A clandestine plot to force prospective parliamentary hopefuls to forfeit their aspirations to incumbent Members of Parliament of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region has been uncovered.
Party insiders say the covert attempt was largely to ensure that MPs who have links with some power brokers in the region and were ready to grease their palms could go unopposed in the January, 2020 primaries.
The plan, according to sources within the echelons of the party, was hatched at the True Vine Hotel in Kumasi on September 7, 2019, amid fears that the decision could disintegrate the party and provide ammunitions to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Snippets of information picked up from the party regional office indicate it is the Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, who is popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, who is the one leading the charge to block potential aspirants from running.
At the said meeting which was originally scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m., but eventually commenced at 11:40 a.m., Chairman Wontumi, Ashanti Regional Secretary, Sam Pyne, Sam Cudjoe, Nana Ama Ampomah and other party bigwigs who were present agreed on a roadmap on how to implement their rather divisive agenda going into the elections.
Today is reliably informed that the meeting explicitly resolved to shield MP for Suame, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, and controversial MP for Subin Constituency, Eugene Boakye Antwi.
What is more disturbing is Wontumi’s bravado that as Chairman the party’s constitution allows him to unilaterally prohibit members who are not in his good books from contesting.
The plan included how to persuade the national executives to back their sinister agenda as they intend to frustrate qualified persons who were determined to contest some sitting MPs in the region.
For the plot to be successfully implemented, Chairman Wontumi and his cohorts demanded that any incumbent MP who wanted to benefit from the decision be made to pay a yet-to-be agreed fee.
Present at the meeting also included some government officials and bankrollers of the party in the region.
This is what some of our regional executives are planning to do. They want to benefit from the process by asking sitting MPs to pay a certain amount of money to ensure that their opponents are either frustrated or disqualified during vetting.
“…but some of us will fight tooth and nail to ensure that all qualified persons are allowed to contest as MP. What the party needs now is a united front and not fragmentations.
“The NDC is a formidable party and we must adopt all hands on deck approach to retain power in 2020,” a source familiar with the meeting said in a telephone conversation.
Story: Today CORRESPONDENT