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Politics Wed, 16 Mar 2005

Prominent NPP Member Refutes Allegations

Bolgatanga, March 16, GNA - A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Bolgatanga, Mr. Robert Ajene, has denied hosting ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, or escorting the former President round on his campaign tour of the region in the run up to the December 2004 elections.

"These are blatant lies aimed at casting my faithfulness to the NPP in doubt, and to invalidate my application to contest the Regional representation on the Council of State," said Mr. Ajene in a letter addressed to the Regional Chairman of the NPP and released to the press in Bolgatanga on Tuesday.

Attributing the source of the rumour to his "enemies in the NPP camp," Mr. Ajene who was formerly Principal of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, indicated that since 1979 he had never belonged to any other political party than the Popular Front Party (PFP) and recently the NPP.

He said between 1992 and 1998, he had to keep his party leanings secret because he was a public office holder. He added that in March 2000 when he was Principal of the Polytechnic in Bolgatanga he received an official invitation to attend a function at the St. Johns Park during a visit to the region by the then Head of State.

He said that at that forum, a number of people including the late lawyer James Ben Kaba publicly announced their defection from the NPP to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He said although he was not among those who defected, when the publication appeared in the "Daily Graphic" later, his name was inadvertently mentioned but that the reporter retracted that aspect of the story and apologized to him later.

Mr. Ajene said in run up to the December elections he was active on political platforms in the Bongo district campaigning for the NPP against the NDC. "Both His Excellency the President and Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama are aware that each time they visited the region on political campaigns, I went round with them."

He disassociated himself from the rumour, saying that he never even set eye on former President Rawlings when he came to Bolgatanga. "I am sure the former President cannot identify me if I stood before him in a group of people. In fact, he does not even know me," Mr. Ajene stated. He said as an opinion leader in the region, and an ardent follower of the Danquah-Busia Tradition, he would continue with his efforts to convince people who do not belong to the NPP to join the Party regardless of the lies his detractors would tell about him.

Source: GNA