The Sunyani congress was shrouded in what observers described as Ã¢â‚¬ËœmoneycracyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ at its best, with confessions being made at every level of the party structure.
Close to six top party people had told the media that huge sums of money had exchanged hands in the last couple of weeks, ostensibly to buy the conscience of delegates.
DAILY GUIDE was reliably informed that the aggrieved defeated candidates and their campaign managers were contemplating holding a press conference at the Press Centre today to expose the malfeasance in the ruling party.
The avalanche of complaints of vote-buying that had characterized the NDC weekend congresses confirmed the tantrumsÃ‚Â of NDC founder and former President Rawlings that some people in government were extending their corrupt practices in government into the party, a development he said he would fight tooth and nail to prevent.
The first to spill the beans was Ras Mubarak, an aspirant for the National Youth Organizer position who alleged that some delegates were bribed with huge sums of money, with some receiving as much as GHÃ‚Â¢3,000 plus mobile phones to buy their votes.
The defeated National Youth Organizer aspirant said NDC gurus, mainly from the corridors of power, manipulated the elections that saw Ludwig Hlordze, an aide to President Atta Mills at the Castle and Anita De Souza, a serial caller close to the Castle, emerging victorious for the positions of Youth and WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s organisers.
Ludwig and Anita were elected National Youth Organizer and National WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Organizer respectively at separate congresses in Sunyani and Winneba.
Mubarak, who cried foul just before the voting, told a number of radio stations, including Joy Fm, that a minister was also guilty of the electoral malpractice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I can inform you on authority that Western Region delegates were given GHÃ‚Â¢3,000 each on the afternoon before the elections. I can again tell you on authority that mobile phones were distributed in the evening and morning before the elections,Ã¢â‚¬Â he claimed.
He said Ludwig, by virtue of his position as a Castle staffer in the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office, was disqualified from contesting, but was allowed to ran, contrary to the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s guidelines.
He said he had no ill feelings against Ludwig as an individual, but that his concerns were borne out of his desire to see Ghanaian politics done on a level playing field for all, irrespective of oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s background.
MubarakÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claim was confirmed by one Samuel Dogbe, a delegate, who told Citi Fm in Accra yesterday that he received huge sums of money and a Nokia cellular phone, at the congress grounds.
He however failed to name those who paid him to vote for them.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes we were given monies and mobile phones. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think we should mention names here. The most important thing is that it is very bad because we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have this in our party. It is very sad,Ã¢â‚¬Â the radio station quoted him.
According to the delegate, almost every delegate received monies and phones, adding that they were channeled through people who were fronting for the aspirants.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The money was given physically through people working for them, and through the candidates themselves. They went from hotel to hotel,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The bribery galore was pressed home by General Secretary aspirant in the ruling party, Kweku Eshun, a defeated parliamentary candidate at the Okaikoi North constituency who also claimed that the Castle had been sponsoring favourites with monies and gifts.
One person who was most blunt in the allegations was Dr. Asamoah Tutu, chairmanship aspirant. He accused the incumbent chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, and General-Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia of sharing money and gifts to delegates.
But in brief responses, both Kwabena Adjei and Ludwig Hlordze had denied the allegations. Ludwig, for instance, said he won the position through hard work and determination.
Dr Adjei beat his chest, saying that he had never used money to influence voters in his political life.
Elections into regional and national positions in the ruling party were described as a straight fight between two factions labeled as belonging to the camps of former President Rawlings and President Mills.
By Bennett Akuaku