By: Rita Nedjoh | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Afadzato South Constituency has denied allegations of blocking flagbearer aspirant, Mr. Augustus Goosie Tanoh and his team from campaigning in the area.
Mr. Goosie Tanoh who was on a final campaign tour of the Volta region last week ahead of the NDC’s presidential primaries on Saturday, February 23 2019, reportedly told a gathering in Ho, that he was denied the chance to meet delegates of Afadzato South when his campaign train arrived in constituency.
This, his campaign team believed was a deliberate ploy on the part of the constituency executives thwart their flagbearership campaign in the constituency.
However a press statement issued by the constituency chairman, Mr. Frank Afriyie, described the allegations by the Goosie2020 campaign as false, adding that, “We are convinced that a failed and half-baked team misled Mr. Goodie Tanoh on this occasion relative to this all important visit to our Constituency”.
The release which contained the executive of what might have transpired in the constituency, however challenged Mr. Goosie to formally lodge complaints with the party hierarchy at regional level for an independent probe to ascertain the truth of the claims.
Below is the Full Statement
RE: GOOSIE TANOH PREVENTED FROM MEETING DELEGATES IN AFADZATO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY
The leadership of the National Democratic Congress (N.D.C) in the Afadzato South Constituency was completely shocked and appalled at the unprovoked attacks and wild allegations against the person of the constituency chairman and the entire constituency executives by the Goosie 2020 campaign team which, unfortunately, found expression in several traditional and social media platforms.
For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to state without any equivocation that the claim that Mr Goosie Tanoh was blocked or prevented, either by myself or the entire executive committee from meeting delegates, was not only false and groundless but constitutes a set of carefully packaged lies and provable untruths, pieced together, ostensibly to tarnish the name of the chairman and dent the otherwise enviable image of the NDC in the Afadjato South Constituency.
Furthermore, it’s absolutely imperative to situate the ‘failure’ of the Goosie2020 campaign team to visit us (Afadzato south) into the bigger context of visits by other N.D.C presidential candidates. In this regard, we wish to indicate that the constituency had previously hosted such presidential hopefuls as the Hon Alban Bagbin, Hon Sylvester Mensah, H.E John Dramani Mahama with absolute fairness and without a scintilla of undue impediment as being alleged by team Goosie. One wonders how and why anyone could contemplate let alone implement the said ‘blockade’
Party leadership, having thoroughly observed, monitored and analyzed media engagements on this development by a segment of the Goosie2020 team for the past four (4) days, states the following;
(a) that we confirm receipt of two different letters on the 7th and 10th February respectively notifying the constituency about the visit of Mr Goosie Tanoh. Interestingly, both letters bore same date but differ in terms of content.
(b) that, as a result of the apparent confusion created by the two different letters from the same team Goosie, coupled with our established protocols to organize these encounters in formats that meet the expectations of various presidential campaigns whiles guaranteeing the welfare of delegates, I called the attention of the team to nominate a member of theirs to join us in ironing out inconsistencies noted in the two invitation letters in order to plan effectively ahead of the visit by Mr Tanoh. To this end, a former constituency executive (name withheld for now) was nominated to stand in for the Goosie2020 team.
(c) that, contrary to our expectation of having the nominee join two other constituency executives to commence the planning process, the nominee rather called me the following day and said we should not expect him in the joint team Goosie/constituency deliberations because he has never been a member of the Goosie2020 campaign team, hence was unable to do any transactions on their behalf.
(d) that, mindful of the consequences the absence of a nominee of the team could create, I immediately drew the attention of a member of the Goosie2020 team on the development so they could nominate a new representative. Instead, I was assured that the venue, P.A system, chairs etc, have been unilaterally sorted out by team Goosie, to the extent that further provision was made by their team to send notices to invited delegates on a local radio station, Lukusi radio, to, in the words of the team, complement the traditional mode by which the constituency normally invites delegates.
(e) that, at this rate and with the turn of events, the need to meet and jointly decide on the venue, format of the program etc, as initially envisaged was apparently needless given the progress made according to the Goosie2020 team.
(f) that, three (3) days prior to the scheduled date of visit by Mr Goosie Tanoh, the constituency secretary called branch chairmen from respective branches that team Goosie had requested delegates to notify them of the intended visit by Mr Goosie Tanoh. It is important to state at this point that, never has the Constituency Chairman called delegates in person to meet any presidential aspirant, contrary to claims that he personally prevented the delegates from meeting Mr Tanoh.
(g) that, hereafter, all was set and delegates were expectant of the visit of the Goosie2020 campaign on Friday, 15th February, 2019 as per the itinerary given to the constituency. In a sudden turn of events, on Thursday, 14th February 2019, early in the morning, whiles giving accounts of parts of his campaign tour of some constituencies in the Volta Region, on Volta Star radio, Mr Goosie Tanoh peddled one of the most ferocious untruths so far to the effect that he was prevented by the Chairman and constituency executives from meeting delegates from some branches in the constituency.
We feel highly scandalized in view of the baseless assertion; and as such would like to respectfully challenge Mr Goosie Tanoh to lodge formal complaints with the regional party office or any other independent appellate party structure in order to establish the veracity or otherwise of the claims.
We are convinced that nothing other than a failed and half-baked team misled Mr Goosie Tanoh on this occasion relative this all important visit to our constituency.
Again, just so Mr Tanoh gets to know the huge disservice caused him by some architects of his Volta campaign team, we also humbly demand of him to independently verify on his own, just three of the wobbly claims by his team as captured in an interview with Metro TV as follows;
(1) the wild claim that Goosie2020 team was dealing with our Constituency Organiser in respect of all activities involved in the planning process on the ground because the Chairman was in Accra. For the records, this is a patent lie as the constituency Organiser has traveled on another assignment outside the constituency for almost three (3) weeks now and has not returned yet. How could members of your team claim to be working on the ground with someone who is not in the constituency as at now?
(2) the Catholic Church in the Afadzato South Constituency has banned all political activities from taking place in their respective chapels, irrespective of the political parties involved. Please, endeavor to find out from your team, the name of the one who paid for the chapel and communicated same to delegates as the venue for the encounter, the amount paid, the authority of the church who received the amount and, if possible, the receipt that was issued. Could it be that a particular member of your team might have failed you with arrangements on venue prior to your arrival hence the deliberate concoctions to shift blame to us?
(3) Finally and most importantly, establish how the Goosie2020 team was blocked on Thursday morning when it was originally scheduled to meet delegates from Afadzato South rather on Friday morning. What was the mode of operation adopted by the blockading team to prevent the Goosie2020 team from meeting the delegates? It is on record that team Goosie wanted to meet just between a 100-150 out of the over 700 delegates in the Afadzato South Constituency. Could you kindly double check and confirm who or what percentage of the expected delegates complained of having been prevented from attending unto your invitation. If possible, establish their identities in the event of a further probe.
We are very certain in our minds that the entire episode was nothing but a well choreographed scheme to give executives and the constituency bad press in order to dent our image for reasons we can hardly fathom. As such, we wish to demand from team Goosie, an unqualified apology to all stakeholders of the constituency for all the inconvenience caused.
Constituency Chairman, NDC Afadzato South.