Politics of Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Tension is mounting within the Northern Regional branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the disruption of a purported meeting said to have been organised by the party’s Regional Secretary, Mr Salisu Be-Awuribe, without the knowledge of the regional chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Mobila, last Saturday.
The meeting, which was said to have been attended by some regional functional executives, some NDC Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Northern Region and some constituency representatives at Global Dream Hotel at Fuo, near the SSNIT flats in Tamale, is said to have been disrupted by “Aljazeera Boys”, a vigilante group linked to the NDC and loyal to the regional chairman, Alhaji Mobila.
In the process, the regional secretary of the party was assaulted and some properties were vandalised, including a vehicle belonging to him.
Another vigilante group, “Aluta Boys,” also linked to the NDC and said to be sympathetic to the cause of the regional secretary, Mr Be-Awuribe, which also got wind of the attack on the regional secretary, in a reprisal attack, ransacked the regional chairman’s personal office in town and held his secretary hostage.
The feud is said to be as a result of bad blood between the regional secretary and the regional chairman.
According to sources in the party, the regional secretary, who was once a District Chief Executive (DCE) for Central Gonja, was doing the bidding of former President John Dramani Mahama, a situation that has been said to be the remote cause of the rising tension within the party in the region.
It is alleged that the regional chairman is not in favour of former President Mahama becoming the flag bearer of the party because it would destroy the chances of the Minority Leader in Parliament and MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, of becoming the running mate in the likelihood of a flag bearer being picked from the Southern part of the country for the 2020 general election.
It is also alleged that the activities of the regional secretary, Mr Be-Awuribe, since he took office, has been running contrary to the supreme interest of the party and in favour of former President Mahama.
According to sources, the activities of the regional secretary were all geared towards ensuring that former President Mahama was elected as the presidential candidate for the party, hence the tension within the party.
Sources close to the party told the Daily Graphic that the incident had since been reported to the Northern Regional Police Command, while the regional secretary who was beaten had been issued a medical form for treatment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH).
Mr Be-Awuribe, in an interview, refuted claims that he chaired a ‘secret’ executive meeting on the blind side of the regional chairman, explaining that “the national executive expected the regional secretariat to submit names of some members to be facilitated for the national congress but the chairman would not cooperate with me”.
He said all efforts for the regional chairman to cooperate with him proved futile and that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini, tried resolving the matter and it was that meeting that the aggrieved youth disrupted.
Mr Fuseini in an interview with the media condemned the attack and urged both factions to use the appropriate mechanism to settle their differences for the interest of the party, rather than resorting to violence.
He said attempts made by the Northern Region Minority Caucus in Parliament to mend the differences between the regional chairman and secretary had not yielded positive results.
Meanwhile, attempts to speak with the regional chairman was not successful as he has remained tight-lipped.