The defectors (in NPP-branded white shirts) with Rex Asanga, NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Bolgatanga Central, and other notable figures in the party.
Unrestrained jubilation erupted Saturday among supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) following the defection of some 49 women in Bolgatanga, Upper East regional capital, from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the NPP.
White-bearded former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Bolgatanga, Rockson Ayine Bukari, who chaired a ceremony held to officially receive the defectors, ditched his chair at the high table three times to dance on the floor with the defectors among old party loyalists in an undying rapture that also saw him punctuate his closing remarks with four hit singles he sung in Gurune, the indigenous language of the capital, to express his joy.
The converts said they took the decision to decamp to the elephant party because they found the umbrella party “boring” and “disappointing”. And the NPP did not hesitate for a moment to organise the defectors into a group now known as the “Alhaji Ismaila Vibrant Ladies” and also assigned them a task to court as many voters as possible for the NPP as Ghana prepares for the 2016 polls.
“Things are too hard; so, we decided to withdraw ourselves. It’s just boring. Even we don’t see anything from the President [let alone] the NDC members. I am an [SHS] graduate but where is the money to go back to school? It’s just a boring party, the most annoying party that I have ever seen,” Cynthia Tindan, Secretary to the group, told newsmen.
The group’s Chairperson, Abigail Agambire, said: “I followed them (NDC) for about eight years. They made me to know the regions in Ghana and they didn’t help me. That’s why I moved to NPP. And it’s because of Alhaji Ismaila (the patron of the Vibrant Ladies) and others that I moved to NPP. Alhaji Ismaila [in] opposition is helping me. So, I said let me join; when he comes to power, it would be better than joining the NDC.”
NDC blamed for “worst hardship” on women, children
The party’s Regional Women’s Organiser, Florence Kuribila, led the gurus and the supporters of the party in welcoming the new members into the NPP’s fold.
Leaders of the party danced to several campaign songs with the defectors in celebration
Her eyes flamed with a passion to see the NPP return to power in 2016 as she frankly blamed the NDC government for a scale of an economic hardship she said had left women and their children worst affected across the country.
“Women, do not let us sit down. We are suffering this time. Are you not suffering?” she asked a crowd who replied in the affirmative. “Can you pay your children’s school fees?” she paused for response as the multitude chorused back in the negative.
She continued: “You can’t pay. I can’t pay, either. Those in the nurses training colleges, their allowances have been taken off. If you want it back, go and bring your colleagues to come and join us vote for Nana. The school feeding [programme] is there for us. NDC has collapsed the school feeding. Let’s vote for Nana and when we come back to power everybody will be part of the programme.”
The Regional Women’s Organiser also urged the group to embark on door-to-door campaign, saying: “I want to advise that you start going from house to house. We are struggling for something. I, standing here, am fighting hard so that the NPP would win and in future I would also be given something. You also want to get something. Let’s work hard. We are about crossing the river. Tell them they should come so that we cross together.”
Group cautioned against bait from NDC
The party’s parliamentary candidate for Bolgatanga Central, Rex Asanga, was among the big shots who danced anticlockwise to a variety of the NPP’s official campaign songs in jubilation over the arrival of the new faces.
But he did so with caution. He was emphatic, when he took his turn after the serial celebrations, that members of the NDC would make attempts to reconcile the defectors with the party they had dumped.
“Go back into the NDC fold and bring many more of your type who are also suffering out there but quiet. Please, don’t rest. If you don’t grow, if you are not able to bring more people on board, you are going to die because party activities [are] about numbers. Don’t become satisfied.
“After this, the NDC will start looking for you. Madam Chair, you will be the first person they will call. And they would give you some Gh¢1,000 or Gh¢2,000 to beg you to bring the others to come back [that] they are now ready to support and help them. If someone had ignored you, you have been hungry; then, the time you say ‘thank you very much, bye-bye, I’m going’, the person now runs up to you and says ‘come back, I want to give you food’, do you think it’s genuine food? He only wants your vote. These are all lies. Tell them it is too late,” Mr. Asanga urged.
The ceremony ended with the jubilant supporters fully aware of the struggle ahead with the NDC in the Bolgatanga Central Constituency where the NPP at the 2012 general elections polled 13,464 (28.28%) votes in the parliamentary and 11,027 (22.62%) votes in the presidential as against the NDC’s 28,144 (59.12%) votes in the parliamentary and 35,142 (72.09%) in the presidential.
Source: Ghana/starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Edward Adeti
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