Often, it’s said that a man who chases an antelope stops not to respond to greetings. So without giving much intro to beleaguer readers with abundant information than necessary for the topic under discussion, I’ll try to be niggard with space and time to make reading less strenuous. Because we live in a regime where people are already averse to reading coupled with an economic mess whose resultant effect is the daily hunger pangs and mental anguish suffered by the masses. Thus, one could not pretend to say or assume to himself that he will be guaranteed a peaceful reading without distractions.
Just like most of the valuable minerals that lie beneath the ground, If left unpolished, they remain rusty and drowsy. So is history, if left unconcerned and untutored, risk lending itself to mythological and unsophisticated narrations by people with half-truths. Therefore history must jealously be guarded if the need be against this unscrupulous “faasikuns” .
It is variously said by votaries and surrogates of Hudu Mogtari and others that Dr Rashid Pelpuo ousted his “predecessor” M.A Seidu to occupy the Wa Central seat. But the question is did Rashid Pelpuo really oust M.A to become the PC for Wa Central constituency? To address this claim or question, it’s important to consider the meaning of the word “ousted or oust” and match it against the facts and ascertain whether or not the facts lend credence to their claim. Even though their argument is intellectually nauseating and logically incoherent but we proceed to address them and possibly educate them. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word “oust or ousted” means to remove or takeaway something from someone. In our case, to remove someone from political office via polls or ballot. Also, one could be ousted or removed from office through undemocratic means such as use of weapons or force to takeaway someone from office. So clearly, the later does not apply in Ghana because Ghana is under a constitutional democracy and doesn’t subscribe to such means of changing leaders. As a matter of fact, the only way one could be said to have “ousted” (I’ve doubts whether that’s even the appropriate word to use in this context) another from political office in the current dispensation is through the ballot, voting.
Now, can it be said that Dr Rashid Pelpuo ever went into elections with MA Seidu before? To my mind, I think the answer is NO! Unless evidence is provided to the contrary. Per my checks there’s no trace of history or fact that points us to such a contest in (old) Wa Constituency. Even in their own incoherent arguments, they never mentioned any election that Dr Rashid Pelpuo contested with MA Seidu. Then what informed that bizarre and unreasonable conclusion? Or is’t that they lacked the ability to appreciate history?
Going forward into the 2004 general elections, the then Wa Constituency was divided into two, creating two entirely new Constituencies, Wa Central and Wa West Constituencies. So legally speaking, the old Wa Constituency was dissolved and new two (Wa West and Central ) constituencies demarcated with distinctive legal backings. In effect, the old constituency (Wa Constituency) ceases to exist and can only be referred to for historical purposes and nothingless. So it will even be erroneous if not ignorance for one to refer to Wa West or Wa Central as (then) Wa Constituency. Because the two are different things altogether and none of them draws its legal backing from the old order that created the old Wa Constituency. Therefore you cannot on any ground substitute the old Wa Constituency for Wa Central or Wa West Constituencies because it defeats intelligence and it demonstrates a dearth of knowledge unless for historical purposes. It is just like having an orange and decides to divide it into two equal parts. None of the halves can be referred to as the full or complete orange you only do so by saying that they were once one orange but now they are all distinct and independent half oranges. In effect, you don’t select one half as a complete representation of the full orange.
Having cleared this mental clog that leads many to poor judgment or conclusion, I’ll proceed to lay the bare history or facts as they were. Shortly after the announcement that greeted the creation of Wa Central Constituency, Hon MA Seidu called a meeting of party elders and declared that since his hometown was in the Wa West Constituency, he won’t contest the Wa Central seat. By then Hon Rashid Pelpuo was working with his Consultancy firm at Tamale and was invited by the then constituency chairman to contest the primaries as the sole person having shown interest in that position on previous occasions, though he never contested M.A in any of those occasions. The first occasion was in 1996 which was orchestrated by the Youth of Wa, Rashid Pelpuo declined to contest MA citing reasons that M.A was his former teacher and thus he has that reverence for him. Disappointed by this decision, one of the Youth Alhaji Bob Ibrahim of Jengbeyiri told me personally that he pulled a gun at Rashid Pelpuo threatening to harm him for disappointing them. Notwithstanding, Rashid Pelpuo still stood on his grounds to make sure the youth dropped that idea.
