About 50 members and sympathizers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Akyem Asamama in the Atiwa West Constituency of the Eastern Region have defected to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), citing economic hardship and bad governance as the reason for their move.

Many of the defectors claim they played various roles including being polling station agents for the NPP during the 2016 general elections while others were instrumental in grassroots mobilization for the party.

EIB Network Eastern Regional Correspondence, Kojo Ansah Sasraku reports that the defectors led by one Asuo Peprah and Sam Tuga set fire into the 2016 campaign T-shirts the then flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (now President of the Republic) to signify their disappointment in his leadership style and their switch of loyalty to the NDC.

Akyem Asamama is one of the “no go areas” for the NDC in Atewa West Constituency.

It could be recalled that during the infamous Atewa bye-Election in 2010, the community was the hottest violent spot due to the purported vigilance of some of the defectors used by the NPP to Police the ballot boxes.

The NDC had always used polling agents outside the community because their members and sympathizers living in the community are always victimized during elections.

Addressing journalists at short ceremony at Asamama to usher the defectors into NDC, Sam Tuga one of the leaders of the defectors said they have never liked nor voted for NDC before because they are true blooded members of NPP.

However, upon reflection they have noted that the NPP is only using them and their communities as election winning machines much to the neglect of development of the area to improve the living standards of the people.

He said most of the developmental projects in Atewa were provided by the NDC and therefore see the umbrella family as party that has the welfare of residents of the community at heart.

“I have never voted for NDC before because I am a true blooded member of NPP but we have realized that NPP is using us here in Atewa just for votes.

They don’t bring development to us. Ironically, the NDC which we don’t vote for is the party that brought electricity to this area, constructed our road and did many things in Atewa for us”, he said.

NPP members doing gallamsey

He added, “The government says it is fighting illegal mining but I can tell you that they have allowed some few selected NPP guys who are still doing galamsey in this area. Our river bodies have been polluted as a result. Personally, I have reported to the Operation Vanguard base at Akyem Afosu but nothing has been done”.

No regret joining NDC

The Eastern Regional Secretary of NDC, Mark Oliver Kevor, welcomed the defectors and assured that they will never regret joining NDC which is a party for the down trodden and marginalized .

He stated that, the deception of the NPP will continue to be exposed by reality adding that, the economic hardship unleashed on Ghanaians is triggered by economic mismanagement, unfulfilled promises and corruption.

He therefore admonished the NPP to accept responsibility of the current state of hardship instead of blaming the previous government.

Commenting on the issue, the Atewa West Constituency Organizer of the NPP, Harison Adzamire Darko, said the NPP is investigating the membership status of the purported defectors to enable it respond appropriately but suspects the move to be a “diabolic political propaganda” perpetuated by the NDC.