The Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mary Addah, has no idea about what goes into running or organising a political party in Ghana, Mr Freddie Blay, an aspiring National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, has said, in response to assertions by Ms. Addah and the GII that he be dragged to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) for investigations in connection with his quest to procure 275 buses for the party ahead of its national elections.
Ms. Adda had said the move by Mr Blay was a clear case of vote-buying.
She also questioned the source of money for the procurement of the buses.
The Acting Chairman of the NPP, on Friday, 11 May 2018, revealed that he would provide a bus for each of the 275 constituency arms of the party to be used to raise funds for its operations.
He explained on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme that: “I am supplying buses to all the constituency branches of the NPP. Each constituency will receive a bus from me personally for commercial purposes just to raise money for party activities”.
When asked how he will finance the procurement of the buses, he said: “When you are resourceful, you will be able to do that. You don’t need to do that from your own pockets, no, you can’t do it that way; as a politician, you need to be resourceful and be able to raise funds for activities of such kind.”
Subsequently, Ms. Addah, on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Monday, 14 May, said: “Why is he buying all these buses at a time they are going for their elections? What is the intention behind the buses?”
“It is clearly an issue of vote-buying, if, indeed, it is true that he is buying these buses. Mr Blay knows it is against the electoral laws of Ghana to induce voters to vote for you.
“CHRAJ and EOCO must investigate this, it is a lot of money, and, so, Freddie Blay should be able to justify where he got the money for all these buses.”
Responding to Ms. Addah on Accra-based Joy FM on Friday, 18 May, Mr Blay said: “Ghanaians are interested in parties being run well. Has anybody bothered to know what we have been doing in the past, how we have been financing the party, how we go for conferences?
“Why is that this time round that we are going for elections, all of a sudden you say you want to do this and people say they want to know where you intended to get the money.
“Some institutions like the Ghana Integrity Initiative are suggesting that I should be dragged to CHRAJ and EOCO. The young woman there, Mary Addah, says I should be dragged to CHRAJ or EOCO for corruption and vote-buying. She has no idea what it entails to organise a party, what it entails to make sure you bring people together so that you will be a backbone to the government, making sure that this country runs well.”
He added: “Each moment and each year parties have to submit their accounts to the Electoral Commission for them to go through it for auditing purposes.”