Politics of Sat, 19 May 201819

Details of Freddie Blay's 275 buses emerge

Acting New Patriotic Party (NPP) chairman, Freddie Blay, Friday gave some insights of 'his' proposed supply of a bus each to the 275 constituency offices of the party. But he denies being the sole benefactor or supplier of the buses to the party, limiting his role in the whole deal to only ‘playing a key role.’

He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the buses are likely to be more than the much publicized 275 pieces, and that they are Toyota Hiace Superoof model to be supplied constituency offices for commercial operations to be able to generate funds.

Mr Freddie Blay hinted he may have been misunderstood when he was credited with solely financing the deal, pointing to a possible misinterpretation of his ‘Twi” interview on Asempa FM where he first indicated publicly of the coming project.

“{On} Asempa they were interviewing me in Twi, was I speaking English or speaking Twi? But I don’t remember saying specifically that I am buying it, definitely we are going to procure 275 buses for the various constituencies and definitely when I was speaking, I was not making it alone, with all sincerity but definitely I was playing a lead role to ensure that we have 275 buses.

“It’s not just donation, we are procuring through some facility, to make sure that the constituencies will have some means of earning money in the constituency coffers to undertake some projects and all the constituency activities. I think it is a very laudable project that one thought of and one seeks to implement... but the intention is very clear … in the modern age, 21st Century, parties must depend on themselves and be self-financing to undertake projects that could bring earnings so that all their programmes, conferences and training they have, and taking care of their offices and those who work, because sometimes they devote their whole adult life for the party and so they must be paid. It’s not just volunteering…”

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On Wednesday his spokesperson, Richard Nyamah had said the party chairman was not obliged to offer information on the deal and that anyone seeking information could petition the Human Rights Commission or the Economic and Organised Crimes Office.

Freddie Blay insisted party financing cannot continue to depend on voluntary donations and elected the National Democratic Congress and other political parties to emulate the idea and make their parties strong and thereby deepening democracy.

He said suggestions in the past for government to fund political parties have been opposed strongly and it behooved the parties to develop themselves.

At the current rate, he said Ghana risks having only two political parties which may not bode well.

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On why he does not want to talk too much on the buses deal and detail the financial institution or personalities involved, he said it could have implications for the institution involved as its customers may not be too comfortable with the deal.



While he maintained the buses could be more than 275, he said the party’s regional offices and national headquarters could benefit from the distribution.

He said he was aware that “some party” having been in power for eight years and when they came out of power, nine months they couldn’t pay electricity bills in their offices, workers could not be paid, however a party that seeks to rule the country shouldn’t be struggling with that level of poverty.

“In fact an institution, like a party seeking to rule or is in the process of ruling this country, it must exude confidence, it must exude confidence and the way to do it is to be independent..”

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