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22.12.2005 General News

Clandestine moves at NDC congress?

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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As the battle lines for the election of new officers to man the 'umbrella' party, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for another four-year period draw near, underground manipulations are said to be on-going to run down some candidates.

Among these clandestine moves are intimidations, harassment, and bully tactics against perceived opponents, which stalwarts in the party have kicked against. A source within the party say the NDC Regional Chairman, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, who was expected to lead delegates from Ashanti to Koforidua today, allegedly camped the majority of the delegates in his house for long hours for unspecified reasons.

Investigations indicate that there are suspicions that it could be attempts to coach those involved to vote in a certain direction, obviously against persons believed to be allies of Dr. Asamoah and contesting various positions at the congress.

According to the source, sympathizers of Dr. Asamoah were allegedly manhandled and thrown out of the Regional Chairman's house at Ridge residential area in Kumasi and some detained at an unknown place by hired thugs.

The Regional Secretary, Sylvester Akakpovi, confirmed the episode to the Chronicle and decried the action, describing it as undemocratic.

He said one Mr. Nayarh, the party's constituency organizer of Offinso South, as a victim in this circumstance.

However, Mr. Ohene Agyekum, has denied any knowledge of the allegations, saying he had never been in Kumasi for about a month now and therefore the alleged camping of some delegates was false.

According to him, everything, including preparations, was left under the care of the regional executives and expressed surprise about the issue.

He distanced himself from any dubious and unfair means allegedly being pursued to direct delegates voting pattern.

Interestingly, since the beginning of campaign towards the national delegates' congress of the NDC, frictions have continuously ignited between the two blocks in the party - Obed and Rawlings factions.

Open campaigns had come against the current NDC chairman from the founder of the party, Jerry Rawlings, which have created disaffection among the supporters.

While those in support of Mr. Rawlings hail him, others believed to be on the other side castigate him for his open bias.

The former President was reported to have held a secret meeting at Effiduase in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti region last week, during which he allegedly charged selected delegates to vote for his preferred choice of aspirants, namely Dr. Kwabena Agyei for the chairmanship and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah for the General Secretary position.

During the Ashanti regional Delegates' Congress of the NDC, Mr. Rawlings charged the delegates to vote for Daniel Ohene Agyekum as chairman and it worked.

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