The Koforidua NPP Conference: Matters Arising
The just-ended 26th Annual National Delegates Conference of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), held at the Koforidua Technical University, is not just different from the numerous previous conferences organized by the Banquah-Busia-Dombo tradition. It could be recorded on the negative side of Ghana’s political history, if the tons of speculations clouding it are not explained early enough.
Right from the onset, there was talk of vote-buying regarding the purchase of some 275 buses, worth $11.4milion, by an aspiring chairman for distribution to constituencies just 48 hours to the conference. Then at the event proper, reports were rife that warts of cash were doled out, not only by the aspirants, but also by cabinet ministers in favour of some particular aspirants. In fact, so bad was the situation that a section of the media describes the two-day event as a ‘vote-buying enterprise’.
That aside, the ganging up by nearly 110 ministers and their deputies, 275 MMDCEs, and other government appointees against one aspirant was, frankly-speaking, very shameful.
If for nothing at all, the world saw Joe Ghartey, Dan Botwe, Kinsley Aboagye Gyadu, Kwamena Darko-Mensah, Paul Essien, Barbara Ayisi and others, throwing the concept of neutrality to the dogs by openly endorsing one candidate against the other ahead of the national contest.
It was also contended that, votes from diaspora delegates were ‘hijacked’ while, at least, one ‘unknown’ name was reportedly inserted into each constituency register under the guise of a TESCON delegate.
While the New Patriotic Party can deny or defend all the above, and probably describe them as mere speculations or perceptions, the issue of opulence that surrounded this year’s conference is simply too conspicuous to be denied, to the extent that a foreign guest, who came over for a solidarity message, left the country disappointed at what he saw.
John Hayward, representative of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, criticized the conference in these words: “I came through the streets today, and I saw so many posters, posters of the wonderful candidates here in this conference. But I had to reflect. I think I saw more posters than the delegates here at this conference and I wondered, ‘is this really the best use of our resources?”
THE PUBLISHER is of the view that, some of these things, if true, can cast a slur on the good reputation of the great NPP, and could have possibly impacted the outcome of the conference.
Koforidua 2018 may be a successful conference, but there are certainly more questions to answer.