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18.04.2006 General News

Shai Osu-Doku NPP in Turmoil

By Ghanaian Chronicle

The political rivalry currently brewing between the two topmost officials of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Shai Osu-Doku constituency continues to worsen the already fragile situation on the ground, thereby rendering the chances of the party to make any meaningful inroads in the area in the 2008 election, extremely bleak.

Even before the party sets off on the road to that very dicey election, party officials in the constituency have set themselves against one other, trading accusations and counter accusations.

According to our investigations, the cracks and polarization among the rank and file of the party dates back to 2001 when the party captured power for the first time in about 30 years under the leadership of President Agyekum Kufuor.

That was when some of the executive members in the constituency started battle against the then District Chief Executive (DCE) of the Dangbe West District Assembly, Hon. K. T. K. Agban, leading to the abysmal performance of the party in the area in the subsequent general elections.

It was refreshing therefore when the mantle of power changed from Agban to Hon. Adjorwe-Nortey at the district assembly and a set of new constituency executive members was elected, with Mr. Harold Opata as its chairman; the assumption was that things were going to be smooth-sailing.

Unfortunately, The Chronicle gathered that the situation is getting worse by the day, as the two big wigs (constituency chairman and DCE) continue to demonstrate their antagonism towards each other to the disadvantage of the party.

This paper learnt that the constituency executive is divided along two lines, with one faction supporting the DCE, while the other gives allegiance to chairman Harold Opata.

The first and second vice chairmen, Stephano Omuma and Henry Agbo respectively, Stephen Akwetey - Secretary and John Agboso - Financial Secretary are on the side of the chairman, whereas Fred Ofei - Assistant Secretary, Hans Nartey - Organiser, Grace Teiko Tetteh - Women's Organiser, Isaac Amanor - Treasurer and Felix Osafo - Youth Organiser belong to the DCE's group.

Hon. Adjorwe-Nortey is alleged to have stated that he is not prepared to work with the current constituency chairman because he (the chairman) is an NDC import who has nothing at all to offer the party; more so, the needed victory it rigorously look forward to in the 2008 elections.

The constituency chairman is also alleged to have indicated that because the DCE has attempted to take over his work from him by unilaterally appointing someone of his choice to run the party office, he has also resolved not to allow the DCE to dictate the running of the party in the constituency, as he is the party boss there.

It is this kind of alleged statements from the two top party functionaries in the constituency that is thwarting the efforts of the party's foot-soldiers in marketing the party in an NDC-dominated arena.

The antagonistic relationship between the two party gurus is fast eating into the very fabric of the party to the extent that even if someone belonging to one of the factions comes up with a good suggestion that could help the party, his/her suggestion may be thrown overboard.

According to our investigations, the forthcoming parliamentary primaries, expected to take place somewhere in August this year in the constituency, is that which is going to push the problems in the area to the wall, as the two personalities have at the back of their minds, some individuals who they would like to put up for the post.

What is disturbing, according to some party activists who spoke with the paper, is that the regional executives, who are very much aware of the problems at the place, have turned a blind eye to them and have allowed it to worsen. The activists claim that it is not true that the Greater Accra Regional office of the party has set up a committee to investigate the matter.

Mr. Albert Afaglo, the Greater Accra Regional Organizer of the NPP, who is very much worried about the ongoing problems in the constituency, denied the allegations that the formation of a committee was untrue, in a telephone interview with the paper yesterday.

He disclosed that the three-man committee set up to work on the problems, under the chairmanship of Hon.Adjei Boye, is still waiting for some information, including letters purported to have been written by members to discredit each other, and the terms of reference before it starts its work.