Founder of the opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President Jerry John Rawlings, is not a bit happy about the astronomical filing fee for the presidential primaries of the party.
He has consequently called on the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to, as a matter of urgency, take a critical look at the decision.
The NDC founder who did not mince words cautioned that certain actions or decisions could either be a reflection of the circumstances of the NDC’s birth or “mark a departure from where we are coming from as a party.”
While he did not want to believe that the party he founded on the principles of probity and accountability was being sold to some people with unethical behaviour, the former Ghanaian military leader warned the leadership of NDC against such tendencies.
He was pessimistic that anyone with integrity among the 13 flag-bearer aspirants of the party can raise the GHC420,000 the party was charging for as both nomination form and filing fees.
“I doubt if anyone of us who has served with integrity, relying on our salaries can raise these filing fees unless we engaged in some unethical behaviour while in office; unless we abused or misused our positions during our tenure,” the founder said.
The former president said with the aspirants having barely two weeks to raise the high amount, a perception may be created that the party was being handed over to the highest bidder.
Flt. Lt. Rawlings expressed these sentiments when the newly elected NEC of the party called on him at his Ridge office last week Friday.
He advised the NEC to review their decision and find alternatives to address the legitimate concern of raising funds to finance the presidential election. He admonished the newly elected executives to work assiduously to restore the integrity of the party even as they prepare for the uphill task ahead.
The General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, assured the founder that the amount set as filing fee was well intended.
He mentioned that the filing fee was one of the viable options adopted to assist with the party’s fund-raising efforts as it strives to meet the financial challenges of an expanded and deepened democratic electoral process.
He, however, stated that the NEC had taken note of the concerns of the founder and would further explore other fund-raising options.
In his opening remarks, the newly elected National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said that the executive committee had put in place preparatory steps to enable them hit the ground running.
He re-affirmed their commitment to the founding values and principles of the NDC and expressed their gratitude to the founder for the opportunity given to some of them to serve the party and country.
Mr Rawlings also received a delegation comprising the National Communication Officer and his deputies, Communications Director of the NDC, Regional Communication Officers and their respective deputies, Deputy National Organiser and Regional Organisers.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, was thankful to the former president for the opportunity to engage him.
Their mission was to introduce themselves to him, seek his counsel on how to win the national elections in 2020, and also learn at first hand the historical antecedents of the NDC.
The founder commended the newly elected party officers for their initiative, and took them through a roller coaster journey of accomplishments and betrayals that defined the current state of the party.
He urged them to imbibe the superior values of probity, accountability and social justice which used to set the NDC apart from all other parties whilst they all ponder on the way forward.
He wished the newly elected party officers well in their quest to rebuild a formidable party.