'I would not support someone who robbed me' The Unity rally meant to patch the differences between the incumbent Member of Parliament for Wenchi East, Alhaji Moctar Musah Bamba and the parliamentary candidate for the constituency in the forthcoming general elections, Prof. George Gyan-Baffuor, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission has failed, the disgraced incumbent and former deputy chief of staff conspicuously missing at the rally set up to celebrate the peace offensive.
Many members of the party at Wenchi thought that the visit of the President, Mr. J.A. Kufuor to Wenchi recently would have made the "prodigal son" of the President to come back "home", but it was not to be as this rather worsened the situation.
At the day of the President's visit to Wenchi, some supporters, allegedly belonging to Bamba's camp staged a demonstration promising that "no Bamba no Vote.
Following this, the President unleashed some harsh words on the MP, saying Bamba's attitude deserved punishment.
Bamba in an interview with The Chronicle stated rather ironically that he was not a fool for someone to rob him of his post and later turn round to seek his support to win that very position.
"I would not support him (referring to the parliamentary candidate, Prof. Gyan-Baffuor) to win the seat, but for President Kufuor," he told The Chronicle.
According to Alhaji Bamba, the NPP party had cheated him resulting in victory for the Prof. He said that Prof Gyan could not beat him in the primaries adding that the Prof was disqualified during the vetting, but he managed to maneuver to get himself into the race and eventually won. Bamba is sufficiently strong to scuttle the votes and allow another party to slip in to mess up the party's chances.
But later in an interview with the Parliamentary, Candidate Prof. Gyan-Baffuor, he said, "I need the support of Alhaji Bamba to win, because politics deals with numbers and Bamba controls some support from the people in the area, so his assistance would be needed to win the seat."
Alhaji Bamba told The Chronicle that he had advised his supporters not to attend the rally, but according Prof Gyan-Baffuor, most supporters of the MP who was also ex-deputy minister of Presidential Affairs were there to support him.
The Parliamentary Candidate hinted that he is making some in-roads into the Banda and other community in the Zongo, claimed by Bamba that they are his supporters.
He said, " The Imam of the Zongo community conducted the closing prayers of the rally and I can tell you, the Zongo community was there in their numbers".
Prof Gyan-Baffuor told the paper that the Bonos and the Zongo community has no any fracas, because they had stayed together in Wenchi for sometime now and they are all doing things together as one people and therefore Bamba could not divide them.
After the primaries, as revealed to The Chronicle, Prof Gyan-Baffuor was working around the clock to reconcile with Bamba. The parliamentary candidate was optimistic that he and Bamba would come together, before the elections.
On whether the battling MP was still bent on contesting for the seat as independent candidate, Alhaji Bamba would not answer categorically.
The rally itself which was attracted a lot of party supporters from both the Zongo and the Bonos living in Wenchi, the deputy minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said that the current GDP of 5 percent is an indication that the country is heading towards the achievement of the middle-income status.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu observed that the stability of the macro-economy was resulted in the drop in inflation and interest rates.
The deputy finance minister told the rally that the country's decision to opt for HIPC initiative has yielded a lot of results and had put the country on track with a lot physical infrastructures spread all over the country.
The Minister of Ports, Railways and Harbors, Prof Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi urged party supporters to unite in order to win the 2004 general elections.
He advised those who have made their minds that they would not vote should rescind the decision and vote for Prof Gyan-Baffuor as their parliamentary candidate and President Kufuor as President.