‘Vote-Buying Tactics’ Angers Alan Kyerematen & Addai Nimoh
The camp of two New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer hopefuls, Addai Nimoh and Alan Kyerematen, were last Saturday furious over Nana Addo’s decision to share monies and distribute letters at voting centres, urging the delegates to vote for him during the exercise.
Some Constituency executives, including the Okaikoi North, Gomoa West and the Bortianor Negleshie Amanfrom constituencies confirmed that Nana Addo asked them to share GH¢10 and GH¢25 to the delegates to take care of their transportation after the voting exercise.
At Dzolokpuita in Ho West Constituency of the Volta Region, agents of Nana Addo, were seen holding a big brown envelope from which monies were dished out to delegates in the open.
A simple majority from 141,000 NPP delegates of the main opposition party was to choose from three candidates, including the two-time defeated flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo, former Minister of Trade Alan Kyerematen and Legislator, Francis Addai Nimoh, to lead the party in the 2016 presidential election.
Ahead of Saturday’s event, Nana Addo’s camp announced that the aspirant donated six billion Cedis (GH¢600,000) to the party to organise the election. The announcement, went viral on both mainstream and social media, leading to a denial by the NPP National Treasurer, Mr. Kwabena Bankwa Yeboah.
Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, the General Secretary, also debunked that GH¢600,000 had come from Nana Akufo-Addo to organize last Saturday’s event.
Subsequently, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John came out and said that the money was rather meant for transportation for the delegates and that it has been dispatched by Nana Addo to the various Constituencies to be shared by the various Constituency leaders.
According to Akufo-Addo’s 2012 Campaign Coordinator, Boakye Agyarko, the former Attorney General, decided to volunteer his own funds towards helping transport delegates from the 137 orphan Constituencies as part of efforts to ensure that all 141,000 delegates get to cast their ballot.
Boakye Agyarko, told Host of Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen’ political programme, Kojo Asare Baffour Acheampong, on Friday that Akufo-Addo’s magnanimity is aimed at averting disenfranchisement of the delegates, due to the party’s inability to provide transportation to ferry the voters to their polling centres.
But, instead of the 137 Constituencies mentioned, the money appeared to have been shared throughout the county, while the polls took place simultaneously at 276 polling centres, including the NPP National Headquarters in Accra.
Delegates at most of voting centers, were each also given letters personally signed by Nana Addo, urging them to vote for him; something according to the camps of Addai Nimoh and Alan Kyerematen, was against the rules of the elections which bars candidates from campaigning on the day of elections.
An aide to Mr. Nimoh, Patrick Kofi Addo, fumed in an interview with Citi News: “Today if I’m going to vote and you call me aside and give me an envelope with a letter convincing me to vote for you with money in it, it is campaigning, you’ve breached the laws. So that candidate can be disqualified, he should be.”
On the day, Citi News’ Rabiu Alhassan reported that “there is this envelope being given out to each of the delegates who will go and form a queue right next to the table that is supposed to give out that letter and the 10 Ghana cedis”.
He said some party members at the centre raised concerns as to “why those letters and monies are being distributed”. Calm was later restored to the area and voting is going on smoothly.
An aide to Alan Kyerematen, Nana Ohene Ntow also took issue with the monies exchanging hands and the letters issued to the delegates. He was also unhappy about a constituency in the Eastern Region and Northern Region where constituency executives were preventing perceived supporters of Alan Kyerematen from voting for him.
In the Central Region, reports from the Gomoa West Constituency that delegates queued after voting to receive an amount of GH¢25.
The Chairman of the NPP, in the area, Bismark Inkoom who confirmed the information to Accra-based Citi News explained that “What is going on there is something normal. Under normal circumstances we are supposed to have been able to transport our delegates from the various locations in our constituency, about 96 locations to the centre but then we couldn’t raise money early enough to be able to do this organization.”
He added that “so once we got money from our patrons….yester night, we tried convince the delegates to try and come on their own so that after voting we can transport them back.”
Nana Addo’s aide, Henry Quartey, however, emphasized that the money and the letter were not aimed at inducing delegates to vote for him.
The letter signed by Nana Addo, had created discomfort at some polling centers during presidential primaries.
According to Starr News’ Emmanuel Gbikpo, delegates who voted in Ashaiman in Accra are given the letter accompanied by an undisclosed amount of money after voting.
There were chaos in the Krowor Constituency in the Greater Accra Region after some delegates of the NPP who had turned up to vote in the party’s in the presidential primaries were denied the right to vote as their names were not found in the Voter register.
One of the aggrieved delegates Nii Moi Gabriel told Starr News’ Papisdaff Abdullah that the development will mar the integrity of the elections.
He believes the move was contrived by some party executives to prevent delegates suspected to be loyal to Alan Kyerematen- a candidate in the elections- from voting.
In the Wulensi Constituency in the Northern Region, about 200 NPP delegates had their names missing in the voters register.
Citi News Correspondent in the Northern Region, Karim Natugmah reported that Tamale South and Salaga South also recorded similar instances.
He said: “Reports reaching me from three constituencies in the Northern Region having to do with Wulensi, Salaga South and Tamale South indicate that there are problems there. For instance in Wulensi, about 200 names are not in the register and these people will not be allowed to exercise their franchise so far as today’s poll is concerned. At Tamale South they told me that some delegates names are absent on the list and it is the same problem that has been recorded at Salaga South too.
Northern Regional Secretary of the NPP, Sulley Salifu confirmed the anomalies to Citi News but gave the assurance that everything was going to be rectified.
“In fact their names are just absent on the list and am sure it was during the scanning at the headquarters that these names were jammed but I’ve just spoken to the regional director of the electoral commission and we are making sure that maybe in consultation with the headquarters we will find a way out for them to vote,” he said.
The NPP Regional Financial Secretary, Mr. Harunah, a native of Wulensi said tension had mounted in the area because of the problem. He said Wulensi has about 429 NPP voter population.
In the Alajo area of the Ayawaso Central Constituency of the Greater Accra region, an agent of one of the aspirants complained bitterly about the Constituency executives casting all the proxy votes, without any authority letters from the party headquarters as expected to be the case.
Interestingly, the Constituency Secretary of the party, who was actively involved in the conduct of the election, was also an agent for Nana Addo.
When interviewed on Joy News Channel, the said Constituency secretary said he was helping the polls with his experience.
Also in the Tema East area, the Member of Parliament (MP), Titus Nii Kwatei Glover, who was an agent for Nana Addo also gave out GH¢10 and food.