The Youths of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Dzodze in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region are up in arms against their constituency chairman, Mr. Anthony Avorgbedor Ablorde, over his attempts to superimpose a parliamentary candidate, Pius Enam Hadzide, on them.
They insist that Mr. Hadzide, who is a confidante of ex-National Organizer of the NPP, Lord Commey, is not marketable, yet their Constituency Chairman is bulldozing his way to have him accepted ahead of a planned visit by the 2012 NPP flagbearer, William Nana Akufo Addo.
They believe Mr. Commey is pulling strings to have his unpopular boy represent the party.
The Herald gathered that petitions dispatched by the delegates, the youth and the women’s wing to National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, and copied to party elders in the constituency, Mr. Avorgbedor, and Mr. Ahadzide himself, in protest against his choice as the parliamentary candidate, has not received the needed attention.
The aggrieved youths and other party executives, who almost stormed out of a meeting of the party two Sundays ago, said that the way and manner the executives handled the issue was unacceptable, as it will erode gains made by the party in the constituency.
They claimed that Mr. Hadzide’s nomination was filed by the Constituency Chairman, without the knowledge of the NPP constituency executives and party activists.
According to them, there are more competent people who can pull the vote they need to beat the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Meanwhile a document demanding the removal of the constituency chairman, Anthony Avorgbedor, and his Secretary, Awudi Kwesi Gabriel, is circulating in the area.
The Herald learnt that the chairman initially expressed interest in the seat, and communicated this to executives of the party, claiming that he was the most popular NPP man in the constituency; he, however, did not get back to his colleagues after deciding to replace himself with Mr. Ahadzide, a product of Cape Coast University.
At the primaries of April 30, 2011, at Dzodze Senior High School, the delegates vehemently refused to acclaim Mr. Hadzide, the only contestant, because they believed he was not popular to be given that priority.
They contended that out of the 14 per cent votes that the NPP garnered in the 2008 general elections in the Volta Region, Ketu North alone contributed close to ten per cent of the figure. They said, however that as things stand now, the NPP would suffer miserably at the 2012 polls as far as Ketu North is concerned.
Meanwhile, reports reaching The Herald indicate that Mr. Avorgbedor has been frequenting Accra in order to get Ahadzide endorsed as the parliamentary candidate for the area, ahead of Nana Akufo-Addo’s planned visit to the constituency.
Sometime in May this year, Daily Guide’s Fred Duodu, reported that an acclamation ceremony for the unopposed NPP parliamentary candidate of Ketu North Constituency, Mr. Hadzide, was disrupted by some NPP delegates and “machomen” in the area, who claimed that they were not in favour of his candidature because he was not marketable.
According to the constituency chairman, Anthony Avorgbedor, the about 15 protestors hijacked the ceremony, and six of them took the microphone from the constituency election committee chairman, George Ahiable, who was about to present the candidate to the delegates.
The men overturned the high table, and scattered the food prepared for delegates, leading to the abrupt end of the ceremony.
The constituency treasurer, Mr. Vidzreku, was also attacked in his house, and part of the money to be given to delegates taken away from him by the protestors.
The second vice-chairman, who wanted to intervene, was reported to have been beaten up.
The delegates have, therefore, called on the regional and national executives to intervene, and ensure that the constituency got a more preferred candidate that the party members were ready to support to secure victory in 2012.
Mr. Enam Hadzide described the situation as unfortunate, and alleged that the actions of the protestors were orchestrated by the former Volta Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi.
In spite of the brouhaha over his candidature, Mr. Hadzide is reported to have told The Herald that he considered himself as the parliamentary candidate for the Ketu-North NPP.
Mr. Avorgbedor, too told the paper that the position of the protestors did not reflect that of the entire delegates.
He added that Enam was the only one who filed for nomination, and so the constituency had no choice but to accept and rally round him to bring the NPP back into power next year.
He noted that the regional executives would be duly notified.
When contacted, the Regional Chairman, Kenwuud Nurworsu, described the development as worrying, and advised members to exercise restraint.
He also assured them that all parties and stakeholders in the matter would be engaged in dialogue, in consultation with the national executives, to resolve the impasse. Some Provisional Results