Tamale, May 19, GNA - Mr Bismarck Haruna Dari, the acting East Gonja District Chief Executive, on Thursday said he deserved a special award from the NPP for helping the party to win the Salaga seat in the 2004 general election.
He said it was sad and unfortunate that members of the party who were bent on becoming the District Chief Executive wanted to destroy his image to the whole world so that "I will cease to be part of the winning party".
Mr Dari told the GNA in a telephone interview in reaction to a press conference organized by the Northern Region Youth Wing of the NPP last Tuesday at which the youth accused him of being unfaithful to the party. The youth, at the news conference, appealed to President John Agyekum Kufuor not to renew the mandate of the DCE in the interest of the party in Salaga and the region.
They alleged that the DCE, among other things, flouted party directives and openly worked against the party's choice of Alhaji Saddique Abubakar Boniface, the Northern Regional Minister, as its candidate in the parliamentary election for the Salaga seat.
The DCE, they said, organized thugs to the NPP headquarters in Accra to assault the Northern Regional party chairman and the National Youth Organizer.
Mr Dari denied the allegations and explained that he only made a jovial remark at a "Farmers' Day Forum" at Abromase, a village in the East Gonja District.
He said in the presence of all the contesting parliamentary candidates including Alhaji Boniface, he joked that if the candidate standing as independent wanted to win the seat then he should consult Alhaji Boniface since he had won the seat as an independent candidate before.
Mr Dari said Alhaji Boniface won the Salaga seat because of the role he played and the structures put in place to ensure his victory. "For this reason, I should be given an award because all the other independent candidates who contested on the ticket of the NPP in the parliamentary elections lost".
On the issue of mobilizing thugs to attack some personalities in Accra, the DCE dissociated himself from the action saying he had travelled to Accra on a programme on "Birth and Deaths".
He said he never campaigned against the NPP in Salaga and would never do anything to dent the image of the party. "If I am against the party, I would not have assisted Alhaji Boniface with 14,400 exercise books for distribution to schools".
Mr Dari said there was cordial relationship between the Regional Minister and him and what was important now was for the party to think of winning the 2008 general elections and not to start petty quarrels now.
"I am doing my best as a DCE appointed by the President and will not do anything to bring the name of the party into disrepute" he said. 19 May 05