Bismarck Tawiah Boateng
Bismarck Tawiah Boateng, aka ‘Otafregya,’ the defeated Eastern Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has blamed his defeat in the just-ended Regional Delegates’ Congress on some appointees of former President John Mahama.
According to him, the former Eastern Regional Minister, Mavis Ama Frimpong, former Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Emmanuel Victor Smith and National Vice Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo campaigned vigorously and doled out cash to delegates to ensure his exit.
“I will not blame anybody for my defeat but it’s instructive to note that all former appointees ganged up against Tawiah Boateng. All of them, including Ofosu Ampofo, Victor Smith and others, embarked on operation to remove Tawiah Boateng and bring Jowak. They met all former MMDCEs and even called one founding member of the party, Alhaji Abu, who urged them to vote massively for Jowak.”
“They did all these machinations and even tried to force one contestant, Basil Ahiable, to step down for Jowak. They promised to pay him (Basil Ahiable) GH¢130,000, but he refused. All these contributed to the delay in conducting the regional elections,” Tawiah Boateng told an Accra-based Okay FM on Monday when reacting to his shocking defeat.
John Owusu Amankrah, popularly known as Jowak, a businessman and a former regional chairman, who staged a comeback, polled 379 votes as against 281 votes secured by Tawiah Boateng, a known Mahama boy while the other contender Basil Ahiable got 249 votes.
Several dramatic incidents which took place during the election such as power outage were believed to have been orchestrated by some people in an attempt to rig the polls.
Immediately the light went off some hoodlums believed to have been hired by the contestants rushed to the elections grounds with offensive weapons like sharp machetes to protect the ballot box, and this led to the suspension of voting for a while until the lights came back before the voting, which ended around 1:30 am, continued.
Ahead of the election, Jowak led a campaigned dubbed “Operation Old NDC Executives Must Go” against the Agenda 50–50 group led by Tawiah Boateng, Mark Oliver-Kevor, incumbent Secretary and Frank Annor-Dompreh, former Deputy Secretary.
The Jowak Team also accused Tawiah Boateng and the old executives of losing two of the party’s parliamentary seats namely Akwatia and Upper Manya Krobo to then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016.
They also touched on the allegation in the Kwasi Botchwey’s report that Tawiah Boateng ‘pocketed’ about GH¢1 million that was meant for the 2016 campaign.
Mr. Tawiah Boateng said he would not keep mute over his defeat since the NDC was still rebuilding to recapture power from the NPP in 2020 but said he was only putting things in the right perspective.
The election, which was supervised by the Electoral Commission, started at 5:30 pm last Saturday. It was characterised by chaos which led to suspension of polls severally to allow issues to be sorted out.
The electoral process was stalled for several hours following a collective decision by the various constituency chairmen to demand payment of their transport fares from the election committee before allowing their members to vote.
The EC earlier announced that delegates from the Akropong constituency could not vote due to a pending court case, but Mr. Ofosu Ampofo insisted that since the elections committee and the party had not been served, the delegates must vote.
After several arguments the EC agreed that it was wrong to deny such delegates the opportunity to vote.
Mark Oliver-Kevor, the incumbent Regional Secretary, retained his position with 538 votes against 365 votes polled by his contender, Baba Jamal Konney, who was then the Regional Communication Officer and wanted to move up the pecking order.
George Mensah Akpalu, a tutor at Koforidua Technical University and William K. Atamudzi, former Constituency Chairman of Nsawaman Adogyiri Constituency, were elected as the Vice Chairmen with 190 votes and 285 votes respectively beating their contenders- Abednego Djagman (19), Francis Ojabu Djaahi, (115), Ransford Owusu Boakye, (94), Adu Stella Obeng, (77), Kwaku Asamoah, (34), Stella Ansah, (45), and Siedu Konate with 48 votes.
The Deputy Secretary went to Cudjoe Adukpo who polled 593 votes to beat Sawodji Kwame Stephen (319 votes) while Hackman S. Kabore, the former Deputy Organiser, polled 653 votes to beat Tom Budu Kenneth, the former DCE for Ofoase Ayiribi, who secured 260 votes.
Moses Atuah Darko became the Deputy Organsier while Micheal Adu-Sei won the Treasurer position, and Richard Lartey Obibini was elected as the Deputy Treasurer.
Also, Darlas Ampomah E. Williams was elected as the Communication Officer with Akore Micheal Ofoe as his deputy. while Issah Mohammed Sani secured the Zongo Caucus position after beating five other contestants.
From Daniel Bampoe