Politics of Friday, 21 December 2018
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was recently declared broke by its General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, is now GH¢2,240,000 richer after receiving GH¢320,000 from each of the seven presidential aspirants.
Each aspirant from Monday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 18, 2018 coughed up GH¢320,000 as filing and nomination fees, as the party drew the curtains on its nomination processes for the upcoming presidential primary scheduled for January 26, 2018.
Seven aspirants filed their nomination before the deadline on Tuesday.
They included Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin; former Vice Chancellor of University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Joshua Alabi; former President John Mahama, ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah and businessman Nurideen Iddrisu, former Minister of Trade and Industry Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and cadre, Goosie Tanoh.
John Mahama, Alban Bagbin, Joshua Alabi, Sly Mensah, all filed their nomination on Monday, December 17, 2018, which was the first day of the process, while Messrs Iddrisu, Spio-Garbrah and Tanoh, submitted their nomination forms on Tuesday, December 18 to generate GH¢2.24m for a party which claims to be broke after just two years of losing power to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
All the aspirants submitted their nomination forms endorsed by members of the party in all the 275 constituencies, banker’s drafts covering the GH¢300,000 filing fee and a Curriculum Vitae to the National Executive Committee at the party’s headquarters.
The forms were received on behalf of the party by Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC’s General Secretary, who indicated that the party would not disqualify any candidate based on clerical mistakes, but examine the forms after which the candidates would be invited for vetting.
Expectedly, ex-convict, Stephen Atubiga failed to file his nomination on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Atubiga, who has announced plans to back ex-President Mahama, was part of eight disgruntled aspirants who initially petitioned the Council of Elders of the NDC for a downward review of the filing and nomination fees.
Chairman of the Council of Elders, who doubles as the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings intervened in the matter, compelling the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to slash the amount to GH¢300,000.
But in a typical ‘Oliver Twist’ fashion, six other aspirants namely, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sly Mensah, Bagbin, Iddrisu, and Gossie Tanoh, once again petitioned the Council of Elders to ensure that the GH¢300,000 was further reduced to GH¢150,000
But DAILY GUIDE’s sources at the NDC headquarters indicated that the party’s leadership would not reduce the amount.
The GH¢2.240,000, in addition to the extra GH¢5,000 paid by Mr Spio-Garbrah to prove that he is not broke, would lessen the plight of the NDC.