The Progressive People’s Party has described the decision of the acting National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddy Blay, to facilitate the purchase of some 275 buses for each constituency ahead of the party’s national executive elections on Saturday as unacceptable.
The National Democratic Congress has also criticized the move, saying it smacks of corruption.
The NPP’s Stephen Ntim, who is contesting against Freddie Blay, said the gesture is disingenuous and constitutes vote-buying.
In a Citi News Interview, the General Secretary of the Progressive People’s Party, Kofi Asamoah Siaw, said Mr. Blay’s action must be condemned.
“On the lower scale we can say it is disturbing, but the truth is that it is an obscene act of vote buying or political influence of vote, and I think that if we don’t stop this county would be sold to the highest bidder. It is completely unacceptable and it is these kinds of little things that he started doing that was not checked and now it is getting out of hand,” he said.
The Convention People’s Party has also expressed shock at Mr. Blay’s gesture saying he is setting a wrong example for other politicians.
Communications Director of the CPP, Kadri Abdul Rauf Issifu, also noted that Freddie Blay’s gesture would affect the quality of the persons voted into public office.
“The CPP has long held the view that if our democracy is going to be sold to the highest bidder, then what it means is that it will come a time very soon, where our democracy and rule of law would be sold to people who can mobilize resources whether ill-gotten resource or resources that are gotten from genuine means, and we don’t think we should encourage that,” he said.
Amid the allegations of vote buying, a spokesperson for Freddie Blay, Richard Nyamah, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was behind the acting Chairman’s decision to purchase a bus for each of the party’s 275 constituencies.
Mr. Nyamah said discussions were held with the NPP and that the party “agreed and okayed the deal.”
Freddie Blay purchased buses with UMB loan – Spokesperson
According to Mr. Nyamah, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) aspiring Chairman contracted a loan facility from Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), to procure the 275 buses.
“He has gone into an agreement with a bank, where the bank will make a profit and the constituencies at the end of every month, would also get some payments in their accounts to pay the party at the constituency level.”
The buses will also remain under the name of UMB, “until the facility is fully paid,” he added.
“When the facility is paid off, the buses will be owned by the constituencies and ownership transferred to them.”
Meanwhile, the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, is investigating Freddie Blay on how he funded the purchase of 275 buses for all 275 constituencies of the party.
A source at the Office of the Special Prosecutor told Citi News that Mr. Amidu will go ahead with the investigations whether or not Mr. Blay wins this Saturday’s election.
The source said Mr. Martin Amidu is of the view that, Mr. Blay is a public officer as a Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and also as a national officer of the governing party with influence, he falls under the Criminal offenses Act (1960) Act 29, and must therefore be questioned on his source of funding.