The Treasurer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), David Apasara, has, in an interview with Strict Proof on Radio XYZ, accused his Party’s 2012 Presidential Candidate, Hassan Ayariga, of hijacking and hoarding party cars and money.
According to Mr Apasara, Mr Ayariga received many cars including Land Cruisers and pickups as well as different amounts of money as donation in the name of the party but hoarded all of it to himself.
“…It’s unfortunate that people use [the] party to make money, to raise loans, to raise cars, get all sort of things and then they tend to make them their private property”, Mr Apasara bemoaned.
He added that: “…So if you are made a flagbearer and you are given pickups, you are given V8s and so on to help the party and at the end of the day you go and park them in your house and say they are yours, I don’t think it’s right”.
“…Before he became a flagbearer, we knew what he had…and now you go to his house and he has about two or three V8 Land Cruisers parked there; a number of pickups parked there; all sort of cars parked and the house is full. Where did he get that? When he came and he was doing his restaurant business, who was giving him money? Nobody, so personally I think that the matter should be investigated”.
Mr Apasara’s revelation and accusations against Mr Ayariga come on the heels of demands by a youth group in the party, Convention Forum, for the party’s leadership to account for Ghc1.6 million of campaign funds meant for the 2012 elections.
The group, in a statement signed by Coordinator Akane Adam said: “We wish to…bring to the notice of all party sympathizers and Ghanaians…our pain and regret following the failure of our party’s leadership to retrieve a whopping sum of 1.6 million Ghana cedis of campaign funds donated to the party in the 2012 general elections”.
The group said the money was supposed to have been used to pay polling agents, procure motorbikes, print party posters and also pay for other election logistics.
“However as we speak, many polling agents who served for the party at various polling stations since December 2012 are still demanding their monies and allowances since they were never paid”, the group said. It claimed “the motor bikes for the campaign were also never procured”.
“The party is currently in financial distress and needs money to organise its polling station, constituency and regional elections”. The Forum has demanded an independent probe to trace the funds. It has threatened to vote out all the current executives if the fail to account for the money.
Reacting to Mr Apasara’s allegations on the same programme, Mr Ayariga conceded receiving some monies for his campaign just like his fellow presidential candidates but added that all expenses for his 2012 campaign were borne by him without a cedi from the party.
According to Mr Ayariga, until he became the flagbearer of the PNC, the party was virtually dead and so could not have attracted any sponsorship from anybody or groups of people.
He said if there was any money missing, the right people who were at the helm of affairs should rather be held accountable.
“The Chairman is the leader of the party so if there’s money missing, I think they are the right people to explain to us where the money came from, who gave the money and how much was the money and where it went to. But as a Flagbearer, I had the right to go round and campaign. I did my campaign solely. Not even the party could raise one cedi to help Ayariga in his campaign. ..I used my life, used the little monies that I got from friends and colleagues that is not for the PNC. If my brother calls me and says ‘Ayariga this is Ghc100,000, go and use it for your campaign, it is not meant for me to bring it to the leadership of the PNC and say look this is for you, go and do your campaign’”.
Mr Ayariga claimed that beside raising Ghc600,000 for Mr Apasara’s own parliamentary campaign, he also gave him a 4×4 for his campaign.
He also claimed that he personally bought more than 50 motor bikes for the party and also erected over 1,500 billboards across the country for the campaign without any help from the party.
Mr Ayariga said he was compelled to close down all three of his restaurants because he had to channel funds from those personal businesses into his campaign. He challenged his accusers to prove that any monies were given to him on behalf of the party which he squandered.