Tension is brewing in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Bekwai Constituency over the alleged disqualification of a parliamentary aspirant, Mr Kwasi Amofa-Agyemang.
Some aggrieved members of the party in the constituency believe the disqualification of Mr Amofa-Agyemang was a plot by the party executive members to let the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, go unopposed.
“The people of the Bekwai Constituency are aggrieved and wish to make it clear to the party that we will not accept an imposition of Mr Osei-Owusu on us in the 2020 election.
The rank and file in the constituency are fed up with Mr Osei-Owusu and want a new candidate,” the leader of the aggrieved members, Mr Michael Effah, said at a press conference at Bekwai.
He claimed that it was a grand plot by the incumbent MP and party executive members that led to the disqualification of Mr Amofa-Agyemang at the regional vetting of the party.
Giving reasons for his argument that there was a plot to make Mr Osei-Owusu go unopposed, Mr Effah said the constituency Chairman, Mr Patrick Adu-Gyamfi, ran away with the nomination forms when the party opened nominations, resulting in Mr Amofa-Agyemang going to the party headquarters to procure one.
He said the party locked up the constituency office after the incumbent submitted his nomination forms, once again frustrating Mr Amofa-Agyemang in his bid to contest the primary.
That, he said, compelled Mr Amofa-Agyemang to submit his forms at the regional office.
He claimed that Mr Osei-Owusu, who is the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, had become unpopular among the constituents.
Mr Effah, a former presiding member of the Bekwai Municipal Assembly, said since Mr Osei-Wusu became the MP in 2008, there had been a growing division among constituency executive members, electoral area coordinators and polling station executive members.
“Many voters have vowed to vote skirt and blouse if Mr Osei-Owusu is imposed on us by the party hierarchy and many voters have also decided to vote for NDC if Mr Osei-Wusu is imposed on the constituency,” he stated.
He alleged that the fortunes of the party had been declining in the constituency over the years due to the uncompromising nature of the MP.
However, results from the Bekwai constituency in the last two elections showed that in the 2016 elections, Mr Osei-Owusu garnered 49, 894 votes, while the NDC candidate got 7,703 votes whereas in 2012, he obtained 47, 972 votes as compared to the 7, 330 obtained by the NDC candidate in the last parliamentary election.
When contacted, Mr Osei-Owusu said he was not afraid of competition, stressing that “I am a competent MP and my people love me. I am not afraid competing with any one any day.“But there are rules in any competition. If you do not meet the conditions of the competition, you cannot compete and that is all there is to it,” he said.