A group calling itself Concerned Members of the New Patriotic Party ( NPP) in the Tema West Constituency of the Greater Accra Region, have accused the incumbent MP, Naa Torshie Addo, of scheming to campaign against the party’s newly elected parliamentary candidate, Carlos Ahenkorah, ahead of the 2016 elections.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, the group alleged that Naa Torshie has by her actions created deep-seated division in the constituency among the constituency executives by consistently running down the elected parliamentary candidate.
Among other things, they claim she is planning to launch a campaign dubbed “Nana Raw” in the constituency solely to campaign for the party’s Flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and has acquired pickups and branded T-shirts for that purpose.
They claim that her supposed campaign will seek to urge voters to vote for Nana Addo, and reject the parliamentary candidate in what has become known as ‘skirt and blouse’ voting in Ghana.
The group is thus asking the party to call the MP to order else they will be forced to do so in their own way.
They have appealed to the MP to accept defeat and join Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah to enable them work effectively to retain the seat.
According to aggrieved members, they have petitioned the party top hierarchy about their concerns but are yet to receive any response.
Five months after Mr. Ahenkorah’s election, he was sued by some members of the party who demanded among others a rerun of the primary in Tema West.
According to the two plaintiffs, Nana Yaw Ntim and Christian Joseph, Mr. Ahenkorah was not eligible to contest the primary in Tema West because the NPP had announced prior to the primary, that non-Ga indigenes were not to contest in Ga areas, hence Mr. Ahenkorah who is not a Ga, had breached the party’s regulations.
They thus want his election set aside and a rerun of the primary. The lawsuit, which has the NPP as a respondent, is still pending.
Carlos Ahenkorah, who contested Naa Torshie Addo, faced fierce opposition from some party members who accused him of not helping the party in the constituency.
The disagreements delayed his clearance by the party’s Vetting Committee but he was subsequently cleared. Mr. Ahenkorah during the heated election on July 25, 2015, polled 503 votes, while Naa Torshie Addo had 273.
The other contender Adwoa Amoakoa, had 2 votes.
Speaking at Wednesday’s news conference, the Convener of the Concerned NPP Members in Tema West, Nana Boakye, demanded the suspension of those who filed the lawsuit, explaining that their action constitutes a breach of the party’s constitution.
Tema West in view
From 1996, when the Tema West seat became a traditional one for the party, parliamentary primaries have always come along with associated disputes.
Apart from 1992 when Madam Gladys Boateng of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) represented the constituency in Parliament, renowned legal practitioner and a former Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Abraham Osei Aidoo, had represented the NPP in Parliament from 1996 to 2008.
The fiercely contested primary between Mr Aidoo and the current MP, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, also a legal practitioner and a former Deputy Ambassador to the United States, saw the delegates throwing their weight behind Ms Addo.
To the delegates, Mr. Aidoo grew wings of arrogance and was also not able to meaningfully lobby for the development of deprived suburbs in the constituency.
Thus, a new love affair between delegates, party executives and supporters in the constituency on one side and Ms Addo on the other began in 2008.
But confusion again broke out over Irene Naa Torshie Addo’s conduct, which led to a breakaway in 2011, that forced Mr. Osei Aidoo to contest as an independent candidate following the decision of the party to allow Naa Torshie Addo to go unopposed.
In 2012, the NDC’s former Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, gave the NPP a good run for their money, losing by a paltry 945 votes. He had 39,005, against Ms Addo’s 39,950.
Although Mr. Ofosu Ampofo has opted out of the race and replaced with one Lawyer James Enu, the NPP risks losing the seat, if it fails to put its house in order.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana