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Monday, November 23, 2009

Prez Mills is surrounded by political retirees and NPP flirts - Angry NDC chairmen charge

Jubilant NDC followers storming then candidate Mills' Osu Kuku Hill office after he was declared winner of the run-off.
Jubilant NDC followers storming then candidate Mills' Osu Kuku Hill office after he was declared winner of the run-off.
Constituency Chairmen of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Greater Accra Region have asked President Mills to endeavour to consider the views of the people in policy and political decision-making.

In the meantime, they are not ready to be thrown away as chaff, as their political lives have been reduced to observers since the party scooped power out of the hands of the New Patriotic Party last December.

"That is what you do to wawa board after building. You peel it off the cement work and cast it away. We are not wawa to be discarded and we speak for all the 230 constituency chairmen, we're not alone in this,” exclaimed one of the chairmen who attended the meeting when Myjoyonline.com called for insights into what transpired at a marathon meeting Friday with the leadership of the majority caucus in Parliament led by Majority Leader Alban Bagbin and Chief Whip Enoch Teye Mensah, at the Speakers Conference Room.

The chairmen, drawn from 23 out of the 27 constituencies in the region contended that the Presidency had failed to liaise with the foot soldiers who worked hard to win victory for the NDC and this was causing great discontent within the rank and file of the party.

According to the group the 2008 elections was a make or break one and several of their members sacrificed their jobs, property and time to make victory certain but have been completely ignored since President Mills took power.

“After the election they barricaded themselves and forgot about us,” the Chairmen stated.

The group led by the constituency chairman for La Dadekotopon, Magnus Anyetei Sowah, said aside the lack of consultation with the constituency chairmen, it was disturbing that the Mills administration did not deem it fit to appoint any of the 27 constituency chairmen or executive members to positions in government.

“None of us was appointed Minister, head of public institution or board. Ironically it is people who retired from active politics after the 2000 loss and others who openly flirted with the New Patriotic Party who are today around the President. Constituency chairmen, executives and members who fought day and night with the President to clinch victory have been totally forgotten,” they said.

According to the Chairmen, efforts at channeling their concerns had been rebuffed at both party level and at the Castle. Several attempts to see the party Chairman, General Secretary or the President have all met brick-walls with explanations that they are not readily available.

“At the presidency we have been told that when the president is ready we will be called but that call has not been forthcoming months after our meeting requests were submitted.”

According to the constituency chairmen they had been yearning to meet the presidency and the party leadership to inform them about the feeling on the ground but aside the founder, former President Rawlings, there had been deliberate attempts to sideline them.

The constituency chairmen also accused some of the MPs from the majority side of deserting the party at the constituency level since they won their seats and asked the leadership to call them to order.

“Two of our colleagues lost their jobs during the NPP era for being openly NDC but no effort has been made to look into their cases and these people are out of work and unable to cater for themselves.

“There is also the sad story of a constituency Chairman whose properties were totally burnt at Gushiegu but no efforts have been made to assist him and now he is destitute and living in a shack. We need a party that really cares for its people. This does not augur well for party cohesion, unity and development,” they cautioned.

Messrs Bagbin and E.T. Mensah, according to sources at the meeting, expressed gratitude to the constituency chairmen for sending across their grievances and assured that the concerns will be relayed to President Mills and if possible a meeting arranged with the President for these concerns to be discussed in detail.

The constituency chairmen thanked the parliamentary leadership and former President Rawlings for giving them audience and hoped that other party leaders will take a cue and hear their concerns.


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