Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
SOME NPP youth from the Bantama Constituency have called for the immediate organisation of a primary to elect the party’s parliamentary aspirant for the constituency.
The youth said they were aware of subtle attempts to disqualify one of the candidates, Mr Robert Baffour-Awuah, in order to pave the way for the incumbent, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to go unopposed,and warned that such a decision could be a recipe for troubles in the constituency.
Scores of the youth, who staged a brief demonstration to drum home their disappointment twith the way the party leadership were delaying in convening the primary, said they did not care who won the primary.
“All that we want is that this time round a primary is organised for us to elect a parliamentary candidate,” Mr Prince Acheampong, the public relations officer (PRO) of the youth wing in the constituency, told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Acheampong said they decided to make the demonstration peaceful as a first step but warned that “there could be Bekwai number two here at Bantama if the right thing is not done by calling the primary”.
Mr Acheampong alleged that they had authentic information that Ms Dapaah, who is also the Minister of State at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, had engineered allegations that Mr Baffour-Awuah had not been paying his party dues, and as a result the party was bent on disqualifying him on that.
“But records available at the constituency office where the MP’s own brother is the secretary indicate that Mr Baffour Awuah is in good standing so we are wondering why they keep delaying the primary,” he said.
Mr Acheampong said since 1992, the NPP at Bantama had not had a parliamentary primary to elect a candidate.
Dr Richard Anane went unopposed while Ms Dapaah had the same opportunity.
“This time round, we want to depart from that practice because it has not helped us,” Mr Acheampong said.
The youth PRO accused the Constituency Chairman, Mr H.K. Kokofu, of bending the rules of the game by openly declaring his support for Ms Dapaah.
“In fact he has become the PRO for the MP, which compromises his position as party chairman,” he said, and added that by his action, the chairman could not be trusted again.
He rejected claims by the MP that she had done a lot to develop the constituency.
Mr Acheampong asked that if it were so “why is she afraid of contesting with others?”
Efforts to contact both Mr Baffour-Awuah and the constituency chairman proved futile as they were said to be in a meeting at the NPP headquarters in Accra.