General News of Thu, 23 Mar 20177
I didn’t divert campaign funds – Victor Smith
The National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary candidate for Abuakwa North in the 2016 elections, Victor Smith has dismissed claims that he diverted funds meant for campaign activities during last year’s polls.
A member of the NDC in the constituency, Alhaji Dan Baba, had alleged that Mr Smith diverted cash meant for the NDC’s campaign into his building project.
Dan Baba also alleged that Mr. Smith hoarded clothes, cutlasses, sewing machines and other things meant for campaign in the constituency.
However, in a statement, the former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom dismissed the allegations describing them as baseless.
Among other things Mr. Smith said, “He paid for 3 boreholes to be drilled in 3 different areas within the constituency and paid for electricity lights and poles in Boso Odumase and…communication centers in Anywoabeng and nobi.”
Below is the Mr. Smith’s full statement
Re- Victor Smith diverts campaign cash
1. My attention has been drawn to a publication on Ghanaweb of an interview of a certain individual referred to as Dan Baba on an Accra FM radio station called Accra FM, in which the interviewee accuses me, among other things, of using Party campaign cash to rehabilitate my father’s house which I used as my campaign headquarters for both 2012 & 2016 campaigns.
2. It would have been useful if this ignorant character, who has been wrongly described as a leading member of the Party in the story, had indicated how much Party funds came to me and was used to rehabilitate my father’s property.
3. This same character, who I believe has been put to this mischief by disgruntled individuals most of whom are constituency executives and some who are bitter because I, as campaign coordinator, did not give them the opportunity to squander resources meant for the campaign as they have always done in the past.
4. A number of the current constituency executives have always held this unfortunate notion that NDC will never win in the Abuakwa North constituency and as such have always had a lackluster approach to the hard work that needed to be done to push us towards our goal of taking the seat.
5. Again because of their unwillingness to push harder for victory for NDC, these executives, especially the leadership, have always been preoccupied with how much of campaign resources from Party and other sources, as well as opportunities, they can grab for themselves and their relations at every turn.
6. The man who granted the interview also makes reference to certain funds meant for Election Day activities. Any serious political party official who has had Election Day experience would have a fair idea of the amount of money political parties use on the day’s activities including monitoring, feeding of agents, paying T&T for voters who have travelled from far and near, fueling vehicles hiring taxis to help with transportation etc.
7. I wasn’t going to hand over Party funds to these characters who I have known quite well for years, over their handling of resources including cash, which leave much to be desired.
8. He also refers to certain items which arrived from Party sources a few days before Election Day, which they expected me to hand over to them to share amongst themselves, and themselves alone, as they have always done, to the displeasure of the foot soldiers of the Party.
9. This time round, I, as coordinator of the campaign, decided to hold onto the items till after the elections, since we had distributed enough over the preceding 2 months to various communities within the constituency.
10. I informed the executives that I intend to use the items to set up a vocational facility to give opportunity to the constituents to acquire dressmaking and hairdressing skills and also be able to generate funds to build the Party in the years ahead.
11. As campaign coordinator I took decisions to serve the best interest of our Party and i have pushed to bring development & progress to this constituency over the last 4-5years.
12. My loyalty to the NDC cannot be questioned by any politician in this country, certainly not those selfish & greedy characters in Abuakwa North. Some of us have died enough for the NDC and country, so let no ignoramus come and attempt to tarnish our image.
13. It is perhaps time for the NDC to bring on a new crop of experienced , selfless & courageous leaders to crack down on the indiscipline that is eating the rank and file of the Party.
14. It may be useful for readers at this juncture if I cited a few of my personal efforts to help steer the NDC towards our goal of securing the Abuakwa North seat:
• I personally funded all jogging events, campaign launch and paid T & T @ 20ghc each for all 69 branch execs ( 9 execs in each branch) each time we had to bring them to a meeting.
• Personally paid for some road improvement work in Anyinasin, within Kukurantumi and Tafo
• I paid for 3 Boreholes to be drilled in 3 different areas within the constituency;
• I paid for electricity lights and poles in Boso Odumase and …. communication centers in Anywoabeng and nobi;
• I paid for spraying machines and weedycides and over 2000 cutlasses for the Community.
• I personally sponsored youth games including football tournaments.
• I paid funeral and other donations from my own pocket on behalf of constituency and execs.
• I personally donated items including cutlasses, rice, cooking oil and some campaign items and cash to Constituency Execs to motivate them in their work during campaign.
• Today Kukurantumi, a major town within the constituency, can boast of a 96-bed community hospital and a 500 capacity morgue, a project that I promised the constituency in 2012. Signed : Ambassador Victor Smith