areas too, the looming threat of Alhassan and his gang again warded off all potential Nduom supporters, who our investigations established refused to vote or decided to retire to their bases without bothering to keep vigil on the voting pattern.

But today Alhassan is all for Dr. Nduom.

According to Alhassan, he and his people have vowed to deliver the KEEA seat to the Energy Minister "because of his good works since he took up a ministerial position in the NPP government".

"He has shown a lot of concern for we the ordinary people in the KEEA constituency by helping most of us to get jobs. He has also helped fisher-folks a lot and we think he is the person that we really need for the KEEA seat", Alhassan confirmed.

The Independent also found out from Alhassan and his group that the intention of the NDC to elect a new candidate for the KEEA seat would not wash.

This is because in their opinion, Dr. Ato Quarshie's non-performance is likely to rub negatively on any other candidate to be put up by the NDC for the KEEA seat.

Others who The Independent talked to, opined that Dr. Nduom did a yeoman's job whilst he served as Minister of Regional Integration and Economic Planning where most fisher folks in the KEEA Constituency and other part of the country benefited from the Poverty Alleviation fund.

On Ato Arthur, the District Chief Executive (DCE) who is likely to win the NPP primaries to contest on the ticket of the NPP for the KEEA seat, many indigenes said, he currently has no clout to contest somebody of the calibre of Dr. Nduom.

They therefore advised him to step down together with another contestant in the NPP primaries, Howard Manso, "because they both have no chance of defeating Dr. Nduom".

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