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01.03.2006 Politics

Ndebugre sticks to his support for ROPAB

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - Mr John Ndebugre, People's National Convention (PNC) Member of Parliament for Zebilla, said although his position on the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill (ROPAB), contradicted the stance of his party he had every right to articulate his personal views on the issue.

He had, therefore, questioned the decision of his party to suspend him as First National Vice-Chairman, saying only a duly constituted national delegates congress to be held in May 2008 could take such a decision.

Mr Ndebugre, who was briefing journalists at a press conference in Parliament on his personal position on ROPAB, challenged the disciplinary action taken by the Standing Committee of the PNC to suspend him.

Giving a background to the impasse, Mr Ndebugre said he received a letter signed by the Administrative Secretary of the PNC inviting him to a Caucus meeting to discuss the ROPAB.

The letter said other PNC MPs like Mr Moses Dani-Baah and Mr Haruna Bayirga saw nothing wrong with the ROPAB. "But Honourable David Apasera, who is the fourth PNC MP, disagrees almost violently with it."

He explained that: "No formal decision was taken by the PNC parliamentary group on the ROPAB but the truth remained that at the personal level the three of us supported it while only one disagreed."

Mr Ndebugre said he drew the attention of Mr Apasera, who had designated himself as the leader of the PNC group in Parliament, the fact that the PNC Constitution made no provision for a leadership Caucus as being portrayed by him.

"I told him that a decision of the party as important as the ROPAB could not be taken by such non-existent body but Mr Apasera ignored my expert advice and went to the meeting, which I considered illegal. "For the avoidance of doubt I wish to state emphatically that Mr Apasera attended the so-called leadership Caucus meeting in his personal capacity with no mandate to speak for me and the other two members of the PNC parliamentary group."

He said the illegal meeting resulted in the "much touted official position of the PNC against the ROPAB.

"It should be very clear that PNC has no official position for or against the ROPAB and that majority of the members of the PNC parliamentary group agreed with the bill."

"I cannot see how my action in this regard has brought the name of the party into disrepute," he said.

Mr Ndebugre said the Second National Vice-Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan; General Secretary, Mr Gabriel Pwamang and the National Youth Organiser, Mr Bernard Mornah had rather been consistent in dragging the name of the party in the mud.

"Their latest act of indiscretion is when they, on the 24th January, 2006, joined the NDC at a press conference to oppose the ROPAB."

He said the press statement, on that occasion read by the NDC National Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, was signed by Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan who styled himself as the First Vice-Chairman, PNC when he and his accomplices knew that he did not answer to that position. "Perhaps it is worth noting that Mr Apasera has been persistently held out as having been opposed to the ROPAB and has been present in Parliament and participated in all the various stages of the bill." "Indeed he was not heard voting against the bill and that one narrative has it that he loudly shouted 'aye' along with the rest of the Majority."

Mr Ndebugre said: "The attempt by the three to assist the NDC pick up the pieces and resume the agenda it set itself would be resisted as long as I remain in my capacity as the First National Chairman and the Acting Chairman of the party."

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