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25.07.2005 NPP News

NPP activists demand transparency ....

Some activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Odododiodioo Constituency in Accra have petitioned the leadership of the party to limit its search for a candidate to contest the forthcoming bye-election in the constituency to three party members they said had already marketed themselves.

They said Mr Reginald Nii Bi Ayibonte, former Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Nii Laryea Squire, National Campaign Co-ordinator of the party in the 2004 elections and Dr Nii Okai Hammond, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture who contested the primary for the 2004 parliamentary election were already known in the constituency and advised the national leaders of the party to make a choice from the three personalities.

The activists in their petition addressed to the leadership of the party warned that they would not participate in the bye-election if their counsel were not heeded.

They expressed disappointment and dismay at the way the party's leadership was conducting affairs about the election of a candidate for the bye-election at the time their two main opponents had chosen their candidates.

“We want to make it clear to the Greater Accra Regional and national executives that we are not interested in any new personality. The party lost the seat to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2004 elections because of the not too good performance of the former MP.”

The activists, said the party should not deceive itself that the party, lost the seat in the 2004 because of division in the ranks of the party, saying that the party lost largely because of the choice of a bad candidate.

They, therefore, asked the executives to tread cautiously in making a choice for the contest and it would not be out of place to throw the searchlight on the three who contested the position in 2004 during which Nii Bi Ayibonte was selected to run on the ticket of the party.

Investigations by the Graphic indicated that the activists were determined to ward off any interference in the choice of a candidate for the by-election.

The activists were said to have called the bluff of two leading members of the party who worked to impose the son of the deceased NDC MP on the party as a candidate.

According to the activists, although their own investigations had indicated the popular choice of the three candidates, they expected the national leaders to conduct the primary in a more transparent manner.

They said even though judging from developments, Nii Laryea Squire appeared to be the front-runner, the leadership should open the contest to all eligible members.

The activists said under normal circumstances, the leadership would have settled on Nii Laryea Squire, who, apart from his popularity, had not been given any position after the 2004 elections, while his opponents in the primary had all been offered appointments.

They said Dr Hammond had been offered appointment as a deputy while Nii Bi Ayibonte was now a special assistant.

The activists said although the contest was not about who was doing what, it was sound to suggest that Nii Laryea Squire be given the nod this time around to contest the constituency bye-election.