Sena Okiti-Duah,Ledzokuku MP
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) office in the Ledzokuku Constituency has remained locked up since last Wednesday following angry protests over the mass suspension of some leading party members in the constituency.
Some of the suspended party leaders told DAILY GUIDE they were being unlawfully victimized because of their decision to contest in the unit committee and assembly elections, against the wish of their Constituency Chairman, Patrick Nuagbedzi and Member of Parliament, Sena Okiti-Duah, who allegedly have their own group of proposed candidates.
The misunderstanding following the suspensions has gotten out of hand, with the police wading into it and DAILY GUIDE has gathered that angry members of the party would this morning troop to the Teshi Police Station to object to what they describe as “continuous bias police interference in internal party disagreements.”
Some key party persons who have received the suspension order include Frank Kotei the assembly member for Tsui Bleoo South; Felix Adjetey, an aspiring assembly member for Akro East; Razak Kotei, aspiring assembly member for Akro West; Ivy Mammata from the Aborlebu Assembly Area; Richard Ayiku and several other aspirants whose campaign posters are already in town.
Persons who endorsed the forms of the targeted aspirants had also received suspension letters which were still being distributed as at Sunday when DAILY GUIDE visited the constituency. The letters, dated February 23, 2015 were signed by the Constituency Secretary, Isaac Attipoe, who has categorically denied that the suspended persons were more than 10.
“We can’t tell the exact number because the letters continue to go round and now about 200 people have received suspension letters because they either want to contest for the assembly/unit committee elections or they endorsed our forms or are showing us open support. This thing happened when the Chairman said the party had already vetted some people to go and contest so we should not contest. This is the whole problem,” Kotei Abdul Razak Djani, aspiring assembly member for Akro East, told this paper.
“We went to the party constituency office for a meeting and the chairman got up, handpicked some of us and just asked us to walk out because he had suspended us. We were shocked because he even got up and left the meeting, then his people put off the lights and asked us to walk out and locked the door.
“When the constituency people heard what had happened, they also rushed to the place and added their own padlocks because the party does not belong to the chairman alone so he cannot just suspend people without making us face any disciplinary committee to hear our offence or even defend ourselves if we have flouted party rules,” one of the angry aspirants narrated.
Isaac Attipoe spoke to DAILY GUIDE: “It is true we have suspended them. I signed the letters and they were only ten. They cannot be 200…It is also not true that they were suspended because of their decision to contest any elections. The assembly elections are not partisan so we cannot get involved.
“It is not based on assembly elections. I don’t remember the constituency chairman ever saying that to them; unless he said it verbally when I was not there because I have never sat in any meeting when he had said that. It is not true.”
Mr. Attipoe explained that the NDC constitution gives powers to the Constituency Executive Committee to suspend party members and then refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.
“The chairman and I did not suspend them in isolation. It was the Constituency Executive Committee and we have referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee. They were involved in actions that would go against our electoral fortunes; and we cannot continue with them until they are cleared from all the things they are saying.
“No police has arrested anybody. The constituency is united and we are focused on winning in 2016. We only reported their conduct to the police because it is unlawful to lock up the party office and the law enforcement agencies are the best people to handle unlawful actions. It is better that way than taking the law into our own hands. But this does not mean we are divided or there is no unity among us. We are united, resolute and nothing can take us back,” the constituency secretary underscored.
BY Halifax Ansah-Addo