Some constituency executives as well as other members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region are up in arms against the regional executives over claims of unfairness against some parliamentary aspirants.
The party faithful, who have formed a group called Concerned NDC Members, bemoaned a decision by the party in the region to charge a development levy of GH¢5,000 for sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and GH¢10,000 for new entrants.
According to the group’s spokesperson, Paul DeRoy, the disparity in the fees is unacceptable and not in the best interest of the party.
These charges exclude the ones pegged by the national executives; thus, nomination forms and filing fees for males: GH¢1,000 and GH¢10,000 respectively and GH¢1,000 and GH¢5,000 for females.
The group has therefore called on the leadership of the NDC to take immediate steps to overturn the decision taken by the Volta Regional executives.
In an interview on a local radio station, the Volta Regional Chairman of the party, Kwadwo Gyapong, defended the decision saying, the levy was necessary to help execute several projects the party was undertaking in the region.
He described the fees as fair, explaining that the incumbent MPs had for the past years been financing and immensely supporting the party in the region and their various constituencies.
To this end, “it is only proper that the levy is slightly reduced for them to compensate for their support over the years.” He said the newcomers should see this as their noble contribution to the party they belong to and on which ticket they want to represent their constituents. “In any case, the region, being the ‘World Bank’ of the party, when they go through the primaries their chances of becoming MPs are over 70%.”
He therefore insisted that the decision would be carried through. “This decision was not taken by one person; it was taken at a regional executive committee meeting where every member agreed… ”
Nominations So Far
Despite the tension in the region, a number of aspirants (sitting MPs and new entrants) have picked nomination forms to contest in the November 7 parliamentary primaries of the party since nominations opened last Thursday.
A peace and security expert, Dr. Ken Ahorsu, has picked forms to contest the Hohoe constituency seat.
Dr. Ahorsu, who is also senior lecturer at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and a research fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), wants to unseat the incumbent MP, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo, who doubles as the Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Benjamin Kpodo and James Klutse Avedzi, both seating MPs and members of the finance committee of parliament, have picked their forms, hoping to retain their seats in the Ho Central and Ketu North constituencies respectively.
In the Agotime-Ziope constituency, five aspirants, including a female journalist – Mrs. Aku-Sika Kpene Ansah – have picked forms as the incumbent MP, Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah, goes away. Other contenders are Ho Municipal Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Charles Agbeve; a vice chairman of the constituency, David Dzreke; Elvis Attivoe and Nyagbloe Yohanne.
Richard Quashigah, MP for Keta, has declared his intention to retain his seat while the former youth and sports minister and MP for Anlo, Kofi Humado, has also picked forms to seek re-election.
Three aspirants, including a former MP – Charles Hodogbe – have picked forms to wrest the seat from the Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, in the North Tongu Constituency.
Two new aspirants, Romeo Hademe and Maxwell Lukutor, have also done same in the South Tongu constituency to contest incumbent Korbla Woyome, who also picked his forms last Thursday.
In the Central Tongu constituency, incumbent MP and former roads and highways minister, Joe Gidisu and two others, Frank Agbanator and Gabby Hotordze, underwent the same exercise on day one of the opening of nominations.
More persons are expected to join the parliamentary primaries in the region.
Source: Daily Guide
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