NHIA boss accused of fomenting trouble in NDC
Two workers of the National Health Insurance Authority are among the over 40 people who have picked up nomination forms to contest executive positions in the La Dadekotopon constituency of the National Democratic Congress.
The two are Nii Sowah Oblejuma, the scheme manager at La Dadekotopon, and Isaac Kodi Annan, a cousin of Sylvester Mensah, boss of the National Health Insurance Authority, who works at the national office of the Authority.
Meanwhile, Sylvester Mensah has denied claims that he is fomenting trouble in the constituency because he is not making any headway in his determination to get his cronies into executive positions, to promote his alleged plans to go to Parliament.
He told the New Statesman recently that he was only ensuring fairness and level playing field for all contestants for the various positions in the constituency, adding that he would do same across the country.
Denying that he was doing so because he had parliamentary ambition, the NHIS boss, who is said to have his eyes on the 2016 vice presidential slot of the NDC, said “if ensuring fairness is taken to mean fomenting trouble, then so be it.”
Sources in the party have even alleged that Mr Mensah has moles that are sent to executive meetings to record proceedings, with the supposed intention of getting to know decisions of the executive.
Insiders say the ultimate agenda is to get the current Member of Parliament, Nii Amasah Namoale, and the Municipal Chief Executive, Rita Odoley Sowah, from office at all cost.
Some members of the party in the constituency have also accused him of being the brain behind some recent petitions that were sent to the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Joseph Ade Coker, complaining about alleged unfairness in the conduct of the party’s branch elections.
According to the petitions, the current constituency executives were employing foul means to secure their re-election. The petitions were, however, dismissed by the Ade Coker-led executive that has so far put its feet on the ground to ensure the successful conduct of the party’s branch elections in the constituency.
One of the petitions signed by one Philip Tetteh claimed that “electoral malpractices and illegalities…have engulfed our constituency for the past years”, citing the security zones of Burma Camp, El-Wak Military Barracks among others as some of the areas where the supposed malpractices had been rampant over the years.
Another petition signed by Mensah Din called for “a complete check” of the constituency delegates’ register, warning: “otherwise we won’t allow them to use this register to cheat us again.”
One Lawrence Kofi Azapke, in another petition, accused the current executives of creating “ghost Branches falsely formed to win elections during constituency conference and parliamentary primaries.” He mentioned the alleged ghost branches to include Airport Police Barracks, Osu Children’s Home, Aviation, Risen Christ, Ghana International School, Dubois Centre and others.
But the constituency organizer, Abraham Oko Kotey, who is now contesting the chairmanship position, showed the New Statesman a list of polling stations in the constituency which includes all the alleged ghost branches.
The aspiring chairman discounted claims that the current executives were engaged in illegalities to perpetuate their stay in office.
“Those who are now behind the current problems in the constituency abandoned the party after our defeat in 2000 because they felt it was even shameful to be associated with the NDC at the time. Now that we have worked to make the constituency a stronghold of the NDC, they want to come and reap where they have not sowed,” Mr Oko Kotey told the New Statesman.