- Popular party man throws down gauntlet
The former NPP member of Parliament for Ahanta West, Rev S.K. Kwofie has said that President Kufuor's unfulfilled promise to him coupled with the conduct of the party's regional and the constituency executives is what has compelled him to contest the seat as an independent candidate for the coming elections.
He said that when Kufuor was contesting the 2000 elections as a Presidential candidate of the NPP, he made him a promise in the presence of Papa Owusu Ankomah, Gladys Asmah, Hon. Samuel Jonfia, the incumbent MP and others that if he won the elections he would give him an appointment.
He said this promise was made when the then candidate Kufuor visited the constituency.
Speaking to Goodnews FM, a leading radio station in Takoradi last Thursday, Rev Kwofie said President Kufuor made the pledge to him after making it clear to him that he was a better candidate than the incumbent MP who beat him at the primaries.
According to him, after the NPP won the elections he went to of his promise to him. He said he later followed up with another visit to him at the Osu Castle to once again remind him.
Rev Kwofie further told his host, Kwesi Essel that when he was not hearing anything from the president, he sent yet another reminder this time through EMS to him but the president would still not listen to him.
He suspected that some of the party executives might have been behind the action of the president but did not mention any name.
The former MP said to make matters worse, the constituency executives of the party also decided not to invite him to any of their meetings even though he had financed the party in the constituency when they were struggling in the opposition from his meager salary as an MP.
According to him, after the regional and the constituency executives ignored all his protests about the bad treatment being meted out to him, he decided to attend a meeting one day without any official invitation. He said to his surprise the party executives asked him about the one who invited him to the meeting.
The former MP noted that the behavior of the party executives made him to believe that there was a conspiracy against him so he began to have a second thought about his relations with the party he had served since 1969.
Asked why he did not go for the party forms to fill and contest the primaries, he said he decided not to go because he had already been barred from attending party meetings for no apparent reason and would therefore not be welcomed even if he had made the attempt to collect the forms.
He said for now, no amount of persuasive words would compel him to rescind his decision to contest as an independent candidate and that if president Kufuor himself approached him he would not listen to him because he gave him enough time to fulfill his promise but he failed to do so adding "it is now too late".
According to him he had heard that the regional executives of the party were contemplating of dragging him to court but he was still not bothered since he knew what he was doing.
He alleged that several attempts both spiritual and physical had been made on his life when he decided to contest the seat as an independent candidate but with the help of God he was still alive and conducting his campaign which he was financing from his own savings.
Asked which of the presidential candidate he would ask his supporters to vote for, he mentioned President Kufuor whom he said he still loves because his refusal to give him any appointment was motivated by his own party people "Kufuor nie, Kwofie nie, asieho" he told his host with the latter slogan being the fact that he would be the last candidate on the ballot paper of the parliamentary candidates in the constituency.
Rev Kwofie who won the same seat in 1996 for NPP by securing 40% of the votes said he was going to win again because his support cut across the entire constituency.
Besides this, he also has the support of the chiefs in the area including the churches. The aspiring MP is currently the private secretary for the Ahantahene, the paramount chief for the Ahanta people.
When contacted to react to some of the allegations made by the former MP, the regional party chairman, Peter Mac Manu only wished the aspiring MP well and refused to make further comments.
Mac, however said the window of opportunity was still there for those who have decided to contest as independent candidates to rescind their decisions and come back to the party. He said after some time the window would be closed- meaning the candidates have dismissed themselves from the party.