There is growing disquiet and uneasy calm within the ranks and file of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) members in the Ashanti Region.
This follows what they described as “pressure from Accra” on the former Asokwa Constituency Chairman, Mr Robert Asare-Bediako, not to contest the incumbent Regional Chairman, Mr Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, in the forthcoming regional chairmanship position.
What started as a gossip among the supporters of Mr Asare-Bediako gained currency when Mr Asare-Bediako was called to Accra and impressed upon to shelve his decision to contest the position.
It is also emerging that some leading members of the party are impressing on Mr Asare-Bediako to contest the position and that he will have their full support.
Sources close to Mr Asare-Bediako, who is described as the longest-serving constituency chairman because he was first elected in 1994 till this year when he did not contest the constituency position again, confirmed that some powerful people in the party have impressed upon their candidate to step down and allow the incumbent to go unopposed.
They said the powerful hand wanted Chairman to sail through the election unopposed for the second term.
“He was first called last Thursday on his way to the vetting to abort his move but he went through the vetting successfully. But the pressure became intense during the Easter festivities; he was called to meet some big men and that he might not contest,” the source told the Daily Graphic.
The source said if Chairman Asare-Bediako succumbed to the pressure from above and bowed out it would be a great disappointment to a lot of people including Members of Parliament, regional and constituency executives and ordinary party members who threw their weight behind him and were yearning for a change.
Mr Asare-Bediako declared his intention to enter the race last year which brought some excitement to the race, especially with his pledge to give Chairman Wontumi a good run for his money.
Mr Asare-Bediako, said he was entering the race to win handsomely and inject professionalism in the running of the affairs of the party in the region and engender transparency to ensure that those whose jobs have been carved out for them by the party’s constitution did exactly that.
Mr Asare-Bediako insists that “sustaining victory is more difficult than winning it but with me in the seat it will be done”.