The NDC is said to be tacitly sponsoring People’s National Convention (PNC) Chairman, Bernard Monarh, to unseat Mr. Bagbin, who has been in parliament on the ticket of the NDC since 1993, representing the people of Kaleo-Nadowli – formerly Nadowli West – in the Upper West Region.
The ruling party’s behind-the-scenes manouvres to remove Mr. Bagbin became apparent recently when it emerged that the PNC Chairman received a Toyota Hilux pick-up with registration number GR 8724-16 from Tony Lithur, a lawyer of President John Mahama, for his campaign in the majority leader’s constituency.
Bernard Monarh later admitted that he indeed received the vehicle under reference and added that it was going to aid his campaign at Kaleo-Nadowli; but berated the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) for releasing the registration documents of the vehicle to the public.
Monarh had previously contested for the parliamentary seat at Wa Central.
The latest happenings in the Kaleo-Nadowli NDC strongly contradict the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia’s allegations that it is detractors of the NDC who are teaming up with the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to remove Mr. Bagbin from parliament.
“It is not everybody who wants Bagbin in parliament and those who dread his name want to find ways of removing him from parliament. But if they come frontally they know they will be defeated. So they are coming through us, the NDC people,” he said during his tour of the region.
“The NPP, the name they fear in parliament is Bagbin. They go behind and use some of the NDC people so that they will appear to be attacking from within and then NPP will say it is his own people who are fighting him. We don’t have anything to do with it.
“It is a lie. It is NPP that is using pliable NDC hands to execute that agenda; and Nelson Mandela says a traitor is worse than the enemy himself,” he maintained.
The constituents are said to have realized that the presidency and some powerful elements in the NDC are bent on removing Mr. Bagbin. The NDC General Secretary, they said, wanted to use the NPP as a scapegoat to deceive the NDC members in the constituency by portraying a united front for the party in the area.
Bernard Mornah, whose own party’s youth are calling for his suspension over the vehicle saga, spilled the beans when he tried to blame the DVLA for releasing the vehicle’s documents.
“I received the car from my friend and brother Tony Lithur after I had made an appeal to him. I got to know him through the ‘Free Tsatsu Movement,’ which he formed, and I was a part of. As his former student, I know he imports cars so I appealed to him during my campaign and he gave me one of his imported cars.
“So it was only proper that I registered the car in my name. But it’s obvious the DVLA has leaked the confidential registration documents to people for whatever reason known to them. And I think we should be worried that we cannot trust our DVLA,” Monarh told Starr FM.
However, speculations are rife that the brand new vehicle was given in the name of President Mahama to aid Monarh to unseat Bagbin who had publicly castigated him (president), describing his administration as very corrupt.
Mr. Bagbin had a frosty relationship in the early years of President Mahama’s regime, accusing the president of surrounding himself with nonentities in direct reference to the caliber of people advising him (president).
Mr. Bagbin once accused President Mahama of running ‘family and friends’ government and also said the president had surrounded himself with ‘fair weather friends.’
His outbursts were stemmed from his being relegated to the position of ‘3 wise men’ – who had no official portfolios. E.T. Mensah and Cletus Avoka completed the ‘wise men’ list.
The relationship appears to have been repaired after Mr. Bagbin returned to his front bench role as majority leader in parliament.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that before the NDC opened nomination for its parliamentary contest, Mr. Bagbin had intended not to contest again and went ahead to discuss the exit plan with some powerful NDC gurus at the presidency.
However, when he realized that the NDC elements wanted to ‘do him in,’ he changed his mind and decided to run again and his campaign was somewhat ‘frustrated’ by some powerful people in the party but he scaled through in the end.
By William Yaw Owusu