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NDC HOPEFULS IN RAGE OVER “PRO-MAHAMA” BIAS

Politics

Leading aspirants in the race for flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress are slugging it out with the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), particularly General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, over what they say is bias in favour of one candidate in the contest for the NDC slot.

Leading aspirants in the race for flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress are slugging it out with the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), particularly General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, over what they say is bias in favour of one candidate in the contest for the NDC slot.

Angry over the handling of matters relating to the contest, eight aspirants have asked the two-week-old national executive to step aside from the process to choose the party’s next presidential candidate.

The eight include Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, former chief executive officer of the National Health Insurance Authority Sylvester Mensah, former Minister for Trade and Industry Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Goosie Tanoh, the founder of the defunct National Reform Party.

According to the aggrieved aspirants, “There is ample reason to believe that key players in NEC are biased in favour of a particular aspirant and are intervening unlawfully in the primaries campaign to achieve a favourable outcome for that candidate.”

Trade Fair fix

In a petition to the NDC Council of Elders, the eight contestants said they believe the NEC is up to political mischief and that the whole arrangement for the election of a flagbearer smacks of favouritism in favour of one individual. They however failed to point to John Mahama as the beneficiary of this “favouritism”.

The Aggrieved Eight nonetheless alluded to the opportunity allowed the former President to speak during the NDC national delegates’ conference at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra on November 13. They also cited how his jingles to “kpanlogo” and “borborbor” rhythms were played unhindered as delegates erupted in ecstasy at the congress.

They accused Chairman Ofosu Ampofo and Secretary Asiedu Nketiah of making public statements to the effect that they prefer Mr Mahama to lead the NDC into the 2020 elections.

“Neither the previous NEC nor current NEC has called these officers to order,” the Aggrieved Eight lamented in their petition.

Threats

The eight aspirants further alleged that, in several regions, regional chairpersons of the NDC have summoned constituency chairs and other officers and instructed them “to convert their constituency executive committees into the local chapters of a particular candidate’s campaign machinery”. This, they said, was done with threats in some cases.

In their estimation, the NDC’s guidelines, particularly the new provisions relating to filing fees and scheduling of the primaries, appear to have been designed to favour Mr Mahama.

Exorbitant fees

The aspirants believe the NEC’s decision to slap a fee of GHC420,000 on aspirants is a confirmation of an orchestrated scheme to chart a path that will enable Mr Mahama to return unhindered as flagbearer and lead the NDC into the 2020 campaign.

The aggrieved hopefuls have hinted that they will go every extent to get the NEC to reverse its decision. They indicated in their petition that they are lining up all the evidence to expose the NEC in the matter.

The contestants said the fact that they appear to have tolerated the alleged bias for several weeks does not mean they will sit by for worse infringements to be committed by the NEC.

Boycott

Sending notice of their intent to boycott the processes to elect a flagbearer, they declared: “In these circumstances we do not believe that the NEC can be trusted to administer the primaries fairly.

“We have resolved not to proceed under the proposed unlawful Guidelines.
“Accordingly, none of us will pick up nomination forms or otherwise comply with the unlawful Guidelines until our petition is heard and the issues set out are fully resolved.”