The Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Mac Manu, has stated that the party has not officially declared its support for any candidate for the Tamale Central by-election.
He, however, advised members who would like to exercise their franchise during the election to vote for a candidate or a political party that epitomises peace, stability and who would not inflame passions to cause mayhem as a ploy to win the election.
Mr Mac Manu was reacting to allegations in sections of the media, especially by the National Democratic Party (NDC) that the NPP was clandestinely throwing its weight behind Prof Wayo Seini as an independent candidate.
He said that the people of Tamale had suffered enough social unrest and mayhem and should, therefore, be spared another agony hence the decision by the NPP not to participate in the election, adding that the place was experiencing a fragile peace and as a responsible party it needed to tread cautiously so that the peace the people were enjoying would not be disturbed.
He said as a peace-loving and concerned political party, it was of the view that the stability and tranquility prevailing in the area after the 2004 election should be guided jealously.
Mr Mac Manu said the party also took the decision after taking into consideration the killing of three of its members by opponents of the NPP and myriad others who were brutalised during the 2004 electioneering.
He said the NPP opted out of the election because it feared violence and mayhem and did not want its opponents to have the opportunity to murder its members in cold blood like what happened in the 2004 elections.
He said the party was also aware of the time, energy and resources that had gone into sustaining the current fragile peace that the people were enjoying and would not do anything to trigger chaos.
Mr Mac Manu said the NPP was of the view that lives and property were more important than the Tamale Central seat, which according to him, would not change any balance of power in Parliament, nor add or take away anything from President Kufuor.
He reminded the critics who claimed that the party was afraid because it would lose the election that, the Tamale Central seat, which formed part of the Gukpegu/Sabongida seat, was won by the NPP in both the 1996 and 2000 elections.
He said when the Gukpegu/Sabongida seat was merged, Gushiegu/Karaga had to be divided into three constituencies in the 2004 election, which enabled the NDC to win the Tamale Central seat through the use of intimidation, threats to the lives of NPP supporters and the politicisation of the unfortunate death of the Overlord of the Dagbon Kingdom, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.
Mr Mac Manu expressed the hope that lasting peace would return to the area, especially with the imminent burial of the Ya-Na.
He gave the assurance that when calm had returned to the area, the NPP would spring surprises in the 2008 elections because the party's activities thrived well in an atmosphere of peace.
He urged NPP members to remain calm in the face of all provocation and stay out of areas that could culminate in trouble.