Politics Mon, 3 Dec 2018
The 96 National Democratic Congress legislators have raised over GHc 600,000 for John Mahama’s bid to become the NDC flagbearer, the Kumungu MP, Ras Mubarak has said.Citi News can however not confirm independently the veracity of this claim as there’s no hard evidence to back it.
“Initially, we thought we would just raise GHc420,00 cedis but very interestingly, a lot of support in terms of raising the funds has come from friends, well-wishers and members of the party. From the last count we’ve raised a little over GHc 600,000,” he told citinewsroom.com.
In the short-term, the funds are to be used to cater for the cost of a nomination form and the filing fee. Mr. Mubarak is hopeful that the funds will eventually contribute towards a potential election 2020 bid for the presidency.
The NDC has set January 19, 2019, for its Presidential primaries, and nomination forms for the aspirants will cost GHc20,000, while the filing fee will cost GHc400,000.
Fellow MPs; Fifi Kwetey and Cassiel Ato Forson along with former Deputy Chief of Staff Valerie Sawyerr, were in charge of the fundraising, according to Mr. Mubarak.
He said he was among 96 MPs that donated GHc 1,000 each towards Mr. Mahama flagbearer bid.
“96 members of the MPs for JM, we raised GHc96,000 and then we extended it beyond our group and brought in a lot of friends and sympathisers who also chipped in GHc1,000 apiece.”
Question of accountability
But this feat in fundraising, which Mr. Mubarak described as refreshing, will not be as transparent as some may have hoped because Ghana’s laws on campaign financing are largely not enforced.
Mr. Mubarak indicated that the fundraising team was not obliged to disclose details of the source of funds.
“If the leadership of the group so desires for us to put out the names, why not? But for now, we are keeping the names under wrap.”
“We have a duty to protect the privacy of ordinary Ghanaians who chip in donations… there may be individuals who may not want their names out there for privacy purposes and we have a responsibility,” Mr. Mubarak added.
He said this was also critical because they feared that some public servants who contributed to Mr. Mahama may be singled out by the Akufo-Addo administration.
“We know the NPP and we know how they go out of their way to attack, to victimise and to intimidate our civil servants and public servants and it is for that reason we are cautious not to put out the names.”
Petition by other aspirants
Meanwhile, nine of Mr. Mahama’s possible contenders have petitioned the party’s the Council of Elders over the costs for nomination forms and filing fees.
Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Nonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, are the aspirants that have petitioned the NEC.
In the petition, the nine aspirants proposed that fees for collection of forms be GHS 5,000 whiles the filing fees be GHS100,000.
They also urged the Council of Elders to “demand that the Party Chairman, General Secretary and any other members of NEC or the Party Secretariat that have demonstrated bias in favour of a particular candidate recuse themselves from the Primaries process forthwith.”