One of the flag bearer aspirants of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Alban Bagbin, has revealed to Class News that he is in consultation with all the 10 other aspirants – except former President John Mahama, who, the veteran MP said was yet to return his phone calls – to meet and collectively register their displeasure against the GHS420,000 filing and nomination fee for flag bearer aspirants of the party.
All male flag bearer aspirants of the NDC are expected to cough up GHS400,000 as filing fee while their female counterparts and persons with disability will pay GHS200,000 and GHS150,000, respectively. A nomination form is going for GHS20,000.
Mr Bagbin, who is also the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament has kicked against the amount and rallying the other aspirants for a united front in fighting it.
In his opinion, the amount decided by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC will sow the seeds of corruption in the party and in government, should the NDC win power in 2020, since, he argued, the financiers of the aspirants will find corrupt ways of recouping their political investment.
Mr Bagbin told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Thursday, 29 November 2018 that: “We have been able to get almost all [of the aspirants] but I can say that I personally have not been able to get the former president who is one of the aspirants. I’m told that he is in the Ashanti Region campaigning, so, I have not been able to get in touch with him but those that I have called, and they did not pick, have returned the calls. I’ve not heard from him [Mr Mahama] but the others have all returned the calls and indicated their willingness and preparedness to meet and discuss the issue because nobody consulted us [aspirants] and I’m not sure there was extensive consultation”.
He said they will soon petition the party over the fee and other requirements.
In a related development, Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, spokesperson for former President Mahama’s campaign team has said that Mr Mahama has no option than to comply with the GHS400,000 filing fee and GHS20,000 nomination fee.
According to Mr Agyenim-Boateng, the party’s constitution mandates the NEC to outline measures for the progress of the party, therefore, as a law-abiding Ghanaian and member of the party, Mr Mahama, who is seeking to the lead the party again into the 2020 presidential elections, will have no alternative than to obey the new guidelines.
Mr Agyenim Boateng told Kwabena Bobie Ansah on the ‘Citizen Show’ on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 29 November that: “Former President Mahama has always subjected himself to the rules of the party and, so, if this is what the party executives are saying, he has no option than to accept it and follow through.
“The party’s constitution gives the NEC the power to decide for the NDC, so, the aspirants can only comply.”
Mr Agyenim-Boateng further stated that a lot of Mr Mahama’s loyalists have shown commitment to support him to raise the amount.
“Several supporters of Mr Mahama want to help him raise the GHS420,000 for the filing fees. Even before the announcement of the filing fees, Asawase NDC executives came out to pledge to support Mr Mahama financially. A lot of people have shown that they are more than ready and willing to support him,” he added.