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Misleading! 3, not 6, NDC executives in Hohoe defected to NPP

Claim: An online platform, Adomonline.com, reports that six NDC executives have defected to the NPP in Hohoe.

Verdict: Misleading. Our findings indicate that only three branch executives defected, not six, as claimed by the publisher.

Full Text

A subsidiary of the Multimedia Group Limited, adomonline.com, published a news story claiming that six branch executives of the National Democratic Congress from various branches in the Hohoe Constituency have crossed carpets and have joined the New Patriotic Party in the same constituency. Read the story here.

The story was also published by theghanareport.com

The news named the following as those who defected to the NPP. Joseph Yawovi Adzewod is the youth organiser of the Hohoe Midwifery Branch; Bansa Kal is the secretary of the Municipal Hospital Branch; and Sulemana Mustapha is the organiser of the Janana Electoral Area.

It also stated that Mr Adzewoda spoke in an interview with Adom News, explaining their defection was due to the “massive developmental projects being executed by the Member of Parliament, John Peter Amewu…”

The post has attracted attention among supporters of the two political parties, especially those from the Hohoe Constituency.

The Hohoe constituency is the only seat in the Volta Region that has fallen into the hands of the governing New Patriotic Party. And  John Peter Amewu won it with clear margins in the 2020 elections. As the incumbent intends to retain the seat, the National Democratic Congress is also poised to win it back, just as the party had done in all parliamentary elections in the Fourth Republic. The incoming December 2024 election is set to be a fierce one, with Worlanyo Tsekpo as the NDC candidate.

As most political actors are fond of propagating false or misleading news in election years, this piece of reported information is already making the rounds on several platforms. DUBAWA, therefore, decided to check the integrity of the report.

Verification

In verifying the story, the researcher had to scrutinise its content. Eyebrows were raised when it was observed that the headline of the story said six members defected while the main body or story mentioned only three.

DUBAWA called the Hohoe Constituency Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Samuel Atsu Azasu, who was also mentioned in the story. He was said to have granted an interview to Adom FM. We wanted Mr Azasu to confirm the defection first and then the number. He said there were defections from the NDC to the NPP in the constituency, yet he could not provide the exact number since they were massive and could not keep an official count. He also said that most of the defected wanted anonymity. The only number he could authoritatively confirm were the three executives mentioned by name.

The researcher then proceeded to the National Democratic Congress and contacted Rev. Dr Stephen Tettey, the Communication Officer of the NDC in the Hohoe Constituency.

He confirmed that there were defections alright, but the numbers, as reported in the media, were exaggerated. He stated that only three of such people notified the party. They were truly executives. He also confirmed the names. Currently, the NDC has a total of 1,107 branch executives in addition to 28 constituency executives. 

He added, however, that Mr Joseph Yawovi Adzewoda, one of those named to have defected, had written back to the party, regretting his action and asking that his return be made public.

When DUBAWA spoke to Mr Adzewoda, he confirmed his return to the NDC. He was not able to tell us why he made the U-turn. Unlike ordinary members of the party who have no obligation to inform the party about their defection to another party, executives, be they branch, constituency, regional, or national, are duty-bound to announce their resignation and defection to another party officially.

Conclusion

The claim by the publishers that six branch executives crossed the carpet from the NDC to the NPP is misleading, as only three can be confirmed by both the NDC and NPP. The number has been exaggerated. 

This report was produced under the DUBAWA Non-Urban Journalists Mentorship project to promote a culture of truth and verification in non-urban newsrooms in Ghana with support from the US Embassy in Ghana.

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