The feud between the faction of the Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, and the camp of the Upper East Regional Minister, Tangoba Abayage, is rolling downhill as the pro-Adda group has quoted the Regional Minister in its latest outbursts to have said she was tasked by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to bring Adda down.
Adda was brought down in June, this year, when Abayage was drawn against the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the Navrongo Central Constituency at a parliamentary primary election conducted by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and won by the neck ahead of Adda.
But Abayage’s quest to finish on the “2020 list of first female MP-elects” rather saw her added to “the 2020 list of MP-rejects” as she lost the main parliamentary election— by a “devastating” margin— to Samson Chiragia, the parliamentary candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The faction in support of Adda and the pro-Abayage group were locked in an open vendetta before the primary election and have remained so even after the primary and the main elections. The statement attributed to Abayage— that she was assigned by President Akufo-Addo to topple the Aviation Minister— was parroted at a news conference convened in Navrongo on Monday in response to a presser organised last week against Adda by some electoral area coordinators and polling station executives of the party in support of Abayage.
“What eventually broke the camel’s back was when a powerful delegation from the Navrongo Central Constituency went to the Jubilee House to pronounce that our Honourable MP, Joseph Kofi Adda, had lost touch with the grassroots supporters and that his popularity had dwindled to an extent that he could no longer retain the seat for the party. The proponents of this treacherous strategy went ahead and proposed Honourable Tangoba Abayage as a viable candidate for the party, claiming she was a unifier.
“Tangoba herself stated on several occasions with her engagement with the media that she was brought by the President to unseat Joseph Kofi Adda. It is, therefore, unfortunate that we are trying hard to use a simple analysis to portray why we lost the 2020 general elections in the constituency when the factors are multifaceted,” Adda’s supporters said in a statement signed by the Pungu Central Electoral Area Coordinator for the NPP, Alan Kwesi Nazantra.
“Produce evidence that Adda campaigned against NPP”— Adda’s group challenges Abayage’s camp
The pro-Adda group also confronted the Regional Minister’s supporters at the conference with a strong demand to provide “true evidence” to substantiate an allegation they made last week that the outgoing MP waged a post-primary campaign against the NPP in the constituency in the buildup to the December 7 general elections.
“The so-called group is made up of few electoral area coordinators and some polling station executives who were bought with money during the primaries and they sold their conscience to Madam Abayage, the constituency executive committee and the Municipal Chief Executive. They do not form half of the total number of the electoral area coordinators and polling station executives in the constituency. We are privy to an investigative piece by a journalist which indicates that the so-called video they tendered as evidence of Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda sponsoring the PPP’s parliamentary candidate with Gh¢5,000 and ballot samples was an orchestration by the First Vice Chairman of our party in Navrongo Central in an attempt to blackmail and malign Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda and we dare him to come out and deny it.
“It is also blatant falsehood that Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda and his numerous supporters took to the streets of Navrongo to jubilate when Samson Tangombu Chiragia, the NDC candidate, was declared winner, and again we challenge them to come out with evidence. Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda never campaigned against the NPP in Navrongo Central and we challenge them to come out with evidence. It can be recalled that shortly after Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda’s defeat in the parliamentary primaries, he made it clear he was not ready to campaign together with people who were calling him all sorts of names and rained insults on him. His only campaign message in the constituency was ‘Four more for NPP to do more’. We have evidence of Honourable Kofi Adda campaigning vigorously in the Chiana-Paga Constituency for the party. He also supported five other constituencies in the Upper East Region,” the statement, read by Gilbert Baase, said.
“Politics of Segregation cost us the Seat”— Adda’s supporters
Adda’s camp said the seat slipped from the NPP back to the NDC owing to what they described at the conference as “politics of segregation” and some other factors.
“One would have thought that after the primaries, the patrons and elders of the party in the constituency would have apologised to the elephant family for their irresponsible acts to pave way for reconciliation among party supporters but this did not happen. Arrogance, complacency and politics of segregation became the order of the day. News of ‘we will win the election with or without Team Honourable Adda’ started flying in town.
“Constituency executives, who under normal circumstances are supposed to be referees, eventually requested for jerseys and got involved in the actual game. Again, patrons and elders, who under normal circumstances would have served as a jury of appeal for aggrieved teams, also got the euphoria and decided to take part in the game. Almost all the constituency executives as well as patrons and elders were seen campaigning for Honourable Tangoba before the primaries and we have evidence to that effect,” affirmed the statement.
It added: “It is high time we all assessed our individual contributions towards this humiliating defeat and go back to the drawing board or else what awaits us in 2024 will be more than this. We must blame ourselves for giving out the seat so cheaply to the NDC. It is clear that the leadership of the party in the constituency failed us, thus the need for a total change. The situation in the Navrongo Central Constituency is deteriorating and needs an immediate attention.”
In attendance also were other such notable NPP activists in the constituency as Desire Ayariga, Monica Kons, Charles Kaba, Daniel Kansake, Charles Ania and Rolanda Adda Aneba among other party members who said the pro-Abayage camp had openly threatened to “deal ruthlessly” with Adda’s supporters if the Regional Minister won the main election.
“The mishandling of the municipality by the MCE also contributed to people voting against the NPP. The way he mishandled the Best Farmer Awards scheme since he became MCE, giving the awards to his close friends, angered many genuine farmers and they, therefore, also voted against the NPP in their numbers.
“In 2016, Kofi Adda beat Mark Woyongo by over 3,000 votes and Akufo-Addo lost to Mahama in Navrongo Central by just 51 votes. But just this year, Abayage lost to Samson Chiragia by over 11,000 votes and Akufo-Addo lost to Mahama by over 10,000 votes all because of the selfish acts of that group,” Nazantra noted.