On the second occasion (2000), he personally took positive steps along side the support of the youth and made preparations (bought his campaign pick up and other things) to contest MA Seidu but unfortunately the NDC party came out with a directive that no incumbent MP should be contested in 2000 primaries. That was it and he respected the party’s decision and stood down his decision to Contest M.A again. But some of his colleagues like Rashid Bawa of Akatsi and Abubakari Sadick Boniface of Salaga who were unhappy with this decision severed ties with the NDC and joined the NPP to win their respective constituencies in that very elections. Even though Hon Rashid Pelpuo was equally pursued by both the NPP of Wa Constituency and Nadowli Constituency to contest on their tickets, he still declined and steadfast his hopes to the NDC. Until the Constituency was divided into two in the year 2004 where Hudu Mogtari put up himself against Dr Rashid Pelpuo and suffered his first defeat. The strange thing in the 2004 primaries was that, prior to the elections both candidates (Rashid and Hudu) were good friends. Before the elections, Rashid Pelpuo who was operating a Consultancy in Tamale hosted Hudu Mogtari and Lawyer Wahidu Bampuori in his house in Tamale. This was an occasion where Hudu Mogtari wanted to marry his wife (Joyce Bawa Mogtari) which ceremony was to take place in Tamale (Source: Memoirs of Hopes – unpublished)
Upon hosting his brothers in his residence, Rashid Pelpuo still used his car to run all the errands for his brother free of charge. This shows the level of friendship and brotherhood that existed between them prior to the primary. In one of their hearty conversations among the 3 Waala brothers, Wahidu Bampuori mooted the topic of Wa Central politics and suggested that Rashid Pelpuo should go and contest for that seat since he was the one most likened by the youth of Wa Central. At the end of the conversation, it was agreed and accepted by all the 3 brothers that Rashid Pelpuo was the guy cut for the job at that material moment (Source: Memoirs of Hopes – unpublished). Wahidu Bampuori and Hudu Mogtari left to Accra and leaving their good friend Rashid in Tamale after the curtains on the marriage ceremony were drawn.
Subsequently, nominations for NDC Parliamentary primaries were opened for the year 2004 general elections. Surreptitiously, Hudu Mogtari rushed to pick up a nomination form without informing his good brother, Dr Rashid Pelpuo whom he earlier had a chat with on his visit to Tamale about the seat. A lot of party elders appealed and tried to persuade him to allow Rashid Pelpuo to go unopposed for two terms and he too will take over from him. No appeal or persuasion could yield Hudu Mogtari to stand down his ambition. The reason for the elders of the party calling for consensual leadership was to avoid intraparty disintegration. I remember at the grounds that very day some elders wept as voting was ongoing of the consequence of his option.
The wisdom in this mode of selecting leaders was that loyalty and commitment to party course should be rewarded ahead of materialistic chauvinism. That’s why you could see those days a less resourceful person who is committed to the party holding executive position ahead of the so-called rich people in society. Besides, this mode also favors the socio-cultural setting of the Wala people and the more reason the elders were more up for it. Despite these prayers, Hudu Mogtari rejected them and insisted on primary, voting to elect leaders. The consequences of his option were well known and could easily be predicted by well meaning party faithfuls. But what could be the motive behind the decision of a man whose effects were apparent and dangerous but he still insisted on it? Or if not an ill-motive, what will make a man stand on the interest of the majority? Though bad and dangerous that decision was but it also opened the floodgates for voting as a way of choosing PCs and it made it impossible for party elders or executives to impose a term limit on any parliamentary candidate.
Sensing Hudu Mogtari’s intransigence, Rashid Pelpuo too picked up a nomination form for the contest and at the end of the day “truth stands”. Hudu Mogtari suffered a huge defeat and as a result some of his supporters served ties with the NDC and crossed carpet to the NPP. Somewhat, this vindicated the elders position for consensus rather than voting though personally I believed that their mode was unsustainable in a fast changing world. But be that as it may, the contest set the stage for the first parliamentary primary in Wa Central and as well restraint party executives and elders from imposing or preventing people contesting in elections.
Having put these issues into perspective, I now found it difficult to understand anyone that will seek to suggest that Dr Rashid Pelpuo ousted MA Seidu when the facts as I just stated never categorically or inferencially point to any evidence in that respect. Neither was it shown that party executives and elders ever restrained M.A from contesting the 2004 parliamentary election in Wa Central constituency nor MA’s declaration that he would contest the Wa West Seat cannot be interpreted to mean M.A was ousted from Wa Central by Rashid Pelpuo or any other person. Even in the event where consensus should have prevailed and allow Rashid Pelpuo to go uopposed, Hudu Mogtari still found legal reason to defeat that moral process.
Clearly, it is fair to conclude that this cabal of miscreants either misrepresented the “oust” and thereby linguistically abused the word; or they were innocently misformed that came out to the public with a half baked truths and therefore needing our assistance.
It’s interesting to note that this marks 20 years of rivalry (2003-2023) built on truth and ill motive. And Inshallah, Truth shall stand again!
Sen. Suleman Ikyei