From Isaac Akwetey-Okunor, Koforidua (email@example.com)
A meeting called by the Eastern Regional Secretariat of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) last week Thursday to discuss divisions in the Afram Plains South Constituency turned violent with the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Eric Osei Owusu, reportedly removing his shirt and ready to attack the Regional Secretary and his deputy.
The Chronicle sources at the meeting said, but for the timely intervention by the national executives, led by the National Organiser, Kofi Adams, and Madam Anita Desoso, a different story would have been told, as the MP was bent on ‘disciplining’ Messrs Mark Oliver Kevor and Francis Annor Dompreh.
It would be recalled that the NDC withdrew its parliamentary candidate for Kwahu Afram Plains South, Joseph Appiah, 67 days to the 2016 elections.
Mr. Appiah Boateng, who was the then incumbent MP for the area, was alleged to have been convicted of fraud outside the country.
In his stead, the party directed its Eastern Regional Secretary, Oliver Mark-Kevor, to represent the party in the constituency.
Mr Eric Osei Owusu, who contested the parliamentary primary with Mr. Joseph Appiah but lost, felt he should have been considered to represent the party if his main contender had been asked to step down.
Whilst the National Chairman introduced Mr. Kevor to the Electoral Commission (EC) as the main parliamentary candidate for the area, the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, on the other hand, introduced Mr Eric Osei Owusu. The party finally settled on Eric Osei Owusu, who eventually won the seat.
The party has since not seen peace and unity in the constituency, due to a sharp division among the party members.
The MP is reportedly leading one side of the faction, whilst his Constituency Chairman is also leading the other faction.
The perceived division came up shortly after the party had announced the dates for the election of branch executives.
Whilst the Chairman was canvassing for people who would be on his side, the MP was also canvassing for those who would be with him. It was to help iron out these differences that the meeting was called.
The Chronicle gathered that in the course of the meeting, the Regional Secretary and his Deputy mentioned the name of the late father of the MP to enhance their argument, but the action of the two did not go down well with the MP, who reportedly removed his shirt and was ready to pounce on the duo.
When contacted, the Regional Chairman of the party, Mr. Bismark Tawiah Boateng, confirmed the story and said the situation would have been bloody, but for the timely intervention of the national executives present at the meeting.
He, however, pointed out that though the MP took off his shirt to fight, he did not throw any punches, and that the whole drama was reduced to verbal exchanges.
The MP, Eric Osei Owusu, when contacted, confirmed attending the meeting, but said he would not use the media to solve party problems, and that he got the result he wanted to have at the meeting.
The Deputy Regional Secretary, Francis Annor Dompreh, also told this reporter in an interview that the situation was a political hazard, and that we should not make capital out of it.
According to him, the branch executive and constituency elections are very competitive, hence the tension. At the time of filing this report, there was a meeting to decide what kind of punishment to be meted out to the MP.