Former President, John Agyekum Kufour, has described as ‘undemocratic’ the behaviour of some regional and constituency executives of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of hijacking nomination forms meant for the party’s upcoming parliamentary primaries.
Mr Kufuor, who led his party to victory in the 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, was equally not happy that the NPP executives, perceived to be loyalists of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had abandoned the principles of the party, which was formed on the respect for rule of law, describing the situation further as alien to the party.
The soft-spoken but tough former Ghanaian leader could not understand why some people should be prevented from picking nomination forms to contest the party’s parliamentary primaries.
According to the NPP’s stalwart, if the situation was not checked, it would affect the party’s electoral fortunes in the December 7, 2020 poll.
He, therefore, called on the leadership of the party to put their feet down and ensure a level playing field for all aspirants.
Mr Kufuor made these observations in an interview with OTEC FM in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, where it had been alleged that loads of NPP parliamentary aspirants believed to be opponents of President Akufo-Addo were being prevented from picking nomination forms.
Former President Kufuor pointed out that the NPP was a legal entity with a constitution which should be obeyed by any well-meaning member of the party.
“The NPP is a democratic party and the power resides with the people. It is the people who decide who becomes MP or otherwise. The party does not belong to any individual,” he said.
Fuming with anger, he asked: “Are nomination forms mined in Obuasi mines?”
Mincing no words Mr Kufuor who ruled this country from 2001-2008 said anyone found to be going against the NPP’s constitution should be seen as an enemy of the party, and therefore must be expelled from the party.
Adding his voice to the call by Mr Kufuor to ensure fairness in the party’s forthcoming parliamentary primaries, the Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, condemned his party executives for deliberately preventing members from picking nomination forms.
In an interview with Citi News, which was monitored by Today, Nana Obiri Boahen said such reports were “serious and unacceptable.”
“I don’t see how people should deny other aspirants the opportunity of getting the forms. I am being honestly blunt about this matter. I don’t see how people should intentionally deny others from getting the forms,” he said.
Mr Obri Boahen noted that he had been overseeing the filing process in the Eastern Region and the Greater Accra Region, where he had been made aware of such complaints.
“As far as the Eastern Region is concerned, I don’t think I have received any complaints. But, I have received complaints from some parts of the Greater Accra. I am not comfortable with the state of affairs at all,” he said.
Their concerns follow what happened to the Member of Parliament for Mampong Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh, who last month expressed his unhappiness over attempts to prevent him from purchasing nomination forms to contest in the NPP’s parliamentary primaries.
Mr Addai Nimoh, who contested the NPP’s last presidential primary in his letter of appeal addressed to the party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, and sighted by Today, said several attempts to get the forms had failed.
“I wish to appeal to be permitted to purchase a copy of the 2020 parliamentary primaries nomination forms at the Regional Secretariat. This appeal has become necessary because I am being denied access and obstructed to purchase the said forms at the Mampong Constituency Level of the party,” portions of his appeal letter said.
Also, supporters of another aspirant, Albert Kan Dapaah Jnr., son of the Minister of National Security, who wants to contest the party’s parliamentary primary in the Ablekuma West Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, were stranded at the party’s constituency office on 27th January, 2020 when they tried to pick up nomination forms for their preferred candidate.
This was because the constituency chairman was not around.
The supporters claimed that the absence of the constituency chairman was part of a scheme to ensure that the incumbent MP for the area, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who is believed to be the ‘Darling’ girl of President Akufo-Addo, goes unopposed.
The governing NPP goes to the polls on April 25 in all the 169 constituencies where the party has sitting MPs to elect its parliamentary candidates for the 2020 general election.
A non-refundable nomination fee for aspirants has been pegged at GHC20,000 whilst the filing fee is GHC200,000.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
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