The Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso South and the Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in Parliament, Ben Abdallah Banda, has blamed the failure of chairpersons of various committees in Parliament to retain candidatures in the just-ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries on their workload in the House.
About 40 incumbent NPP parliamentarians lost in the party’s primaries which were held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Some prominent MPs who double as chairpersons of various committees, like the New Juaben South MP, Mark Assibey-Yeboah lost in their various constituencies.
Speaking in a Citi News interview, Mr. Abdallah Banda said their responsibilities as chairpersons of such committees denied them the freedom to be present in their constituencies as expected.
“I know that all the chairpersons of the various committees in Parliament lost. One of the contributory factors is that because you have to be in Parliament at all material times and being able to deliver on the Floor of Parliament, that to a large extent took away some of the time we should have had at the constituency.”
Mr. Abdallah, who expressed shock at the turn of events, wondered why they would be rewarded in such a manner when all they did was work for the party.
“And probably another reason that may be attributed to this could be that, are the party faithfuls venting their anger on the party on the incumbent Members of Parliament? It is a rhetorical question that needs not to be answered.”
“Otherwise, I don’t know why chairpersons of various committees of Parliament who day in day out work tirelessly and assiduously for the party and for the institution of Parliament could lose their bids to go for another term. I am surprised, but just as I have said, that is the choice of the faithful, so we have to respect the decision,” he added.
On why he failed to secure a bid in his own constituency, the Chairman of Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in Parliament said he could not point to one reason but he suspected the suspension of some party members may have contributed.
“It may be a contributory factor because I haven’t sat down to do any post-election analysis to determine the causes that led to my defeat but it may be one of the contributory factors. I did what I could and I campaigned as was expected of me.”
“My messages were very powerful but you know in elections a lot of things do happen, even on the day of the elections a lot of things can happen. So, a lot of things did happen including the curses that were invoked as well as some financial manoeuvring were some of the contributory factors that led to my defeat.”
He, however, indicated that he accepts the results as the true choice of the delegates.
“The fact of the matter is that it has already happened and I will say that it is the will or the decision of the party faithful and once they have spoken and determined who should be the next parliamentary candidate on the ticket of the NPP, I have to abide by it.”
The NPP suspended some members in his constituency who were captured on video performing rituals and cursing party executives in the Offinso South Constituency.
The video, which has since gone viral, shows the disgruntled party members cursing the incumbent Member of Parliament, Abdullah Banda and national executives for disqualifying their preferred candidate who was aspiring to unseat the MP.
The aggrieved supporters on Friday, June 5, 2020, marched through the principal streets in Offinso to the Offin river to perform a ritual over the development.