In the evaluation of Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, the NPP went into the Tuesday’s by-election with a divided front which scuttled the support of floating voters.
Lawyer Otoo, who is the former head of legal and constitutional affairs of the NPP, said the absence of Kwabena Agyepong and Paul Afoko, created the impression that there were still deep cracks in the party.
The party’s presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen who contested Akufo-Addo at the party’s primary among a number of party big wigs, were however in the Talensi constituency to assist in the vigorous campaign.
Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo
Even so, Mr. Otoo says it was not good enough. He thus asked the party to do things that attract floating voters.
He dismissed the notion that the two could have been attacked due to the recent acid-attack that led to the sudden death of the party’s Upper East Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama.
Anthony Karbo’s reaction
But speaking on TV3’s New Day, Anthony Karbo, the former NPP National Youth Organizer, expressed his disappointment at the comment made by the one-time Attorney General.
According to him, the absence of the two national executives in Talensi cannot in anyway be blamed for their loss; explaining that with the seat traditionally being an NDC seat, coupled with the wanton abuse of state resources and vote buying by the incumbent government, it was no surprise the NDC recaptured the seat.
He said it was in the best interest of the two executives to stay away from the region since disgruntled party members and relatives of the late Adams Mahama, are yet to be healed completely.
He added that as long as the murder of the Upper East Regional Chairman is being prosecuted in the court and with the suspicion that the two national leaders may have played a role in his death, it is wise that they stayed off not to inflame passions.
Karbo opined that if anybody’s absence at all caused their defeat, then it is rather the late Adams Mahama’s absence.
“It is perhaps okay to say that if Adams Mahama was alive; we could have won that seat. He had been working very hard to protect this seat for the region and as the regional chairman he was one important person to have made the difference because he is the one people know and relate to more than any national executive member because his spirit is in the region literally”.
“This matter is under investigation, people are in court so let us be a bit reasonable when we draw such issues or people into this matter. I would have expected Ayikoi Otoo to have been a bit tactful with the comment that he made. People have been affected and you just get up and say that because of a by-election you are going there to perform your duties. People must heal and it takes time for that to happen. Ayiko Otoo himself wasn’t in Talensi and didn’t make any effort to assist in capturing the seat so it’s unfortunate for him to make such comments” Karbo stated.
The NPP’s Communication Director has also in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, downplayed Mr. Ayikoi Otoo’s comment.
He said “the NPP’s defeat has nothing to do with Afoko and Agyepong. The two may have absented themselves possibly as a result of events leading to Adams Mahama’s death and for their own safety, Mr. Akomea assumed. That would be prudent, it would be “strange” to attribute the party’s defeat to the executives.
The NPP’s candidate, Thomas Duanab, garnered 6,845 votes to lose to the NDC’s Mr. B.T. Baba who polled 10,366 votes.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana