General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Flagbearer Aspirants of the National Democratic Congress continue to ‘bark’, regardless of details being given by their Chief Scribe as reasons necessitating the charge of 420,000 Ghana cedis as filing fees from them.
Former Trade Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Former Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu, both of whom have joined the race for flagbearship chided Johnson Asiedu Nketia over his ‘420K Fees’ decision and subsequent defence.
According to them, there were several other more ‘logical’ ways of retrieving monies to fund the party than the currently suggested one. ‘Googling’, Mr. Spio-Garbrah said, was one very easy way to solicit ‘great’ ideas to raise funds for the party.
“That is totally wrong because he is the CEO of the party, luckily, he was the previous CEO so did he plan for this thing, it’s a lazy way of fundraising, I see it that way. He could have done it with the caveat that anyone who is going to vote for this party, after paying your yearly dues, you should be able to donate to the party at least 5 cedis. There’s a better way of fundraising”, Kojo Bonsu iterated on the ‘PM Express’ show Monday.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah, adding his voice said, “The General Secretary must actually be providing ideas for raising funds for the party Filing fees cannot be the primary or principal means of raising funds for the part. There are numerous ways the NDC can raise funds, if it sits down and goes about a methodical process, and you can just google fundraising and you’ll get 200 ideas of fundraising from any internet platform…so whether you want to do dancing, paranephelia, car washing etc. filing fees cannot be the only way to raise funds”.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah further questioned the rationale behind charging relatively lower charges for executives at other levels including the national and regional if indeed the monies being collected were targeted at raising funds for the party.
“If that was the case why did the same national executives set 10,000K for the fee of a chairman. They cannot have such a meteoric change where you charge branch executives 5 cedis, then it went up to 500 cedis for constituency executives, came to 5,000 for regional chairmen, it came to 10,000 for national chairmen and then it just went off into the roof like a rocket going to Mars, to 400 K for flagbearership”, he stated.
Agitation erupted among the known presidential hopefuls when NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, announced an exponential leap in the nomination and filing fees for flagbearer aspirants.
From GH¢50,000 in 2016 when the NDC was in power as filing fee, the figure has shot up GH¢400,000 — excluding the GH¢20,000 that the aspirants would have pay to pick up the form at the party’s headquarters.
Many of the aspirants, apart from former President John Mahama, who is seeking to lead the party in the 2020 elections after losing to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2016, have condemned the astronomical increase in the fees.
Although the Deputy General Secretary of the party, Barbara Asamoah, said the party’s highest decision-making body, NEC, backs the new fees, the ‘Gang of Eight’ that has petitioned the Council of Elders say that is not accurate.
Among other concerns, they say the NEC has not met the procedural requirements set out in Article 42(1)(f) of the Party Constitution for publishing Electoral Guidelines, and generally has not met standards of stakeholder consultation acceptable in a social democratic party.”
They also argued that in publishing the Guidelines, NEC has “exceeded the authority vested in it by Article 42(1)(f) of the constitution, to wit imposed eligibility criteria not provided for in the Party Constitution.”
On the matter of the filing fees for candidates, they say the figure is “unreasonable” and that calls into question “our basic commitments as social democrats.”