An elder of the New Patriotic Party (NPP); Dr. Amoako Tuffuor has appealed to the NPP’s National Appeals Committee on Parliamentary Primaries to act decisively against unfair treatment meted out to some Parliamentary aspirants of the party across the country.
He believes the disqualification of some aspirants constitutes unfair treatment and should be carefully looked at since it may have dire consequences for the cohesion and electoral fortunes of the party.
He said although he did not have supporting evidence, “with regards to the events surrounding the vetting, some things were not done right. I heard that some people were asked to do something before they were vetted and others were forcefully asked to step down”.
“Honorable ladies and gentlemen of our appeals committee, I humbly and respectfully appeal to you that we should not allow unfairness to go on. Let’s allow everybody or most of them go and stand, and the people who know them best in the constituency will decide whether they want them or not” he appealed.
He believes if the “right thing” is not done, the party will lose votes as some disgruntled victims and their supporters are threatening not to vote, contest as independent candidates, or vote skirt and blouse; options which will not help the party in anyway.
Please read his full statement below:
HUMBLE APPEAL TO NPP NATIONAL APPEALS COMMITTEE ON PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES –BY DR. KWAME AMOAKO TUFFUOR
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening whenever you may be reading this script from me. Please for those who like me, I know you will appreciate it and I thank you. Those who may not like me, I can appreciate your democratic right to have an opinion and I appreciate it also. But this is not for me, it is for the party, our party- the NPP.
I am writing again on this after the initial suggestions on why we should allow people interested in parliamentary elections to have their forms by considering negotiations, discussions, QUID PRO QUO, and other considerations that may let some people step down voluntarily and not being refused application forms. A lot of things happened. There were a lot of frustrations from people, there were some who were being denied of these papers and all that but we moved on all the same. We got to the forms being filled and then vetting committees. We have heard a lot of things; we appreciate though we do not agree with the things that might have gone wrong.
I have come to realize that with regards to the events surrounding the vetting, some things were not done right. I heard that some people were asked to do something before they were vetted and others were forcefully asked to step down. I am giving the respect to the vetting committee absolutely without prejudice and I am not talking about Ashanti alone. I am talking across-board. I don’t have the proof. Different people are complaining. Others may be speculating
With all due respect let us do the right thing. Somebody decides he wants to run for an election, he believes he has the qualifications; why don’t we allow him to contest and allow the voters to decide. I have seen lots of them who are well qualified but have been disqualified.
The judges selected are not the only people who could have sat on the vetting committee. There are other competent people who could have sat there. But we must respect the choice of the party.
Certain things have happened; I’m not going to wash any dirty linen in public, that is not my style. I am now moving forward just like we should all do and forget the past.
I am appealing to the rank and file of this party that they should please try and hold on till their disgruntled candidates go for their appeals. I know of what some of them are planning; what they are shouting about. You can’t blame them. They feel cheated, and they(candidates and supporters) feel they have been unfairly treated. Whether you want to listen to them or not, I wish to plead with everybody who feels unfairly treated or cheated to go to the appeals committee.
I stand with humility and respect for the noble persons listed under the appeals committee to be kind enough to consider some of these suggestions that I am coming with. We should have time to study the credentials of these disgruntled persons and if anyone is found to have been unfairly handled, please be bold enough to save the day for the party. Because if after the appeals, things still go bad in support of the vetting committee, I suspect some of these things can happen:
Some members or supporters of these disqualified candidates are saying they will go independent and this will not help the party in any way. Even if the party attempts to say that the independent candidate will be dismissed, the people are likely to take the party on. “Because there were people that stood independent before and they are back in the party and holding very important positions in government”, this is what some of the disgruntled persons are saying.
An independent candidate may be secretly supported to vote against the NPP candidate. That will split our votes.
Secondly, people are threatening that they will vote “skirt and blouse”. It won’t help the party.
The third one is “yento koraa” which means “we will not vote at all”. If they are not going to the polling stations, they are not voting for the president as well and the president is going to lose a lot of votes. We don’t know the statistics. One cannot tell at this point how many, whether in hundreds or thousands, that are going to go by this route. We shall be the losers. We must try to avoid it.
But don’t let’s forget, at times we forget ourselves we have a very potent opposition group that is looking to support some of our independent candidates. You think about it. They are also going to support people who are not going to vote at all. They are not coming with NDC or CPP flags around their necks, or in their hands. There are lots of people that you may not know where they belong. These are people that may easily convince our general public or grassroots to go dirty on us.
Honorable ladies and gentlemen of our appeals committee, I humbly and respectfully appeal to you that we should not allow unfairness to go on. Let’s allow everybody or most of them go and stand, and the people who know them best in the constituency will decide whether they want them or not. If they want them it means they will vote for them now and in December. If they don’t want them it means they won’t vote for them now and fairness would have been established. If we try to play the unfairness game we will be caught in disaster. Unnecessary protectionism can lead us to disaster.
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