The allegation of voting buying during the New Patriotic Party presidential primary, the election of parliamentary candidate in the orphan constituencies, as well as the parliamentary primaries, scheduled for January 27, has become too overpowering to ignore.
In the just the past week, the Chief Executive of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Kofi Ofosu Nkansah was on arrested by the Office Special Prosecutor (OSP) on charges of distributing money to delegates ahead of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primary in the Asante Akyem Central constituency in the Ashanti Region.
A couple of weeks ago, The OSP, issued a wanted notice for six men in one of its ongoing investigations. The wanted notice, which the OSP shared on social media, on Sunday, December 3, 2023, indicated that the six men were persons of interest in an election-related crime.
The six were declared wanted by the OSP for their alleged involvement in corruption and corruption-related offences during the parliamentary elections organised by the governing New Patriotic Party in orphan constituencies.
Before this, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bibiani-Ahnwiaso-Bekwai in the Western North Region, Alfred Obeng Boateng, in a viral audio clip, stated his willingness to provide financial support to delegates in his constituency to match any offers from his political contenders.
According to the MP, “I am telling you that the money I will use for the primaries is in dollars and that money has been secured long ago, I must be frank with you. That is money I am not touching under any circumstance.
“So I laugh seeing all that they are doing, I have dollars there for that primaries. What I can tell my delegates is that I will pay more than double what anyone who will contest me will offer them, they should take that from me. If they come together and decide to pay GHC10,000 per delegate I will pay more than that.”
“Whatever they pay, even if they pay GHC20,000 I will pay more than GHC20,000 because I know how much I have put there; I know how much I have reserved. That is why I saved in dollars so that the money will not lose value,” he noted.
The cycle of the putrid corruption and the personalization of public funds have stirred public resentment and the anger in the country is understandable because the huge sums being diverted are meant to ameliorate the deplorable conditions of the poor in the country.
While we acknowledge that vote buying is not peculiar to Ghana alone, as it is a global problem, the scope of this present saga is mind-blowing.
Our concern is that, this might not be the first time, a vexatious issue like this has come up for public debate and investigations, as it only end up on the shelf and do not see the light of day, and Kofi Ofosu Nkansah’s investigation by the OSP, could be one of such.
Though we applaud the OSP for moving in swiftly to interrogate the allegation, it should step up efforts to probe the matter and punish those involved in the money sharing.
This newspaper hopes the OSP will work the talk this time by making it findings public and bring to book those found culpable once the investigation is concluded.
For us, a matter of this grave importance shouldn’t be swept under the carpet while the country moves on as if it is normal to bribe delegates in broad day light.