General News of Sun, 22 Feb 20042
Aspiring MP Pays ?8.8m Monthly To Constituency Delegates
An aspiring New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate is allegedly doling out ?8.8m monthly to influence the party's constituency delegates to vote for him at the forthcoming primaries.
He pays ?100,000.00 each to 88 out of 98 polling station managers in the constituency he wishes to represent in Parliament, which already has an NPP MP.
The payments, which commenced in November 2003 and are promised to continue even after our philanthropist gets elected, is officially billed as "expression of appreciation and support" for the efforts that the payees are rendering to the NPP.
Reportedly, however, our philanthropist, Mr. Brayn Yaw Acheampong, who recently returned from the US, is hoping to unseat the incumbent NPP MP for Suhum in the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District of the Eastern Region at the June 2004 primaries for sitting NPP MPs.
According to the 10 polling station managers who have refused the "palm greasing", Mr. Acheampong unveiled his true intentions to them at a closed-door meeting last November.
They quote him as telling them at that meeting that he would be paying all the 98 polling station chairpersons and delegates 100,000.00 monthly effective that month "so that you can give your vote to me when the party goes into its primaries to elect a candidate to represent the constituency in the next parliamentary elections".
He reportedly advised them not to disclose his "real intention" for the meeting to the public, who should only be told that the meeting was on his personal contribution to the NPP.
The source further disclosed that apart from the "monthly wage", Mr. Acheampong promised taking the polling station managers - five at a time on a familiarization tour to Accra to wine and dine with him. This arrangement, but for President John Kufuor's state of the nation address, should have started on Thursday, January 22, 2004.
However, Aspirant Acheampong is in for a big shock as the sources said that the fact that they receive the monthly wage, does not necessarily mean that: "we will give our votes to him since we consider his behaviour highly unethical and unprofessional".
Contacted, Mr. Acheampong vehemently denied the story, describing it as a diabolical plan to "tarnish my reputation".
However, sources made available a signed receipt by one of the delegates for the collection of the monthly wage. On the back of the quarto (A4) paper, Mr. Acheampong rationalized his action: "As a dye-in-the-wool member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), with implicit faith in the philosophy and policies of the party, I am, naturally very concerned about its welfare at all levels.
"Judging from the numerous constrains (sic) that you and your colleagues have to contend with (including the difficult conditions under which you are operating currently) I find great inspiration in the fact that you have never given up but consistently served the party faithfully and kept the NPP flag aloft.
"This is a most humbling experience for me. An experience, which has evoked a deep sense of pride in me as a party member and a Ghanaian and for which reason I could not let my observations pass without comment. But I also believe that practically and beyond just commenting, I have a sacred duty to the party, to commit resources in my quest to see a stronger, more dynamic NPP.
"On my own behalf and your (sic) behalf of other like-minded party adherents, I hereby issue this token amount for your good self, for each month of the year, effective November 2003, and which payments shall continue into the near future.
"I consider this pledge not only as my widow's mite in support of the Herculean job you and your colleagues have performed and continue to perform but also as my heartfelt appreciation and recognition of your steadfastness and loyalty, which are fundamental to the growth and survival of the party.