An insider within the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ledzokuku constituency, has given an account to what led to the defeat of physician-turned politician; Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) former constituency chairman, Benjamin Ayiku, at the just ended December 7 general election.
According to the insiders, Dr Okoe-Boye, contrary to flimsy excuse that he lost because he failed to attend social events, should rather blame himself, having succeeded in fragmenting the base of the NPP within a short period of time, courting serious disaffection for himself.
The Herald gathered the division ahead of the election, became so intense that many party folks who were disregarded and were not taken seriously by the MP and his few followers, decided to go dumb just to teach him a lesson of his life at the polls.
“He has created a deep crack in the party which has divided the party into different bitter factions and he continues to fuel it with the advice from a selfish and inexperienced cohort who are just seeking their political parochial interest.”
From the sources, the medical doctor did not take wise counsel from anyone in the party except those within his circles, and disrespectfully ignored the contributions of polling station executives who took offense and ensured he was brought down.
The claim of immaturity, disrespect for constituents and the leadership of the party in the Ledzokuku constituency, were also brought into sharp focus in the analysis sent to The Herald.
It said “The outgoing Member of Parliament Dr Okoe-Boye’s character in the constituency exudes rudeness with impunity to party insiders in the constituency, which is not a hidden secret to any polling station executives” adding “Dr Okoe-Boye’s own immaturity in dealing with his constituents especially the polling station executives of the party caused his defeat”.
The MP, who has over the period carved a niche for himself in the media space as a very affable, friendly and tolerant person is the opposite when dealing with constituents and party members.
Okoe-Boye, representing constituents, who are predominantly fisher folks, the sources indicated portrayed himself as more knowledgeable, smart and more clever than everyone else in the constituency.
“Clearly, it is surprising how Okoe-Boye keeps a fine and gentlemanly public image as opposed to the rude cheeky and disrespectful attitude towards a large section of the polling station executives who hailed him to power. How can you ignore your political base and believe you will go through? He tried to win the world but forgot that the world did not have the vote in Ledzokuku”.
Dr Okoe-Boye shot into the political limelight in 2015 after winning the party’s primaries but he is criticized for showing muscles immediately he became the party’s parliamentary candidate for the area.
Although the medical doctor often listens to divergent opinions, insiders say he almost immediately ignores views forcing party members to keep to themselves. Many who advised and distanced themselves from party activities had wished to vote him out by the next party primaries but it appeared their wish came too quickly.
“He will often listen to an opinion but will just ignore it, an act which later leads most party elders to stop sharing any opinions with him, most people just sat back and watched waiting to take him off during the next primaries. The defeat of the lawmaker started from the day he won his primaries in 2015”.
The defeat of the first time MP came as a shock to many after he was tipped as one capable of breaking the genes of a sitting MP not being able to win a second term bid after the first in the Teshie enclave.
The Deputy Minister of Health, had unseated NDC Sena Okitty Duah in the 2016 polls after the late deputy minister of Youth and Sports Nii Nortey Duah and Gladys Ashietey, also a deputy minister of health under former President John Kufuor, all became one-term MPs.
Knowing this unfavourable record, Dr Okoe-Boye, argued that he was going to make nonsense of that history by ensuring that he retained the seat for the first time.
However, luck eluded him and so after the polls, he trailed the NDC’s Ayiku, a businessman and fuel station owner.
Interestingly, this is the first time the seat has fallen for an opposition party. Over the years, any party that won the parliamentary seat also won the national election.
This, party members say, the NPP and the sitting MP suffered this humiliating defeat because the region imposed the MP on the constituency with “fraudulent rules and trolls which didn’t go down well at all with the party”.
They argued if a fair playing field had been allowed, others would have contested him and probably defeated him which would have enhanced the chances of the party after the party fell out with him from his early days as PC.
“I have heard flimsy excuses in the media that the good Doctor was voted out because he did not attend outdooring and funeral. Laughing, but why? It should be noteworthy that Ledzokuku has never been in opposition, MPs change, but always the winner is from the ruling government.
And when the governments change, the MP that loses the seat always loses the votes in the region of above ten thousand votes. So why does Okoe Boye’s removal defy the norm?
The writer gave two reasons as to why the NPP could not win the seat even after winning the national elections. According to the writer, the imposition of Dr Okoe Boye and also his immaturity towards the constituents and polling station executives accounted for it.
“The Greater Accra Region led by the Regional Chairman imposed Dr Okoe-Boye on the party with fraudulent rules and trolls which didn’t go down well at all with the party. There was therefore only one action of recourse, to show Okoe Boye and the party their disgust at the general election, Dr Okoe Boye lost because the party at Ledzokuku decided to teach him a lesson”.
Dr Okoe Boye’s defeat was also traced to his opposition to the selection of the Municipal Chief Executive after his choice was rejected although several efforts by party leadership including the council of elders in the constituency mounted to iron out the issues, the issue was never resolved.
The deputy health minister was also punished for his penchant for rejecting constituency events and opting for national programme and media engagements, his approach to the handling of the long-standing chieftaincy dispute in Teshie, sidelining of the party from the campaign by forming a parallel campaign team with his personal aide leading the charge and running the campaign from “Dr Okoe Boye’s kitchen”.
The lawmaker is also accused of working against the NPP by supporting NDC assembly member candidates against his own party members in the last district assembly election.
“During the District Assembly elections, the party hierarchy and the polling station executives complained bitterly about Dr Okoe-Boye’s behaviour. He was said to be supporting two NDC candidates at Twuibleoo South and Agblizaan electoral areas against the choice of the party. Okoe-Boye’s supporters openly campaigned against candidates of the party’s choice. Akro West and Estate north and south, just to mention a few, eventually, the party lost heavily in the district assembly elections”.
Source: The Herald