A 75-year-old politician vying for a chairmanship position has told delegates he is completely broke but has promised to throw a party for them if he wins as the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) holds elections Friday (today) in the Bolgatanga Central Constituency.
Some of the delegates, who were expecting to go home with cash after their meeting with the chair hopeful, screamed in chorus and held their heads in their hands as the aspirant, Sylvester Yamba Samari Orondo, voluntarily confessed his financial defect before them.
“I told them I do not have anything and that if I had the chance of doing whatever those who are competing with me have, I think that I could have done better. I pleaded with them to try and vote me as the chairman so that I can serve their interest.
“I told them I am financially handicapped but I promised to organise a party for them if I win the election. Should I win and I’m able to mobilise some funds, certainly I will hold a party for them. If I’m not disappointed by those who are going to give me the money to organise a party after the elections, I will hold a thank-you party for them,” Orondo told Starr News shortly after he had met with the delegates.
“Kai!” yelled a shocked delegate who seriously did not want his name mentioned in the press let alone his picture captured. “This man (Orondo) has finished us! He wants to spoil our career. I would have rather been in a different meeting by now with a different candidate if this man had told us early he was going to talk this way to us,” he told newsmen with an I-am-done-for demeanour.
The elections initially were scheduled for June, this year, but were suspended over some grievances that saw petitions filed against some individuals during the party’s branch elections conducted earlier in May.
It took the intervention of a team led by the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who convened a mediatory meeting in Bolgatanga to pave way for today’s polls where 44 candidates will seek the thumbprints of over 1,000 delegates.
I have been Unfairly Treated— Orondo
Orondo, who played for Asante Kotoko in the 1970s, is in the chairmanship race with four others who look far more resourced.
He told Starr News he helped in the formation of the NDC in the region in 1992 but, despite his founding father credentials, he had been denied three times when he applied for the position of Municipal Chief Executive for Bolgatanga.
The septuagenarian added he was also rejected when he sought to be the regional coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) after the NDC regained power in 2008 and had ever since then welcomed pleas many times to step aside for people showing interest in the same constituency-level positions he yearned for.
“I have not been treated fairly since 1992. I just decided that this time I will not listen to any appeal for me to withdraw my nomination forms for anybody. I will contest. If they vote for me, fine. And if they don’t, well, that is it,” he said.
NDC explains why Polls on former Vice President’s Burial Day
As Friday’s polls in Bolgatanga coincide with burial service in Accra for the late former Vice President and guru of the umbrella party, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, questions are being asked as to why the elections could not wait until after the funeral had ended.
The Bolgatanga Central Constituency Secretary, Abdallah Salifu, explained the constituency knew the burial would take place this week and on the usual Saturday, so it fixed Friday for the elections, but was informed too late after the election venue had been booked for Friday that the Vice President would be buried not on Saturday but Friday.
“We initially thought he was going to be buried on Saturday. You know most of our funerals (in Ghana) are done on Saturdays. More to the point, the venue. The venue had been booked for Thursday (yesterday) and Saturday (tomorrow) by different events organisers. The only day we could get was Friday. And we also didn’t want to shift it (the polls) to next month for some reasons,” clarified the Constituency Secretary.