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DCE Saves Zebilla NPP From Collapse

2008-03-27 22:28:18
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It required a rare sense of dynamism and leadership to save the Zebilla constituency branch of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) from imminent collapse, as intra-party rancour had succeeded in rusting the wheels of the party’s machinery, leaving it to screech to a standstill.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Bawku West District, which also makes up the constituency, Mr. Desmond Bugbilla, demonstrated the requisite qualities when he successfully used the occasion of Easter, which is symbolically the period marking when Jesus is supposed to have died to save humankind, as the period to save his party from collapse.

Last Saturday, Mr. Bugbilla, the youngest of President Kufuor’s representatives at the District level in the Upper East region, succeeded where several others had failed, to bring together the immediate past DCE of the area, Mr. Moses Appiah Abare and the former Upper East regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu and their supporters together, after an apparent long-standing disagreement.

With an almost ‘Odinga-Kibaki’ state of affairs between the two former political leaders and their respective supporters within the party, it literally required the astute diplomacy of a Kofi Annan, to be able to reunite the factions in order to make the NPP battle-ready for the December polls.

The venue was the DCE’s office, in attendance was the Upper East regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Ahmed Tahiru Issaku, seated were Mahmi and Abare and eager to talk were the current constituency executives of the party as well as the immediate past ones, who backed Abare and Mahmi respectively.

The charges against each other were numerous, but it was admitted in the end that the accusations lacked substance to merit the level of acrimony that had ensued between the factions, culminating in the almost near collapse of the party.

It became clear that the confusion between the former Minister and the DCE emanated from a long-standing dispute about who should represent the party in the parliamentary polls.

Mahmi claimed the former DCE had and is still sabotaging his chances of securing the party’s ticket through a manipulated election of constituency officers of the party. His contention was that the new executives were virtually appendages of the former DCE who managed to get them elected into office.

The past constituency executives shared the view of the former Minister and decided to back him and campaign for him, hence the confusion between the old and new executives of the party.

But Abare denied the charges and noted that he had nothing against his former boss. He however had concerns that other party loyalists were doing everything possible to blight his chances of securing the party’s ticket.

The old executives considered predominantly as founders of the party at the constituency and the new executives considered mainly as latter day saints, had gotten to the apex of their intra-party bitterness, to the extent that they avoid exchanging greetings.

Each faction had vowed to ensure the defeat of the other either during party primaries or the December elections through fair or foul means.

After a brief trading of accusations, the influence of the young DCE came to bear when his appeal for party unity was unanimously accepted. The factions promised their loyalty to the party, to each other and resolved to unite for the purpose of securing victory for the party in December.

“It wasn’t easy to bring the two sides together because they had taken entrenched positions and were not ready to compromise. I am happy that at long last, I managed to bring the two sides together for an amicable settlement of the dispute. I have no doubt that the Zebilla seat will go to the NPP come the December polls,” Mr. Bugbilla explained after he managed to unite the warring factions.

The DCE advised all members of the party to see the party’s interest as paramount and consider themselves as key stakeholders of the party who should work to ensure its victory. He said the party was going to win the 2008 elections both at the constituency and national levels and urged all members to remain united. The regional party Chairman said he was happy that a solution had been found to the problem. “The problem was between the former minister and the DCE, but last Saturday everybody poured their hearts out and promised to support whoever emerges as the winner of the party’s parliamentary primary.

The most important thing is that we needed peace in the party and we have secured it. I am also from that constituency so I was so worried about the problem. Thank God there is peace now,” Issaku said.

The Chronicle gathered that so far, Messrs Mahmi and Abare are those who have picked nomination forms to file for the party’s parliamentary primary.

The winner of the NPP primary would be facing the incumbent, 58-year-old People’s National Convention Member of Parliament (MP), Hon. John Akparibo Ndebugre and former MP and Minister in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Mr. Cletus Avoka.

source: Chronicle

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