4 December 2018

Ghana: NDC Executives Must Recuse Themselves - 8 Aspirants

Eight out of the 12 flagbearer aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have petitioned the Council of Elders of the party to ask the national chairman, general secretary and any other National Executive Committee (NEC) member or party Secretariat to recuse themselves from the flagbearership primary processes.

According to eight flagbearer hopefuls, some national executive members had exhibited unfairness in favour of a particular aspirant.

"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 primary campaign to achieve a favourable outcome for that candidate, "they stated in a petition sighted by the Ghanaian Times.

The eight petitioners include former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) boss, Sylvester Mensah and former Trade Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah.

Others are Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, legal practitioner, Elikplim Agbemava , a former Chief Executive of Kumasi Metropolis, Kojo Bonsu, Goosie Tandoh, Nurudeen Iddrisu and Stephen Atubiga.

They cited the party national chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and general secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, amongst NEC members who had publicly endorsed the flagbearership of former president John Mahama.

Promising to furnish the council with video evidence of their conducts, the petitioners said neither the previous NEC nor the current had called those officers to order.

They pointed out that at the just ended congress, there was a deliberate effort to project same aspirant, apparently referring to former President Mahama, by affording him the opportunity to give closing remarks to congress amidst the playing of his campaign theme song.

"In several regions we have been informed that Regional Chairpersons had summoned constituency chairpersons and other officers and instructed them (in some cases with implied threats) to convert their constituency executive committees into local chapters of a particular candidate's campaign machinery", they alleged in the petition.

The eight petitioners also pointed out that the guideless and provisions relating to filling fees and scheduling of the primaryappeared to have been designed to favour the former president.

"We do not believe that the NEC can be trusted to administer the primary fairly" they said; resolving not to comply with the guidelines nor pick nomination forms unless their petitions were addressed.

Aspirants have to the end of business day today to pick the nomination forms at a fee pegged at GH¢ 20,000 and submit the forms together with a filing fee of GH¢ 400,000, after two weeks.

The primaries are scheduled for January 19, 2019.

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