Some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Nalerigu/Gambaga constituency of the North East region have rejected the suspension of one of the aspirants contesting in the party’s primaries.
Peter Wuni Baaga, was sanctioned Thursday, May 14, for allegedly criticising and accusing, on radio, the incumbent Member of Parliament, also Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alimah Mahama, and some of the party executives in the constituency.
Speaking to JoyNews, the group described the suspension as unconstitutional and a breach of the fundamental human rights of the aspirant.
The are therefore calling on the party’s national hierarchy to intervene to ensure the decision is overturned.
Peter Baaga, a former District Chief Executive of the area, was suspended after he responded to allegations leveled against him by Hajia Alimah Mahama.
He had been accused of diverting and spending monies meant for the construction of infrastructure at the Nalerigu Nursing College while in office as the District Chief Executive.
But during an interview with Tizaa radio in Nalerigu on Tuesday, May 12, the suspended aspirant who was throwing counter-allegations at his opponents, also alleged that constituency executives rigged the 2014 primaries of the party for Hajia Alimah Mahama to become the parliamentary candidate.
“I told them to ask Alimah how did she become MP in 2014 .And she responded that, she has no clue and that I masterminded her victory through dubious means at the polling station”, Peter recounted.
He was also alleged to have responded to similar allegations by the regional chairman, the Municipal Chief Executive, and the constituency secretary, accusing them of smuggling fertilizers meant for the planting for food and jobs programme to neighboring Burkina Faso.
“And the issues of the fertilizers, chairman Nurudeen, the DCE and the constituency secretary have been part of a syndicate group, smuggling the inputs to neighboring countries.
“What they did was to intercept the vehicles in Tamale, raid, and change their number plates before redirecting them to their collaborators in Burkina Faso for sale. This was how they treated our poor farmers”, he said.
The interview which went viral caused the regional chairman to issue the letter announcing the sanction against the aspirant.
The letter signed by chairman Fuseini Nurudeen, said, the utterances of the aspirant breached Article 4(7) of the party constitution and the general guidelines governing the parliamentary primaries issued by the National Secretariat.
But the group insists the suspension is baseless, has no holding in the party’s constitution, and must be reversed immediately.
Leader of the NPP group in the constituency, Malik Jamal, explained that an investigation they conducted into the alleged suspension showed the decision was unilaterally taken by the regional chairman without the consultation of even the constituency executives.
The group leader also indicated that a petition was being prepared against the ‘meddlesome and bias conducts’ of the regional chairman and other members of the Parliamentary Elections Committee of the constituency, including the constituency secretary.
“What we found were that even the regional secretary is not aware of this illegal suspension”, Malik tells JoyNews.
“We understand the regional chairman’s aide wrote this baseless letter but we are not going to sit down for some people to use this party for their personal gains.
“We know why the regional chairman is doing this. He wants to show loyalty to Hajia Alimah Mahama who helped him win his position, but he should know he is a chairman of the party and not for any Individual. If he wants to do anyone’s bidding, then he should resign”.
The group concluded by appealing to the national executives to intervene, adding that, the suspension by the chairman, if allowed to stand, would further deepen the division in the party and could lead to the party losing the seat to the NDC.
“We will do anything legally and peacefully possible to ensure chairman Nuru doesn’t have his way”, Malik cautioned. “There could be a demonstration soon”.