Tension is brewing in the Offinso South Constituency of the Ashanti region as some New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters have vowed to resist any attempt by party executives to impose a parliamentary candidate on them.
The aggrieved supporters marched through the principal streets in Offinso to the Offin river to perform a ritual over the development.
According to the supporters, they want the leadership of the party to allow two disqualified aspirants to contest the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Abdallah Bandah in order to ensure peace in the constituency.
“All that we want is peace. The community is yearning and all that they want is for the elections to be held for peace and justice to prevail. So we are pleading to the national level to allow peace to prevail in Offinso. For the ritual, it is because we believe in our gods to give us justice in the community. It is not because we want to fight. There is going to be an election in Offinso South. There won’t be anything like someone is going to impose someone we don’t want on us. If they do, we will boycott the election”, one of the supporters said.
Another supporter raised concerns saying, “all three aspirants have passed through vetting. So we don’t know the reason why our national leaders are telling us not to vote so the incumbent MP goes unopposed. If that is the case, then it means that they are imposing him on us. But NPP believes in a democracy so they should allow all three aspirants to go into the race.”
The NPP is scheduled to conduct its parliamentary primaries on June 20, 2020.
The election was supposed to have come off on April 25, 2020, but was postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country and the related restrictive measures announced by the President.
At a Steering Committee meeting held on Monday [June 1, 2020], the party agreed to hold the election in electoral areas rather than at the constituency level in order to ensure social distancing.
NPP was to use the primaries to elect parliamentary candidates in constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament, ahead of the 2020 general elections.
In a related development, some NPP delegates in the Juaben Constituency of the Region have protested the decision of the party executives to disqualify an aspirant, Francis Owusu, from the constituency’s primaries.
The delegates have threatened not to campaign for the party in the upcoming 2020 general elections if the decision is not reversed.
Some constituency executives feel the disqualification is a ploy to allow the incumbent (MP), Ama Pomaa Boateng, run unopposed.
“For now, we don’t the reason for the dismissal. But all the delegates in the constituency are not in support of the decision to disqualify the aspirant. This is a situation we don’t want to happen, but we are urging the arty executives to meet our demands so the party will have peace in this constituency. From the President to the Region, we are urging all our executives to do what will make us happy. We will not rest until the decision is reconsidered,” one executive said.
“The disqualified aspirant is who we want. We believe in him because although he is not a sitting MP, he has done enough for us. He has constructed roads and constructed a police post for us to address the robbery cases here. So we are appealing to the President and the party executives to reinstate the aspirant so we can retain the seat because the incumbent MP has failed us,” another said.