Confusion Rocks NDC

A month after the Kumbugu bye-election, which the ruling National Democratic Congress lost, The Chronicle has learnt that the two leading personalities of the party in the area, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni (Lawyer) and Alhaji Yakubu Imoro (former Member of Parliament [MP]) and their supporters are yet to see themselves as members of one political party. Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, who vacated the seat for Alhaji Yakubu Imoro in 2004, after he was nominated by the late President John Evans Atta Mills as his running-mate, made a U-turn in 2012 to contest the then incumbent MP (Alhaji Yakubu Imoro), and defeated him in the party’s primary. During the 2012 general elections, there were a series of reports accusing Alhaji Yakubu Imoro and his supporters of campaigning against Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the then NDC candidate. But, Alhaji Mumuni still managed to win the seat for the NDC. After the general elections, much was expected of the national and regional executives of the NDC to re-unite the party in Kumbungu, but little or no efforts were made to bring the NDC back on track. As a result, an alleged revenge was launched by the supporters of Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni to ensure the party’s candidate, Alhaji Yakubu Imoro, paid for his perceived transgression in the 2013 Kumbungu bye-election. The defeated NDC candidate, after the bye-election, accused Alhaji Mumuni of restraining his supporters from campaigning and voting for him. Alhaji Yakubu lost to the Convention People’s Party (CPP) parliamentary candidate, Moses Amadu Yahaya, with 11,896 votes as against 13,029. However, when contacted, the campaign team of the 2012 NDC parliamentary candidate for the Kumbungu Constituency, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, debunked the claim by Alhaji Imoro Yakubu, the party’s candidate in the last bye-election, that they masterminded his defeat. According to a senior member of the Mumuni’s campaign team, Mr. Alhassan Ibn Abdallah, it was high time Alhaji Yakubu stopped deepening the division in the NDC in the area. Mr. Ibn Abdallah maintained that Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni and his entire campaign team had since regretted the defeat of the NDC in the bye-election, and say that it should not be blamed on them. He put it on record that Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni did not ask any of his supporters or the campaign team members to campaign against Alhaji Yakubu Imoro, but he rather advised his team to make sure the seat was retained for the NDC in the bye-election, even after Alhaji Yakubu himself had on April 25, 2013, admitted in a meeting with Mumuni’s team and some party executives that his campaign team really supported the NPP during the 2012 general elections. He told The Chronicle that Alhaji Yakubu Imoro had been accusing Alhaji Mumuni of masterminding his defeat on some radio stations, including Radio Gold, but the campaign team, in the interest of party development and unity, had decided not to reply him. He said that the former Member of Parliament (MP), Alhaji Yakubu, was being haunted by his own shadows, since he was the one who first who failed to allow his supporters to campaign for Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni in the 2012 general election. He asserted that Alhaji Yakubu failed in his bid to win the Kumbungu seat, which was a traditional seat for the NDC, not because of Alhaji Mumuni, but “because he had allegedly stepped on so many toes, including that of chiefs, party executives and footsoldiers.” “Another factor that contributed to his defeat was that a known NPP sympathiser went on air on Simli Radio in the Kumbungu District, and made an open declaration that all NPP supporters should vote for Alhaji Imoro Yakubu in the bye-election, since he (Alhaji Yakubu) supported the NPP’s 2012 parliamentary candidate, Mohammed Saani, in the general elections. This indeed made almost every NDC supporter suspicious and decided to vote against him.” Mr. Ibn Abdallah, who was also one of the members of the monitoring team for Alhaji Yakubu Imoro in the bye-election, told The Chronicle that because of the bad blood between Alhaji Yakubu and some traditional leaders in the area, he could not enter some of the communities to campaign. However, Alhaji Mumuni’s campaign team led him to those areas, which even helped him to get the 11,896 votes. Mr. Ibn Abdallah appealed to Alhaji Yakubu Imoro to stop dreaming about the defeat and present himself as a true NDC man, and help bring the party together for victory in 2016. On the other hand, Alhaji Yakubu Imoro, in an interview with The Chronicle, admitted granting an interview to Radio Gold, where he blamed Mumuni’s campaign team for the party’s defeat, but added, “I have been worried since that time, because it was not my intention to say those things, but the interviewer, I will say, stole it from me.” The former MP also admitted the sharp division in the Kumbungu NDC, which he described as a great worry to him. According to him, two things that led to the defeat of the NDC in the bye-election were “disunity/internal wrangling”, now known in the constituency as “Mumuni-Yakubu factions,” and “over complacency” on the part of the party. He bemoaned that the Mumuni-Yakubu faction really worked against the chances of the NDC in the bye-election, and that notwithstanding, the hierarchy of the party also did not attach any seriousness to the election, because they thought Kumbungu was a safe seat for the NDC. However, Alhaji Yakubu Imoro denied having problems with some traditional leaders and constituency executives in the area. He said the problem in the Kumbungu NDC could best be resolved by both Alhaji Mumuni and himself, but not any third party. He, therefore, unveiled plans to meet Alhaji Mumuni’s campaign team anytime soon to comprehensively address the problems, before it becomes chronic for the party in 2016. Conversely, the Northern Regional Secretary of the NDC, Alhaji Alhassan Yussif Imoro Umar, in an interview with The Chronicle, also admitted the division in the party in Kumbungu, and said that measures were being taken by the regional executives, in conjunction with the constituency executives, to resolve the problems. According to him, Alhaji Yakubu Imoro, the defeated NDC parliamentary candidate for 2013, was 100% right about the issue of over complacency on the part of the NDC in the bye-election. He said that apart from the absence of the physical presence of the national executives of the party in Kumbungu, there were absolutely inadequate resources and better campaign strategies to win the bye-election. Alhaji Umar was confident that with the efforts being put in place by the regional executives, the problem in the Kumbungu NDC would not reach 2016 so as to affect the chances of the party.