By Samuel Ansah Boateng

Ahead of the National Democratic Congress? (NDC) parliamentary primaries, sacked Upper West Regional Minister, who is also the Deputy Director of Elections for the party, Bede Zieden, has been accused of using his position to roll out a scheme to allegedly rig the election in the Lawra Constituency, where he is gearing up to contest, this paper has gathered.

wpid-Bede-Ziedeng.jpgAccording to some of the constituency executives, the Bede Zieden is moving heaven on earth to make sure he uses his position to turn the results of the upcoming primary in his favor. They alleged he has issued registration booklets to his cronies, in order to secretly register more of his supporters.
?With his new slogan, NOW OR NEVER, he is trying as hard as he can to twist our hands. That seems to be his character, too desperate and bitter in heart?In 2006, after he woefully lost the NDC?s General Secretary bid to Asiedu Nketia, he left the party and with Obed Asamoah they formed their own, the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), where he was made the General Secretary, then in 2008, he came to contest the Lawra-Nandom parliamentary election on the ticket of the DFP, but lost to Hon. Ambrose Derry of the New Patriotic Party. It was because of his greed that made us lose to the NPP in 2008, now he is coming back with that same attitude and we won?t accept it?, one of the executives told this paper.

The Lawra Constituency Secretary, Phillip Bagyo, asserted that although Hon Bede Zieden has not officially disclosed the number of booklets he sent to the constituency, he was aware that thousand (1000) booklets from the Accra office were meant for the entire Upper West Region, but of the number, only five hundred (500) were disclosed by Bede Zieden.

He said the booklets were not supposed to be collected by Bede Zieden, but by the Regional Executives who were in touch with the National Executives, ??in fact, I would have said he was doing us good as the Deputy Director of Elections if all the 500 booklets he collected from Accra were sent to the regional office, but not when only 200 had been sent. I cannot tell where exactly he sent the rest of the 300 booklets?.
He, however, revealed that three (3) people have so far been identified at the branch level, in possession of some of the booklets, and have been reported to the Regional Secretary, awaiting advice to decide the way forward.

Buttressing the allegations, the Constituency Communications Officer, Peter Assibu Abu, said he was surprised at the way Bede was going about things, and that they were putting things in place measures to make sure the right thing was done.

He said when one of the guys who were caught with the booklets were confronted, he revealed it was the former constituency Secretary, Muazu Adams, who had been supplying them, ?and that the rest were in his wife?s custody, so anytime they needed more they should go see her. They said they were being paid GH50 each per a booklet, and the more you registered people, the more you get more money?.

But when Hon Bede was contacted, he said it was the Regional Organizer who called him and said he ?should find ways and means to bring booklets to the region because they were running out. I went and requested 1000 booklets and I said, out of the 1000, I needed 300 for my constituency. They did not have enough so they only gave me 500, I went to Wa and gave the regional organizer 200 out of the 500?.

Although he allayed fears that he was going to rig the election, he said the Member of Parliament for that area had called for a meeting over the issue and that he was not interested in engaging him in the media.


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