Pascal Kafu Abotsi ([email protected])
Ivor Greenstreet’s victory at the just ended delegates’ congress of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which took place at the Accra International Trade Fair Centre, with over two thousand four hundred (2,400) delegates in attendance, has not been without any qualms.
The result, which came as a surprise to many who had pegged the daughter of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as the winner in the election, saw Mr. Greenstreet garner more than half of the 1,992 valid votes cast–1,288 votes representing 64.7%.
Samia had 579, representing about 29% of the total votes cast, while Joseph Agyapong and Bright Akwetey managed 82 and 44 votes respectively.
Some of the candidates, particularly Samia Yaba Nkrumah and Lawyer Bright Akwetey, and Professor Badu Akosa, a leading member of the party, made a clean breast of the former General Secretary’s sharing of money, which eventually placed him in the lead, at the close of polls last Saturday.
Snippets of information available to The Chronicle indicate that Mr. Greenstreet, allegedly influenced the delegates with money, with some reportedly receiving GHC 200.
This ostensive vote-buying indictment caused a stir among the other candidates and their members –they were all flabbergasted at the quantum involved. When congress was on-going, Mr. Greenstreet did not sit in the midst of the other candidates and that also sent delegates who were opposed to his election as flagbearer of their archival party, talking.
And perhaps the clamorous ambience that followed his entry onto the congress grounds, when it was time for him to deliver his campaign message, gave his inducement a reflective meaning. The room was so charged that he spoke for less than the five minutes allotted him.
After the presentation of their campaign messages, it was clear the reception given to Mr. Greenstreet had dashed the hopes of his other contestants. But Mr. Agyapong, the man many said was doing Hassan Ayariga’s kind of humour politics, would not feel shaken.
“It is like a game of football. You can get the fans to cheer for you, but that does not mean you will win.” This was after he had also given packs of food and drinks, which had his image embossed on them, to delegates to consider him as their candidate.
His fleet of cars, mostly unregistered, with occupants exceeding the prescribed number of passengers, moving right under the nose of the high police detail, could not do the magic. He wanted to create the impression that he had the logistics for an effective campaign, as he said he had bought some more vehicles, which should arrive in the country in no time.
Bright Akwetey, on his part smelled a rat. “Some of us are aware of what he did, which made him get that kind of support,” he disclosed, as he expressed conviction that the former General Secretary of the CPP was not engaged in a clean campaign.
Samia was nowhere to be found until about 6pm when voting had started in the dark and at that point, could not comment on what she made of Mr. Greenstreet’s support. It was after the close of polls and declaration of provisional results which was after 10pm, that she accused the newly-elected Presidential Candidate of vote-buying.
Speaking to journalists after her defeat, she declared her intention to continue working for the CPP, stressing that “there is a lot of work to be done and I will always serve the party”. She was convinced vote buying caused her defeat. She said, “… I’m obviously not happy with the results, but I accept them.”
She further revealed that: “every delegate was paid GHC200 and GHC500, among many other things. So it was down to money and of course we cannot be happy about that, but we accept the results, and we move on.”
For Bright Akwetey, who is also the Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs of the CPP, he blamed his defeat on inadequate funds and time. “I didn’t go anywhere beyond Accra…I was busy in the court. The politicians were going round and what they did going round I could not do, because I don’t have the funds to do that.
“What I felt I could do for my country was what I did. I didn’t have the kind of money they have to display,” he said. Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, a leading member of the CPP, described as a vote for money, the victory of Ivor Greestreet. Even though he agreed with the delegates’ decision, he was saddened by the fact that money determined the winner.
The former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who was in support of Samia’s candidature, when interviewed on an Accra-based radio station said: “This is not the results that I expected, but congress has spoken and as a democrat I have to accept the results… “CPP has voted for money…that is the choice of congress sadly and as a democrat I have to accept it, but congress has voted for money.”