The NPP has always been grateful to you for being a reliable partner in our efforts to enrich and deepen our democratic credentials within the constituency. We thank you once again for honouring our invitation even on a short notice.
We have invited you this mourning to essentially brief you on the happenings in our party as far as the parliamentary primaries are concerned. As you are all aware, the NPP parliamentary primaries which were originally scheduled for 25th April,2020 could not come off due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the subsequent imposition of ban on all social gathering and political activities by His Excellency, the President of the republic. As a governing party our leadership thought it wise to call of the primaries indefinitely. The decision to suspend the primaries even though necessary, given the situation nontheless affected the parliamentary aspirants nationwide including the two contenders who are seeking nomination to represent the party in the Dormaa Central Constituency in the 2020 elections.
Friends of the media, as the days go by, there is a strong indication that in no time, the president will ease the restrictions on social gathering and pave way for the parliamentary primaries to be held. However, there is something intriguing going on in the constituency and which is gradually raising the political temperature in our constituency. The campaign team of the sitting MP, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu is moving from polling station to polling station telling delegates that the Dormaaa Central Parlamentary primaries will not be held because the Chief of staff will order his only contender Dr. Yao Yeboah to step down and allow the incumbent MP to go unopposed. They claim that the MP who doubles as the Health Minister has been engaged in the fight against the covid 19 pandemic and therefore has little time to campaign and so will be disadvantaged if he is allowed to be contested. Ladies and Gentlemen, we would have disregarded this as a mere propaganda but two incidents have made us take this matter serious.
Not long ago, Mr. F. F Anto , NPP National Second Vice Chairman, granted an interview on a local radio station, voice FM 94.3mhz on Wednesday 6th May,2020 and suggested among other things that the national executives might consider allowing Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu to go unopposed should the Corona virus pandemic persist. Again , the Bono Regional Financial Secretary, Mr. Henry Kofi Oppong met some polling station executives and told them that the primaries will not come off since Dr. Yao Yeboah will be asked to step down or risk being sacked from the party. Friends of the media, these two incidents seem to give credence to the rumor going round that the incumbent MP is going unopposed. We know that this is a ploy to test the grounds and see the reaction of the delegates. If that is the case then, we wish to state without any equivocation that majority of us, the delegates reject any idea that will seek to derail the democratic credentials of the party. The NPP as a party believes in democracy and therefore, we as concerned members of the party will resist any attempt at trying to foist a candidate at us by any outside forces more so when the reasons given for the intended action are not sustainable and can best be described as spurious.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, this is not the first time Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu and Dr Yao Yeboah are competing for the Dormaa Central NPP parliamentary ticket- this is the third time. In the two previous contests, ( 2008 and 2016), Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu won.The party united behind him and ensured his victory in the general elections. In 2012, there was no primaries at all. Dr. Yao Yaboah after picking his nomination forms was prevailled upon by some party officials to allow Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu to go unopposed. This happened without any outside intervention or interference. Why do we now require an outside intervention to enable us do what we have done before? There must be a sinister reason.
Friends of the press, the idea to inflict a candidate on us is not borne out of a genuine appreciation of the political dynamics of the Dormaa Central Constituency. The polarization of the party is so strong that any attempt, especially by the national or the regional executives, to impose a candidate on us will be a political suicide. Probably, the idea to impose a candidate on us is borne out of the wrong notion that the Dormaa Central Constituency is an NPP stronghold and regardless of how a candidate is selected to represent the party he/she will definitely win the parliamentary election. This kind of thinking is totally wrong. Our successes over the years have come about as a result of unity. As a party, we should never become complecent. This complecency syndrome must give way to a sound political judgment. Whatever action we take in respect of Dormaa Central parliamentary primaries should not be the one that will cause disaffection amongthe rank and file of the party. As I have already intimated earlier, we have always held parliamentary primaries in the constituency since 1992 without any external influence. The people of Dormaa understand democracy and know who is good for us, and therefore if the current MP deserves another term, we will surely give him the nod. No one should think that we the people of Dormaa Central are political neophyte. We are not.
