The national headquarters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Asylum Down in Accra was thrown into a near state of anger, disbelief and confusion as some party supporters stormed the premises yesterday when they heard media reports that five aspirants had been disqualified.
A visit by the Daily Graphic to the NPP headquarters revealed a worrying atmosphere which was completely different from the atmosphere of cordiality and conviviality which characterised the opening of the nominations and the vetting exercise.
While some argued that it was an attack on the people of northern descent whose ascendency over the party was being frustrated, others pointed out that both northerners and southerners had equally been disqualified.
Some, however, tried to console themselves that it was a mere rumour and nobody should attach seriousness to the rumours which were making the rounds.
When the Daily Graphic approached the Director of Election of the party, Mr Martin Adjei Mensah, at the party headquarters, he explained that the balloting had been postponed indefinitely but all attempts to get him to assign reasons proved futile as he drove away in his car, promising to return to the office later to brief the press on the new development.
Sources at the party headquarters who pleaded anonymity said Fred Amankwah was disqualified because he could not name members of the Council of Elders of the party while Philomena Serwah Akoto was disqualified for allegedly having no polling station which meant she had not yet registered as a voter. Hajia Amadu, however, was allegedly disqualified because of her educational background.
The nine-member vetting committee of the NPP, chaired by Mr C. K. Tedam, has allegedly disqualified five aspirants from contesting for various positions in the party’s upcoming congress to select national executives.
The five are Fred Amakwah Sarfo, Hajia Fatima, and Philomena Serwah Akoto (who were all vying for Vice-Chairmanship positions), Kamal Abdulai, who was contesting for Nasara Coordinator, and a fifth person, who has not been named.
They have until Monday, February 17, 2014, to appeal against the decision of the vetting committee.
The party, last Thursday, concluded the vetting of 44 aspirants including six incumbent executives for a total of eight positions; it released the results of the vetting on Friday, disqualifying the five.
The party has also suspended its planned balloting for positions on the ballot paper. The Director of Elections for the NPP, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah, told Joy News that the decision was taken after the party received a petition against the candidature of Paul Afoko, who is running for chairmanship.
“Some five people have been asked not to go…I am unable to name those who were not successful,” Mr Adjei Mensah Korsh told Joy News.
Mr Adjei Mensah Korsah said that the balloting could not come off “because of circumstances beyond our control”.
He, however, said, “the unsuccessful aspirants have the right to file an appeal on Monday, February 17, latest 4 p.m.”. He said vetting for Mr Paul Afoko, would continue next week.