April 24, 2024

The processes towards the primaries are at an advanced stage with the party almost done with the vetting of the candidates who picked nomination forms to contest in the primaries, mainly incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) and persons hoping to unseat them.

However, it appears there are issues at most of the regional centring centres with a handful of candidates accusing incumbent MPs as well as regional and constituency executives of the party of scheming to get them disqualified from the primaries.

Some disqualified NPP parliamentary candidate aspirants have accused the party establishment of unjustly disqualifying them to ensure that incumbent MPs go unopposed.

Here are some NPP MPs who have been accused of masterminding the disqualification of their opponent to go unopposed:

Lydia Alhassan:

A disqualified parliamentary candidate hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, Samuel Amankwah, accused executives of the party of bribery.

He explained that along the process of his campaign to represent the party in the constituency, he was presented with an offer to step down for the incumbent Member of Parliament, Lydia Seyram Alhassan.

He explained, in a video shared by Citi FM on X, that he out rightly shot down this desire of the executives because he believed the people want him to contest the seat but he was unjustly disqualified during the vetting.

“… I, Kwabena Owusu Amankwah, am going to fight for each and every one of us. Look, we are going to appeal today. I am going to see my lawyers and appeal this case because it cannot happen. This is not the JB Danquah party. This is not the JA Kufuor party. This is not the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo party. It cannot happen,” he explained.

“How can you disqualify a candidate with just two candidates contest in the race? How? How on earth? This is purely a scheme, a game and an agenda against Amankwah. This is not just against Amankwah; this is against the youth of Ghana… against the youth of Ayawaso West Wuogon, and I, Kwabena Owusu Amankwah Samuel, we will fight for you,” he said.

Ambrose Dery

Another MP accused of foul play is the Member of Parliament for the Nandom Constituency, who doubles as the Minister for Interior, Ambrose Dery.

The MP and the executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in his constituency have been accused of scheming to disqualify his contender for the party’s January 20 parliamentary primaries.

According to the disqualified NPP parliamentary candidate, Alois Mohl, the vetting committee for the parliamentary primaries told him they were not going to vet him because he failed to respond to a petition by the constituency executives.

He indicated that members of the vetting committee said they were not going to vet him because he had forfeited his membership of the party even before picking the nomination form for the primaries by his refusal to respond to the petition.

He said that the constituency executives of the party accused him of supporting an independent candidate and campaigning against Ambrose Dery during the 2012, 2016 and 2020 parliamentary elections, an allegation he had previously denied.

Alois Mohl indicated that he did not respond to the said petition because he felt it was just a letter which had no evidence of him campaigning against the current MP.

He said that he was forced to pick the nomination form for the primaries at the national office of the party because both the regional and constituency executives of the party were bent on preventing him from contesting Ambrose Dery.

“… you have accused me of campaigning against our parliamentary candidate in 2012, 2016 and 2020, but you took no action. And in 2023 there is an opportunity for anyone who wants to become an MP to pick a form and then you now want to invoke these proceedings, that clearly is bad fate,” he said as he was addressing the press after his disqualification on January 5, 2024.

He added that the “body language of the executives” indicated that they had already decided not to allow him to contest Ambrose Dery.

Ursula Owusu

The Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, who doubles as the MP for Ablekuma West Constituency, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has also been accused of scheming to remove her contender for the parliamentary candidature of her constituency for the 2024 elections.

Sylvia Manu, an NPP parliamentary candidate aspirant for Ablekuma West, has accused Ursula Owusu-Ekuful of masterminding her disqualification during vetting ahead of the parliamentary primaries.

According to a report by starfm.com.gh, Sylvia Manu, a grassroots politician, said Ursula Owusu worked through her friend and NPP National Women’s Organizer, Kate Gyamfua, who was the Chairperson of the vetting committee, to ensure that she (Sylvia Manu) was dropped from the race to enable Ursula win the contest.

She further alleged that the MP tried to induce her to step down from the contest.

“On Wednesday, a night before the vetting, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful sent Grace Acheampong the Greater Accra Women’s Organizer to come and see me with cash so that I step down from contesting the primary. She said Ursula asked her to tell me to name my price and I will be sorted so that I drop from the race. I told her to go and tell Ursula that I won’t step down and that I don’t like even her one cedi, because I am not ready to betray delegates of Ablekuma West who have reposed their trust in me. I know this was recorded because I saw Grace recording me and I also spoke my mind.”

She added: “When I appeared before the vetting committee, Kate Gyamfuor said she knows me and I have really worked in the NPP, but for the past two years, the work that I have done in the constituency is not remarkable and she’s not pleased with my level of work and so on that basis, she as the chairperson of the vetting committee was disqualifying me. She asked me to go and work much more in the constituency and contest the next time around. But I know all this is because I did not step down for Ursula, they have found a means to disqualify me.”

Okyere Baafi:

Micheal Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, has been accused of foul play as his contenders in the primaries have been removed for what some are describing as meagre reasons.

According to a report by rainbowradioonline.com, the Eastern Regional Vetting Committee disqualified the contestant who filed nominations to contest Okyere Baafi in the New Juaben South primaries, Yaa Ansah.

The report indicated that Yaa Ansah was out of the country during the original date scheduled for the vetting but was allowed to meet with the vetting committee on, Thursday, January 4, 2024.

She was however disqualified after a petition was submitted before the committee over impersonation allegations.

Yaa Ansah’s disqualification means Michael Kofi Okyere Baafi will run unopposed for the New Juaben South Constituency parliamentary primary.

The Eastern Regional NPP Secretary, Tony Osei Adjei speaking to journalists on the matter said “Some members said their names had been used and top-printed on Madam Yaa Ansah’s forms, which they did not authorize. The committee was petitioned, and we called the petitioner, and he agreed that he wrote the petition. We asked Yaa Ansah, who said the petitioner consented to using his name, which the petitioner insisted he didn’t. So, there was an issue of impersonation, and we had to hold on to her vetting and refer the matter to the national level for redress.

“As it stands now, she has been disqualified by the vetting committee. So, unless there is an appeal or whatever, if she pulls through successfully, the MP [Michael Kofi Okyere Baafi] will go unopposed.”

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