A number of sitting and former Members of Parliament (MPs) and grassroots supporters, as well as some executives of the party in the United States (US), who supporting the bid of Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin for the 2020 presidential ticket have announced their readiness to foot the GH¢420,000 filing fee for him to pick and file his nomination.
They have, therefore, urged him not to lose heart over the astronomical price tag that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has announced as the filing process.
Former and sitting MPs pledge support
Joseph Naabu, the MP for Yunyon, in a statement, said at least 40 persons, made up of former and sitting MPs, have agreed to pool resources to help Bagbin.
Most of the 40 sitting and former MPs involved are not readily known, but Gershom Gbediame, the MP for Nkwanta South, has since confirmed that he is one of them.
According to the statement, the GH¢420,000 that the NEC of NDC has quoted as the cost of picking and filing nomination forms was deliberately calculated to frustrate other aspirants.
The statement admitted that the GH¢20,000 quoted for the picking of nomination forms and the GH¢400,000 for the filing of nominations were outrageous and unrealistic.
“As unfortunate as this is, we will like to respond by also promising that we will put our efforts together to raise the money for Bagbin,” he added.
According to the statement, every MP is at liberty to contribute what he or she wished, but the MPs have generally hinted that they are in position to contribute GH¢10,000 each.
“It is very heart-warming that other colleagues of ours keep coming on board to lend their support, and we will like to use this opportunity to invite all lovers of democracy to come on board and contribute their quota.
“It is not just about filing the nomination; beyond this, Bagbin will need money to prosecute his presidential campaign, and every pesewa is needed,” the statement said.
It also praised the efforts of branch, constituency and regional executives who have already promised to help raise the money for him, saying their gesture was a welcomed one.
Some NDC members in America to sponsor Bagbin
In the wake of some branch, constituency and regional executives of the party promising to pool resources for the Nadowli-Kaleo MP to file, some NDC members in the Diaspora are also promising funds.
Some executives of the NDC in the US are pledging monetary support for Bagbin as they called on him to rescind his decision to step out of the race.
“We add our voices to those of some forward-looking brothers and sisters back home who have already promised to contribute monies to help Alban Bagbin file his nomination. We are pledging $100,000 as our contribution,” a statement signed by Selasie Mawuenyegah Alorfa promised.
Dated December 2, 2018, the statement said the US-based members of the NDC were keenly observing developments at home and hoping that the National Executive Committee of the party would see reason to change the price tag.
“However, we wish to make it abundantly clear that if NEC does not come to reason and change this amount, which gives the impression that NDC is available for taking to the highest bidder, we are ready to make the money available for Bagbin to file.
“2020 is not going to be a joke, and we are going to ensure that our best is what we have on our presidential ticket.
“We wish to make it clear to NEC that this huge amount being demanded of our flagbearer aspirants is outrageous, and we are inclined to believe that the intent is to frustrate others from contesting,” the statement said.
More than 5,000 grassroots supporters pledge support
More than 5,000 grassroots supporters have also pledged to raise GH¢420,000 in support of the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
These grassroots supporters, who are all delegates from the branch to the regional levels of the party, have been calling the Team Bagbin Secretariat at Osu on daily basis, pleading with the team to give them its bank account details or a dedicated mobile money account for them to make their contributions for the exorbitant filing fee being charged by the party.
Some of the delegates have even pledged to contribute more than GH¢100, with some party bigwigs at the national level also pledging to make undisclosed cash donations.
The administrator of Team Bagbin Secretariat, Raymond Kuudaah, told this paper that the team has been busy compiling the list of delegates who have called the office to make a cash donation.
He is hopeful that Bagbin would pick his nomination forms and file to contest.
When this paper contacted Bagbin to elicit his views about the filing fees and whether he was in the position to pay, he said "God is fighting for us".