Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says persons seeking to petition the leadership of the party over the controversial GH¢420,000 filling fees could send it “wherever” they wished to.
Although, Asiedu Nketia did not tell what he meant by “wherever”, he is sure the petition when submitted “will be handled”
He insists that the aspirants are “free to send their petitions to wherever they want to send it to and I am sure it will be handled.”
Asiedu Nketia, aka General Mosquito’s comments follows concerns over what has been described as the exorbitant fees the party seeks its presidential aspirants to pay in their bid to lead the party into election 2020 as flagbearers.
So far flagbearer-aspirants including Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Nii Amassah Namoale, a Campaign Coordinator for Professor Joshua Alabi and Steven Atubigah have variously said the amount is too much for the position.
For Nii Amassah Namoale, he insists the amount is “outrageous” and further called on the Council of Elders of the NDC to intervene. We will like to appeal to the Council of Elders to meet with the NEC to review that amount.”
The NDC on Thursday pegged the price of nomination forms of the party at GH¢20,000 while candidates are required to pay another GH¢400,000 as filing fee.
However, General Mosquito speaking on the raging controversy on Friday said the party’s coffers is empty, a reason Flagbearer-aspirants of the NDC would each have to cough up the amount.
Asiedu Nketia said the party determined the fees depending on projections on how much it would cost the party to organize its presidential prairies.
He was emphatic that the party cannot raise funds for its impending presidential primaries scheduled for January 19, next year.
Asked if the NDC was bankrupt he argued: “First of all we have to understand the question we are asking, when you say broke what does it mean? We don’t have money in the coffers and these are the means of raising money.”
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“I was disappointed that none of them (the nagging aspirants) appears to be giving us suggestions as to the way forward. They just complain, complain, complain and it’s like when you take the Bible and read lamentations alone.-you just become sorrowful and that’s it.”
Appearing as though he was teasing the presidential aspirants he maintained: “I think that if they proceeded to read Revelations, they will reveal to us their new and better ways of funding this. They (the aspirants) are part of the solution but they present themselves as if they are not party of the solution at all, they are free to send their petitions to wherever they want to send it to and I am sure it will be handled.
Some 12 candidates including former president John Dramani Mahama, Sylvester Mensah, a Former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NIA) and Alban Bagbin, Member of Parliament for Nadwokli Kaleo have declared their intention to lead the NDC amidst calls for the fees to be slashed down.
However, Asiedu Nketia speaking on the issue over the weekend said the aspirants putting themselves up for the position must have fund raising prowess.
“The cost of mobilizing close to three hundred thousand delegates at constituency centers, the least you would be spending in moving them from their place to the constituency centers would be three million Ghana Cedis if you are very prudent.”
The NDC chief scribe continued: “If you add feeding you are getting somewhere beyond four million Ghana Cedis then the elections-printing of ballot papers for the whole country, paying the Electoral Commission” adding that Dues and donations as the party’s source of funding is inadequate and that fund raising to be “be engaged in must be led by all of us.”
On Thursday, Asiedu Nketia indicated that “Social democracy is not poverty,” he said and run a lesson on the party’s philosophy which he said means allowing market forces to work but still put in place mechanisms to protect those affected negatively by free market rules.
The NDC General Secretary said presidential aspirants should ‘weigh themselves well’ first before deciding to contest.