Politics of Tuesday, 4 December 2018
The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said the party is open to suggestions from flagbearer aspirants as to how to reduce the cost of organizing the presidential primaries.
According to him, the GH¢ 420,000 filing and nomination fees being demanded from aspiring flagbearers will make up for the cost of organizing the primaries on January 19, 2019.
Speaking in a Citi News interview, the NDC General Secretary said the party is ready to take suggestions from the aspirants on how to reduce the cost of the primaries, which is about GH 8 million, or alternative ways to raise revenue.
“Have you picked one suggestion from any of them to the extent that the budget under the estimates are not realistic and so is prepared to come and sit with us to prune it down? If they agree that the estimates are realistic, have they suggested any way of covering the cost? I will want them to make suggestions. For people who aspire to be leaders, if there is a problem, you are only complaining about the problem without offering any suggestion towards the solution of the problem, I think they can do more than that. We are still available, we are open to suggestions, let them come and give us suggestion so that we all work together,” he said.
Nine of the twelve aspirants have petitioned the NDC’ s Council of Elders to review the fees, set by the party for the flagbearership race, downward.
The nine aspirants who have voiced their complaints about the fees and want it reviewed are Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava.
One of the concerned aspirants, Alban Bagbin has hinted that he will quit the presidential race if the GH¢ 420,000 fee remains in place after their petition.
According to him, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party failed to follow the party’s constitution in deciding on the fee and subsequently implementing it.
“I have raised a legal point and I’m saying the whole guidelines that they are basing all the process on is a nullity. The constitution is very clear, that those guidelines are drafted in consultation with the council of elders. The Council of Elders have not been consulted so the National Executive Committee on their own cannot on drafts the guidelines, and come out to announce it and start implementing it. We think that the whole process is nullity. It is completely abhorrence with the party’s own constitution. We need to meet, look at the laws, do the proper thing and then the other things can follow,” he said.
“We are not picking forms until these things have been addressed…We are aspiring to lead the nation and we must learn to do the right thing before we lead the nation to also do the right thing to develop the country and so we will not condone and connive in wrongdoing,” he added.
Alban Bagbin says he disagrees with Asiedu Nketia over the estimates that went into deciding the fees.
He said the party must have its own funds to organize the primaries and not draw its estimates with the expectation of using funds from aspirants to cover the costs.