NPP Polls: New Upper East Reg. Chairman to sue defeated rivals for defamation
The new Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lawyer Anthony Namoo, has spoken publicly of his plans to sue some of those who contested him at Saturday’s regional executive polls for defamation.
The announcement, contained in a victory speech delivered extempore in front of an excited crowd of admirers and delegates Saturday night, came as his defeated rivals were still totaling their losses in a deep state of shock inside the hall, where the election took place, over the disappointment handed them 'in cold blood' by the ‘trusted’ delegates.
Lawyer Namoo did not mention the names of the soon-to-be defendants. And he did not tell the packed hall exactly what actions had constituted the defamatory attacks on his person. But he said “some of the statements are so defamatory” that the gap between his victory and the impeding faceoff in court is only a retraction from his alleged defamers.
“Never in the history of this party in the region have so many made so many defaming allegations against so many candidates in the contest of this election. But the result shows that the truth will always stand, as the motto of Commonwealth says. I’m sure the people would know, next time around, that it doesn’t pay to go on the negative against a party member.
“Some of the statements are so defamatory that I, as a lawyer, [based on] the attack on my professional integrity, would have no choice but to get my lawyer to write a letter to some of them for retraction and if possible a court action. Otherwise, my [respect] as a lawyer is under threat because of some of the defamatory statements that were made,” he said, looking unhappy.
The ‘Eastern Curse’ ended Incumbent Chairman's dream
It appears to have become a curse or a trend in many years in the NPP that anytime a first vice regional chairman from the eastern zone of the region steps in to complete the term of a regional chairman who dies in office or resigns, and contests a subsequent election to be made a substantive chairman, the result is always a disaster.
After the death of Alhaji Bawa Abdulai, popularly known as Alhaji TUC, in 2006, Ahmed Tahiru Issahaku, his deputy from the eastern zone, replaced him. Mr. Issahaku contested and lost the following election to Agnes Chigabatia. Mrs. Chigabatia resigned in 2011 from that position to contest a parliamentary election in the Builsa North Constituency.
Her deputy from the eastern zone, Gabriel Asana, took over as the regional chairman. He, too, contested the 2014 election and, despite touting his achievements very loud to the delegates, suffered an overwhelming defeat. Saturday (yesterday) became the third time it had happened in a row as Mohammed Murtala Ibrahim, who replaced Adams Mahama after the May 2015 acid attack, also lost to Lawyer Namoo.
'Frightened' New Chairman asks for prayer to complete his Term
Lawyer Namoo also observed, in what appears to be another worrying trend, that no regional chairman in the history of the party in the region had ever completed their first term in office since 1992. Two died in office. One resigned.
So alarming has this tendency become that Lawyer Namoo himself spoke about it in a tone that caused the crowd to wonder and to ponder; and he paused his victory speech for a “man of God” to pray to avert the far-reaching ‘curse’ as he began his 4-year-term.
“I’m calling a man of God to pray for me and my other executives,” he said as the crowd looked confounded at the unusual call. “You would notice that since , no regional chairman has completed his term.”
“You will go again! You will go again!” a section of the crowd interrupted him. Some youths on the overcrowded premises outside the hall had plucked his campaign banners hung among other banners at the venue, and were waving them in wild jubilation amid vigorous drumming and spirited dance moves coming also from the camps of the other victorious aspirants.
He continued as his fans, who were warming up for a street jubilation and a long party night after the speech, kept assuring him of a second term whilst the first had not even begun yet.
“You can talk about Alhaji TUC. You can talk about Alhaji Adams Mahama. And, of course, Honourable Chigabatia, who resigned to contest [an election]. And so we have not had a consistent chairman taking his post till end of the term. As a result, we need to commit the lives of the chairman (he) and the other executives to God,” he recounted, perhaps with same amount of fear a woman might have from the beginning of a pregnancy about a ‘foretold’ miscarriage.
The “man of God”, Mike Zuri, was passionate to see that ‘curse’ broken at once. The stiffness of his eyes when they were closed as he led the prayer and the punch that came with the words could tell.
Dignitaries present were the Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, one of the region’s representative on the Council of State, Alhaji Awudu Yeremia, and the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Emmanuel Ayine Bukari among others.