The recent news announcement inviting the members of the NPP Presidential army of hopeful candidates to Dallas, Texas for an October 20, 2007 debate (Ghana web, September 22, 2007) call for many questions as to the rationale and more importantly:
Where is the money coming from?
Who is financing this trip?
Are there some American financiers and if so, what is their interest in this election of Ghanaian leaders?
A fellow by name Odasanii2007 posted this on our Ghana Leadership Union forum and titled this “BEYOND STUPID” with no other comments.
I didn’t want to comment since the title was not appropriate for our kind of discussions.
However another member of known political shrewdness and fair commentary made a statement which made me read this. He said:
“You see Odasani, NPP would do anything for money.........” (Gilbert, Sat 9/22/2007 6:04 PM)
It is interesting to note that Ghana has 78.5%, i.e., almost 4 out of every 5 people one meets, living under $2 per day. Some hard working people cannot even afford malaria treatment when they are sick. Yes, it is true that our society of Ghana has some rich folks, but the question people ask often is how did they get their money? The Ghana magic wand does not favor all and why did the same God the people worship create it that way?
The report added that the
“Of course after Aspirants pay their GH 25,000 cedis application fee they will become "Contenders" on their way to praying, jostling and campaigning to be declared THE WINNER”
The irony is that most of these politicians were working for government and did not have any known major corporations by which they would build a reputation of being rich. This writer will like to ask the NPP-US Chairman, Mr. Kofi A. Boateng:
WHO IS FUNDING THEIR TRIPS?
Is the money being spent worthwhile?
Kofi, tell us the truth – are there an external financiers you have arranged for these 19 or 20 people to come to Dallas to wine and dine and talk? Is the US State Department involved? This writer recalls in the 1970s they used to sponsor trip for men like Major Kodjiku and Commander Kyeremeh during the Acheampong regime. The situation leaves no doubt of the high probability that today there may be some money set aside by the US State Department to sponsor potential Presidential candidates on conservative platforms.
Please let’s face the truth. We are not children anymore. There is no free lunch in America, as they say. We all know that each of these Ministers and NPP aspirants except three or four, have been recipients of largesse of the government in terms of per diem allowances during travels in the last 7 years. In Ghana a casual survey shows that Ministers of Government travel perhaps half of the days in the year. The President was once reported to have traveled more than 300 of the 365 days in the year. If a Minister travels say 100 days out of the 365 days in the year (only 27% of the time), for the last 6.5 years, and if it’s true that they receive $500 per diem allowances, one can calculate they have taken from the public treasury an amount of $50,000 per year per Minister or $325,000 each!!
It is my opinion that anybody who has earned his money in a legitimate way can spend it anyway they like. However, this does not seem to be the case. With that much money coming from the state treasury of poor taxpayers in Ghana, one can estimate they will be able to pay for their own trips. If each of these aspirants spent $3,500 in tickets and hotel bills, that will come to about $70,000 being wasted (in my humble opinion) by the NPP to come and dance around and talk. Of course it will also give some of them who have hidden Bank Accounts and fortunes in the US a chance to retrieve their loot, isn’t it? In earlier Presidential tours, candidates who told the truth like the late Prof. Adu Boahene (RIP) found that in New York and Baltimore, some of the highest attendance cities, the average contribution was $1.50 per person and the exercise could be a loss. Even if one received 400 attendees, each person will have to pay an average of $175 to break even. With this writer’s experience in America, it is rare to expect more that that figure, form a few hard core NPP investor-members.
Folks, I have to admit that I am not an innocent observer. I am the co-founder of the new political party, GNP. However this article was written strictly in as unbiased manner for the sake of socio-political debate. I am not suggesting that this will not be a fun event to watch for the NPP, but why some 10,000 miles away in a place where the people don’t even have the vote and waste so much money to prove what? Something is fishy!
So let’s spill the truth and admit it!!
WHO IS FINANCING THIS TRIP?