General News of Thu, 28 Sep 201730

NDC campaign cash stolen - Botchwey report

The report of the Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee which was set up to investigate why the National Democratic Congress (NDC) embarrassingly lost the December 7, 2016 general election- has indicated that the electorate considered the campaign of then ruling NDC offensive.

“The NDC campaign language was generally considered unduly combative and offensive,” page 21 of the 65-page Executive Summary of the 455-page report which the NDC has kept like a state secret revealed.

According to the report, the campaign to get then sitting president John Mahama re-elected was also ‘uncoordinated’, stating that campaign cash found its way into people’s pockets.

The report suggests that party organs were of the strong believe that campaign money was diverted.

Stolen money

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“Much of the campaign that unfolded, we were told, did not follow these recommendations as the party ended up being accused of conducting an extravagant campaign,” the report recounted, adding, “the mounting of huge billboards, it was alleged, offended many voters and reinforced NPP accusations that these were funded from stolen public monies.”

The report indicates that the establishment of the National Campaign Committee (NCC) in May 2016 and inauguration of the members were problematic, saying, “in the view of many party members, its establishment occurred much too late for effective campaigning, given that information in the public domain already suggested a possible voting date of November 7.”

Campaign coordinators: it claims, “there were challenges relating to the timing, structure, composition and resourcing. The NCC also formed Regional Campaign Task Forces (RCTFs) which were headed by regional campaign coordinators. Some of these coordinators did not enjoy total support from their respective regional executives, especially deputies, at both the national and regional levels.”

According to the committee, the attempt to find out why the NCC was ‘marginalized’ proved futile because nobody in the party could explain it to them.

“The committee heard a number of complaints from some members of the NCC about their marginalization in matters of resource mobilization, channeling and distribution. We accordingly sought but were unable to obtain clarification on the mandate of the NCC as formed in order to know whether it included these functions in the first place, and therefore, whether these complaints were warranted. We received none.”

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