... As High Commissioner to India's candidature brings division
The NPP branch of the newly-created Dome-Kwabenya constituency in Accra suffered a heavy blow over the weekend when hundreds of its registered members defected to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) citing lack of transparency in the party.
This came to light when the NDC aspiring Member of Parliament for the constituency Mr. Isaac Adama (aka junior JJ) formally launched his campaign dubbed “Dome-Kwabenya for NDC 2004”, which took the form of a float to communities such as Kwabenya, Haatso, Agbogba, Atomic-Junction, Dome, Ashongman Estates and Pillar 2.
Among the procession were some 23 NPP members, holding their party cards, who said they defected to the NDC because Professor Mike Ocquaye, the NPP parliamentary candidate was imposed on them and above all he had deserted the party to his base in India.
Professor Ocquaye who is Ghana's High Commissioner to India was said to have flown back to India immediately he won the primary.
At Dome, Pillar 2 and Ashongman Estates there were more than 100 members of the NPP who said they had left the party because they were disenchanted with the way Professor Ocquaye was chosen as the party's parliamentary candidate.
Prominent among the defectors were the Kwabenya ward chairman, Mr. Kwame Kyeremanten and the Ashongman Estate ward secretary, Prosper Kojo.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Adama welcomed the defectors and told them that the NDC stood for the common man, therefore, no one was discriminated against.
He said a recent survey conducted by a private research company in the constituency showed that of the nine communities in the constituency the NDC has got about 80% support in eight with the exception of Taifa where the NPP has its support base.
He named the communities where NDC has its support as Dome, Pillar 2, Ashongman Kwabenya, Agbogba, Ashongman Estate and Atomic-Junction, and said come December 7, the NDC would win the seat “at all costs”.
He, however, urged members of the constituency not to be complacent but work hard for total victory in both the parliamentary and presidential elections.
A top functionary at the NPP headquarters admitted that there were divisions within the constituency but added that the party was mapping out a strategy to win the seat.
The source explained that there were similar problems in other constituencies and the party had commissioned a survey in one constituency in the Ashanti region to be used to strategize for Dome-Kwabenya and the other problem areas.