General News Mon, 9 Sep 2002

Ministers Life Under Threat

? as security agents intensify search for suspects

The Security agencies have intensified investigations into alleged threats on the life of Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Boniface Abubakar Saddique, the NATIONAL CONCORD gathered early this week.

Security sources say suspected thugs from the Salaga constituency, which he represents as an independent Member of Parliament (MP), have been baying for his blood over issues that relate to political wranglings in the constituency. The Minister, who pleaded with the Concord to shelve any publication on the issue in order not to thwart ongoing BNI investigations, confirmed that he has recieved the threats when reached at his office Wednesday.

?Earlier, I did not take it serious, thinking that it is a rumour? he said, adding that, he became nervous over the issue when he started receiving threatening phone calls warning him to desist from contesting the next election or perish.

Although, the identity of the alleged thugs remains masked, it is believed that disgruntled elements, who feel uneasy about the Minister?s popularity in the constituency, may be behind it.


Concord gathered from security sources that there was an earlier attempt to ambush the Minister in his car on his way to the constituency. Claiming that he is undeterred by the alleged plot, the Minister continues paying visit to the constituency, albeit with security cover. As an independent MP, the deputy minister has not hidden his avowed intention of standing on the ticket of the NPP, an issue that has reportedly earned him strong comdenation from some member of his constituency.

There are moves presently to block him from contesting on the NPP?s ticket. Though sources close to the Minister say he would part company with the NPP and stand as an independent if that happens, the Minister says that is impossible. ?I?m with the government, I can?t contest against my own government?, he noted in reaction.

The Deputy Minister, who had hobnobbed with the NDC before the 2000 elections, stood as an independent candidate when the NDC bigwigs refused to give him the nod. This precipitated the visit of the ex-President Rawlings to the constituency to appeal for his candidature. When this could not materialise, he rode on the back of the majority members of NDC to win the seat. He came into government as part of the all-inclusive policy of the Kufuor administration. Presently, the NDC is making frantic efforts to stop him from contesting the seat so that they can get their supporters back into their fold. Aware of the fact that the MP cannot contest against the government he is serving, some NDC supporters have infiltrated into the NPP camp and succeeded in creating a deep-seated political rivalry between the MP and some executive members of NPP.

Indications are that the Minister might not win the primaries if he wants to contest for the NPP even though he has massive support from the grassroot. This has put the Minister in a quandary. But he glossed over it and said he will definitely contest, but not against the government he is serving, when asked of this.

"SIL audience interested in having their views on issues published in a local newspaper can address it to the National Concord at natconcord@yahoo.com ".

Source: Hakim Ahmed Hakim for Concord