About 80 branch executives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Yilo Krobo Constituency of the Eastern Region of Ghana have accused their National Chairman Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo of scheming with the regional executives of the party, to disqualify one of the three parliamentary aspirants, Mr Albert Nyakotey from the primaries in favour of his “darling boy” and employee Michael Ologo.
A statement undersigned by the 80 branch executives out of 133 on Wednesday, 14 August 2019 said the NDC risks losing votes in the region and suffering an en bloc resignation of supporters if Mr Nyakotey is disqualified.
The statement said: “We have observed a calculated attempt at frustrating one candidate in favour of others. We have also noted that one of the candidates, Mr Michael Ologo is a direct employee of Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo. Michael Ologo manages both Ahutor FM and Radio 1, [both] belonging to Chairman Ofosu. This is evidenced by Michael Ologo's own CV, which is a public document.
“On several of Michael Ologo's campaign tours, he indicates Chairman Ofosu's support for his candidature. Michael Ologo touts as his achievements, a Campaign Manager of Chairman Ofosu both at Tema West and his latest contest in the National Executive elections.
“The turn of events is a clear confirmation that Chairman Ofosu is trying to favour his darling boy against the wish of over 1,200 delegates if Albert Nyakotey is not cleared to contest”.
Read the full statement below:
OCCURENCIES IN VETTING OF PARLIAMENTARY ASPIRANTS FOR YILO KROBO.
We, the undersigned, numbering 80 out of a total of 133 Branch Chairpersons are concerned about some very disturbing turn of events which we wish to put across for immediate redress.
“Our number represents 60% of the total Branch Chairpersons within the Yilo Krobo NDC and we wish to set the records straight on issues that have the tendency of thwarting our efforts in winning the parliamentary seat and eventually helping John Mahama to win the 2020 elections. Specifically, we are well-informed about a desperately calculated plan to take Albert Nyakotey, one of the three (3) aspirants from the parliamentary race. A reason we have to make our position on the matter known.”
BACKGROUND: When nominations opened, five (5) aspirants picked forms to contest. After nominations closed, only three (3) aspirants paid the stipulated GHS25,000.00 and filed. On Thursday, the 25th of July 2019, all three (3) aspirants appeared before a Vetting Committee in Koforidua. The other two aspirants, Andrews Sodah, as well as Michael Ologo, were called and questioned, and allowed to go. When it got to the turn of Albert Nyakotey, our information has it that a petition was raised against him and that the vetting process was to be put on hold for the petitioner to be brought to defend the petition the following day. All the candidates were supposed to return to Koforidua the following day, the 26th of July 2019 to continue the vetting. Our information has it that none of the other two (2) aspirants appeared the following day.
The Constituency Chairman, who was present at the vetting on day 1, failed to appear on the second day. The petitioner, too, did not appear on the second day. Our investigation revealed that the petitioner only joined the party in 2018, and that he is not even a member of the branch of Mr Albert Nyakotey to be able to know the role and contributions of Mr Nyakotey over the years.
Surprisingly, the Regional Chairman as well as the representatives from the party headquarters indicated that the issue had been referred to the Functional Executive Committee (FEC).
We are also very much aware that the processes that would warrant such a matter to get to the national level was never exhausted, yet there was a push for the case to be sent out of the region.
To our surprise, the sitting MP, lawyer Magnus Kofi Amoatey, who had declared his support for one of the candidates, sat on the Vetting Committee at the regional level. A real conflict of interest situation.
A few days after the vetting at Koforidua, we sighted a letter signed by Barbara Asamoah (Deputy Secretary in charge of Administration) in which FEC affirmed the disqualification of Albert Nyakotey by the Regional Vetting Committee though that was not the case. (This can be confirmed by the Regional Communication Officer). To our surprise, the aspirant has not received a copy of the said letter up to date. Mr Nyakotey's persistent moves to the party headquarters earned him an opportunity to appear before the Appeals Committee. Up to date, the FEC has not released the report of the Appeals Committee indicating his clearance to contest or otherwise with barely 10 days to elections. We are also in the know that balloting had been done for the two other aspirants.
That the party at the national level does not know the pain we as Branch Chairpersons go through in organising our branches to get a strong base for the party, and that is why their actions and inactions are affecting our fortunes. In any case, it is not the party at the national level that would come and campaign for us on the ground. It is those of us at the grassroots that will do the major work;
That Mr Albert Nyakotey, to the best of our knowledge, has satisfied all the conditions required to qualify to contest, by both his contributions within Adentan and Yilo Krobo to the extent that the Adentan Constituency Chairman appeared before the Appeals Committee and testified on Mr Nyakotey's behalf but up till now, Mr Nyakotey has not been given official confirmation or his clearance to contest or otherwise. This situation is worrying with barely ten (10) days to the elections.
We present to you our concerns, knowing that the Krobo bloc had never disappointed when it comes to voting for the NDC apart from that unfortunate development that led to NDC losing the Upper Manya Krobo seat in 2016. We wish to serve notice that the events unfolding in the particular case are similar to those that occurred in Upper Manya, which eventually led to the NPP winning the seat from us. We are, therefore, cautioning the powers that be to be mindful of any decision that has the tendency of derailing our progress in Yilo Krobo.
We have observed a calculated attempt at frustrating one candidate in favour of others.
We have also noted that one of the candidates, Mr Michael Ologo is a direct employee of Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo. Michael Ologo manages both Ahutor FM and Radio 1, [both] belonging to Chairman Ofosu. This is evidenced by Michael Ologo's own CV, which is a public document.
On several of Michael Ologo's campaign tours, he indicates Chairman Ofosu's support for his candidature. Michael Ologo touts as his achievements, a Campaign Manager of Chairman Ofosu both at Tema West and his latest contest in the National Executive elections.
The turn of events is a clear confirmation that Chairman Ofosu is trying to favour his darling boy against the wish of over 1,200 delegates if Albert Nyakotey is not cleared to contest.
We have also noted that disqualifying Albert Nyakotey would automatically leave us with a former MCE who had incurred the displeasure of voters, plus, Michael Ologo, a former appointee of JM, whose votes keep falling though he had attempted the primaries twice and lost on both occasions.
We, therefore, seek the following;
1. That all three (3) aspirants must be allowed to contest;
2. That we would kick against any disqualification of one aspirant which would mean an imposition of a candidate on us;
3. That any attempt from any hand from the national level which has the tendency of thwarting our efforts as Branch Chairpersons would be met with the opposition it deserves.
4. That if within 24 hours our concerns are not met we shall; (a) Push for and support any legal action in that regard, and (b) not be able to hold our members from resigning massively from the party.
The NDC is bigger than any individual and that nobody should impose his will on us. We are poised to win 2020. A united front is needed, and as such we pray the party hierarchy takes a decision that reflects the collective will of the people.
Below is a list of the 80 Branch Chairpersons, Branches, phone numbers and their signatures.