Volta Group Fights Plot To Remove Chief of Staff

A pressure group in the Volta Region, the Volta Region Young Turks Federation, is up in arms against alleged attempts by some interested parties within the ruling National Democratic Congress to get the “face of the Volta Region” removed from the Mahama administration. In a press statement, the group, which is also known as ‘Volta Collective’, claimed that the Al Hajj newspaper, edited and published by Alhaji Bature, was being used by some NDC bigwigs in the alleged plot to have the Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani, removed from his position as the Chief of Staff. This development, in the view of the group, is an attempt to reduce the influence of “Voltarians” in the Mahama administration to the barest minimum, a move the group says will be suicidal for the fortunes of the Mahama administration going into the 2016 elections. According to the statement, “the Al Hajj newspaper is gunning for somebody who obviously thinks he deserves to be there but has not been offered the opportunity. Truth [must be] be told that it is not a secret and everyone in the corridors of power are well aware of this fact.” It added: “We of the Volta Collective are more than concerned because the Al Hajj tabloid’s relentless attack on 2 Voltarians in the President Mahama administration. The same publication attacked Lt-Col Larry Gbevlo- Lartey (rtd) on more than one occasion suggesting that the security capo would soon be sacked. Alhaji Bature should research and find out why the President should choose his Chief of Staff and Security capo from the Volta Region.” “The question is who benefits if Voltarians decide to either not go to the polls or become apathetic because for the second time in a row, a ruling government they have massively voted for, has once again relegated them to the shadows? The perennial attack on Chief of Staff Prosper Bani may be orchestrated so that he may either be removed as Chief of Staff or transferred to another section of the Presidency,” the group charged. The statement maintained that the Volta Region had been the “World Bank” of the NDC, consistently delivering votes for the party, more than any other region, numerically and percentage wise, adding: “Voltarians see Chief of Staff Bani as their face in forgotten successive NDC administrations since 2009.” The group is not happy about the way Voltarians are being treated in the Mahama administration, claiming that same was the case in the late President Mills. The statement noted: “In most countries political parties have their bases and those bases get political spoils. How many Voltarians were of influence in that administration even after such massive votes. A huge joke was visited on us when the administration threw some female Ministers (Tourism, Women and Children) at us and a Minister of Roads”. According to group, Voltarians witnessed this huge disparity in the award of ministerial and ambassadorial appointments, Chief executives and Chairmen of Boards of Corporations without complaining loud because they were asked to “be patient” and not because they were not qualified, adding: “We were taken for granted.” “Strategic decisions meant not to participate enthusiastically in the 2012 elections had to be reversed because all of a sudden the administration’s head was no longer alive but a new candidate emerged. As usual Voltarians voted massively,” the statement said. The group noted that in the Volta Region, the differences between John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo were clear: 85.47% for Mahama versus Nana Addo’s 12.83%, stating that the situation was not the same “in other regions where NDC won but the margins of victory were nothing comparable to Volta Region: Western 54.42% vs. 43.8%; Upper West 65.54% vs. 29.26%; Upper East 66.43% vs. 29.29%; Northern 58.23% vs. 39.11%; Central 52.12% vs. 45.53%.” The group warned the NDC: “We Voltarians are also politically savvy”, explaining that “the fact that we are not heavy lobbyists should not mean after electoral victory we should be cast asunder. We equally deserve a place at the dining table to eat the sumptuous meal and drink the vintage wine political victory brings. We should not be relegated to the background or at best be the watchmen outside, maintaining security while the party goes on in the main house.” The statement said appointing Chief of Staff, who is a Voltarian, “is a first step in a thousand mile journey we expect President Mahama to take”, adding: “These cacophonous noises by Al Hajj newspaper promoting one individual on the quiet and unnecessary attacks on Chief Bani will not be welcome.” “Attacking Mr. Prosper Bani and making the grounds fertile for his removal may be a political suicide, aka political kamikaze trip, Alhaji Bature wants President Mahama to take and replace him with Al Hajj’s choice,” the statement warned. The group cautioned President Mahama to remember that there is overwhelming evidence that NDC derives its electoral fortunes from the Volta Region and Volta region holds the key to electoral victory for the NDC. “Is the president and the NDC big wigs aware of this? We doubt very much else this blatant discrimination against Voltarians for coveted jobs would cease forthwith. Or as Kwesi Pratt said few days ago, the NDC biggies may love being in opposition than governing. Once again leave Mr. Prosper Douglas Bani alone. Stop this devilish campaign against him and we serve notice on Al Hajj and those who encourage this campaign to desist from it in their own interests,” the statement concluded.