The NDC killer fees; the inside story
For those doubting how the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) presidential primary is being skewed to favour former President John Dramani Mahama, just scan through the reactions of what Mahama surrogates on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC on the subject had said in the past week.
Party Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, a man charged with such an envious and impartial position-at least to the outside world, exposed all his innate desire to a Mahama NDC presidential candidacy when he disclosed during the heat of the abnormal GHC420,000 NDC nomination fees that all other aspirants, except John Dramani Mahama are unfit to lead the NDC as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2020 election.
General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, also sarcastically referred aspirants in disagreement with the astronomical nomination fees to go to former President Jerry John Rawlings to pick a candidate for them. The obvious cheek in tongue insult was in reference to the infamous 1998 Swedru Declaration where Mr Rawlings, then President of the Republic and leader of the NDC, unilaterally endorsed the candidature of then Vice President, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills to be the de-facto candidate of the NDC in the 2000 election.
That declaration resulted in the breakaway Reform Movement which later became the Reformed Party under the leadership of Augustus Obuadum Tanoh, who incidentally is one of the aspirants in the current NDC presidential race.
While the rest of the candidates are mulling over the killer fees, it’s only the Mahama camp that has come chest out to say it has what it takes to raise the GHC420,000 filing fees.
As former President, the Mahama camp definitely has the men with business and financial muscle to finance such huge nomination fees. The Mahama team is also doing everything possible to ensure that all prospective financiers of the other candidates renege on their commitments.
It does seem such financiers are also acquiescing to the Mahama heat because of the appalling performance so far posted by the Akufo-Addo administration believing that with the country’s economic hardships unlikely to improve within the next two years, a second Mahama presidency looks too good a possibility to ignore.
By the arrangements covering the NDC’s presidential nomination, all male aspirants are expected to pay up GHC400,000 filing fees with the female counterparts and persons with disability paying GHC200,000 and GHC150,000 respectively. A nomination form is also being sold for GHC20,000.
Today has established that as a member of the National Executive Committee of the NDC, the former president was part of the team that decided that the fee for the NDC presidential nomination should be pegged at GHC400,000 and a filing fee of GHC20,000.
That decision, Today discovered, had an ulterior motive. And that is to render all others competing against the former president incapacitated to the extent that they would not even consider picking the GHC20,000 nomination forms.
The Mahama team is aware of the possible hostile reaction that their decision will generate and, therefore, thought through various plans to curtail any anticipated aggression towards the fee.
The Mahama plot also considered all other possible variables, some of which in their opinion included the possibility of mergers and alliances by the other candidates. Already there are whispers of a possible Goosie-Bagbin merger or alliance in the NDC race. That merger may suffer stillbirth, Today can state on authority.
That is partly because of the plot being orchestrated by Team Mahama to spill every possible acts of malfeasance committed by the former majority leader during his tenure as minister of health.
Bagbin can, however, be a free man if he decides to run alone or even consider abandoning his presidential plans entirely. In the case of the latter proposition, the Mahama gang believes an entirely Bagbin candidacy would be no match to that of the former president and, therefore, would consider his running as offering some semblance of internal democracy to the NDC internal nomination process.
In other permutations, although the Mahama team does consider Goosie as perhaps the candidate with the best appeal, they believe political jargons and party philosophies although spice off the race, they are entirely not the least of the ingredients needed to annex a position as coveted as the NDC presidential nomination.
In effect, the Mahamas are just not bothered about Goosie because he lacked the financial muscle to compete with the former president.
Perhaps the only true optional bother to the Mahama candidacy is Joshua Alabi, the former Rector of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA). It’s only his team that has come out stating that it has what it takes to raise the nomination fees. That stoical and daring posture may ironically derail Joshua Alabi’s NDC presidential bid.
If that is the position of Professor Alabi, then he should be prepared to deal with every possible mud that the Mahama team is preparing to throw at him. Undercover investigations by Today suggest that Joshua Alabi will be made to sweat on his tenure as the chairman of the Board of Directors at SNNIT where alleged acts of malfeasance have been found against him.
The fact is a Mahama protégé, (name withheld) who was part of those who investigated the tenure of the learned professor has lots of negative findings that are likely to be made public in the event Joshua Alabi tries to disturb the orchestrated Mahama smooth run for the NDC presidential slot.
Our information is that the Mahama team is prepared to submit any such negativity to the office of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
It’s a known fact within the NDC that the former Chief Executive of the National Health Authority, Sylvester Mensah, is in the NDC race to market himself, for a possible shot at the 2024 election; and that is exactly what the Mahama camp would want him to do.
Anything short of that, Today gathered from its hounding, will result in him being subjected to perhaps the biggest corruption-related lie detector test of his life. According to Mahama insiders, Sly was hounded out of office because of his fishy deals at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
But the Mahama camp, as Today established, should not consider its various plots against the other candidate as a mastery showpiece to torpedo the chances of their opponents. The other candidates, this paper can state on authority, are also gathering enough arsenals that have the potential of ditching the Mahama candidature at the national level.
Some of the Mahama opponents have sworn to make available to the Ghanaian people detailed content of the Kwesi Botchwey report (in possession of this reporter) which has scathing findings against the former president; and also the filthy wealth of the Mahama family-wife, children and brothers, some of which are in the Gulf State and other African countries.