A 2020 NDC flagbearer hopeful has said he refused to endorse a petition over the organisation of the presidential primaries because it contained threats.
“When you are petitioning senior colleagues, you don’t issue threats,” he relayed advice he gave eight disgruntled flagbearer hopefuls.
The displeased presidential aspirants in a 10-page petition made a case to a change in date for the primaries, accused the national executives of bias and called for the handing over of the entire process to the Electoral Commission to manage.
But the big issue and trigger for the petition is the setting of the filing fees at 400,000 cedis – a 700% jump – and the nomination forms at 20,000 cedis.
Prof. Joshua Alabi, a former university Vice-Chancellor, said he agreed with all the issues raised in the petition.
The filing and nomination fees are exorbitant and “completely illegal”, he criticized.
“It is clearly stated in our constitution that there must be consultation with elders of the party” before announcing the fees, he told Joy FM’s Top Story Tuesday.
He said he will continue the fight against the fees but will nonetheless, pick up and pay for the nomination forms Tuesday – a notice which he has since fulfilled.
His political confidantes, Ken Dzirasah, Victor Kojogah Adawudu, Nii Amasah Namoale and Richard Quashigah picked the form Tuesday afternoon and issued a cheque of 20,000 cedis for the forms.
The politician said he made it clear to his co-competitors during meetings over the drafting of the petition, their case is strong on the force of reason.
The additional threats were needless, he indicated and said the Council of Elders deserve more respect.
Prof. Alabi said the threats amount to tying the hands of exactly those whom you are seeking audience for a resolution in your favour.
He said if the Council of Elders are to finally grant the requests of the aspirants, it will not be clear if they caved in because of the threats or reached out because of the force of their arguments.
The former Vice-Chancellor said whether the Council of Elders step in the controversies or not, “what I know is that Professor Alabi will be contesting.”
Since his criticism, three members of the disgruntled 8 have picked nomination forms despite their threats. Veteran politician Alban Bagbin, an appointee in the Mahama administration Sylvester Mensah and Stephen Atubiga have all picked forms.
Nurideen Iddrisu, another of the eight displeased aspirants showed no desire to pick the nomination forms and presuming to speak for his colleagues said, they were prepared to sacrifice their political ambition to ensure the party reduces the nomination and filing fees.
But three of them have picked forms. They are expected to raise 400,000 cedis to pay for filing fees.
Another of the eight presidential aspirants Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has dared the party to go ahead and close nomination. He has not picked a form.
Frontrunner John Mahama was the first to pick his forms for a position which at least 10 NDC members have expressed desire to hold.