Ladies and Gentlemen; the argument that because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Health Minister has not been able to campaign and should therefore be allowed to go unopposed in the parliamentary primaries is totally misplaced. The truth is that the pandemic has rather given him exposure than any other minister. Hardly a day passes by without him appearing on television or granting one interview or the other on radio. His name is now a household name in Ghana. Apart from the massive media exposure, he has more than two campaign teams locally that have been interacting with delegates on daily basis. This apart, occasionally, some people come from Accra and Kumasi to campaign for him, with the lattest being two medical doctors from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital , Dr. Sarpong and Dr. Kwaku Duah who defied the ban on social gathering and met delegates not individually but in groups only 4 weeks ago( ie from 25th-27th April,2020). He himself is aware of the relative advantage he enjoys over his competitor in this period of the Corona virus pandemic. That is why in one of his radio interviews on local radio station ( Voice FM), he stated emphatically that he would win the parliamentary primaries by a margin not less that 70% even if he does not step foot in the constituency and therefore, those trying to convince Dr. Yao Yeboah his only contender, to step down should discard that idea and allow the primaries to come off. If the man in whose interest some outsiders are suggesting that the primaries should not be held is himself calling for it, it is only proper to allow the primaries to come off. Ladies and Gentlemen; both contenders are ready for the contest; the delegates are ready for the contest; Dormaaman is ready for the contest- what we are now waiting for is a lift of the ban on political activities and a green light from the national leadership so that we can hold our primaries. Anything short of that will spell a political doom for us.
Ladies and Gentlemen; no one should for once underrate the significance of primaries in our democracy. It is a platform for testing the popularity of a candidate amongst delegates and by extension in the constituency. The idea is that once the delegates accept a candidate, the general voting public to a certain degree will accept him. In our democratic dispensation, we have witnessed instances where candidates have been imposed and subsequently rejected by the voting public. To give a vivid example I need to take you down the memory lane. In 2008, candidate in Nkawkaw and Bekwai constituencies in the Eastern and Ashanti regions respectively were imposed and we lost both seats to independent candidates. In the year 2000, the NDC allowed Squaron leader Sowu to go unopposed and lost the seat to an independent candidate. In Ashaiman Constuency, Franklin Aheto was made to go unopposed by NDC and they lost the seat to the NPP candidate, Emmanuel Teye. There are countless examples. In 2016, while the then candidate Nana Akufo Addo subjected himself to presidential primaries, the NDC disqualified the only contender and allowed Mahama to go unopposed. What happened? He lost the presidential election by a margin more than one million votes. Should we as a party not be learning from history? Why are we trying to press the self destruct button just to satisfy the political interest of an individual?
While appealing to our regional and national executives to back off from the internal politics of Dormaa Central, we are at the same time calling on our constituency executives led by Chairman Mumuni Musah to speak to the issue of someone going unopposed since their silence is gradually giving credence to the rumour. Chairman Mumuni and his team should know that they were elected to serve the interest of the party and not project the political ego of one individual.
To our Regional Chairman, we plead with him to remain neutral in the affairs of Dormaa Central Constituency parliamentary primaries. He is alleged to have gone to the Chief of Staff and impressed upon her to force one of the candidates to step down and allow the other to go unopposed. Probably our regional chairman does not understand the dynamics of Dormaa politics other than that he would not make such a suggestion. The fact that he ascended to his current position not on the basis of competitive election does make his circumstances applicable to us in Dormaa.
Our media friends, party faithfuls, Ladies and Gentlemen; using the corona virus pandemic as the basis to allow Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu go unopposed is not only an insult to our collective intelligence as delegates but an assult on our sensitivity and sensibility as a people. If indeed the pandemic has affected everyone in the country and therefore one person can not benefit from it.
Maybe, it is a campaign strategy aimed at pulling a fast one on their opponent. That is the propaganda we want to expose. But this propaganda is casting a slure on the integrity of the Chief of Staff. While concluding my speech I call on all party faithfuls who are threatening to vote against the party to remain calm as we watch closely to see what will happen in the coming days. We also call on our national leadership to do broader consultations before taking any decision in respect of the Dormaa Central Parliamentary primaries, since any action on the part of any outsider that is not based on the relities on the ground and which will be inimical to the large interest of the delegates and the fortunes of the party will be fiercely resisted.
Friends of the press, we once again thank you for honouring our invitation. We will not hesitate in inviting you again when the need arises.
Mr. Yaw Owusu Boakye
( Amasu NPP Electoral Area Coordinator)
050 695 3288 / 050 858 8950
1. Mr. Peter Mac-Manu
(NPP 2020 campaign chairman)
2. NPP National Chairman
3. NPP Bono Regional Chairman
4. Bono Regional Minister
5. NPP Dormaa central Chairman
Source: Mr. Yaw Owusu Boakye ( Amasu NPP Electoral Area Coordinator) 050 695 3288 / 050 858 8950
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