A flag bearer hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Alban Bagbin has described the GHS420, 000 filing fee for the flag bearer hopefuls of the biggest opposition party as outrageous adding that that the exorbitant fee is at variance with the party’s social democratic principles.
Speaking on Otec FM’s Breakfast Show, ‘Nyansapo’ on Monday December 3, 2018, Mr Bagbin who is also the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament who was visibly outraged over the astronomical fees they are being compelled to pay to contest in the election which apparently is being ‘cooked’ for Mr. Mahama.
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 pay GHS200, 000 and GHS150, 000 respectively. Their nomination form is going for GHS20, 000.
Eight presidential hopefuls of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have formed a rare alliance to fight filing fees for flagbearer aspirants announced recently.
Otecfmghana.com has intercepted a common petition that has been signed by the eight aspirants and addressed to the opposition party’s National Council of Elders that among other reliefs wants a reduction in the filing and nomination fees.
Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurudeen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava want the nomination fees, or fees for collection of forms, to be pegged at GH¢ 5,000 and filing fees reduced to GH¢100,000.
The petitioners are also alleging, among other things, a breach of procedure in announcing guidelines for the primaries on January 19; the imposition of unreasonable filing fees by a small group within the party’s National Executive; and bias by this same group against other flagbearer aspirants.
Former President JJ Rawlings has expressed concern about the whopping increase in the filing fee for the presidential primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and called on the party’s National Executive Committee to take a second look at the decision.
The Founder of the NDC cautioned that certain actions or decisions could either be a reflection of the circumstances of the NDC’s birth or “mark a departure from where we are coming from as a party”.
“I doubt if anyone of us who has served with integrity, relying on our salaries can raise these filing fees unless we engaged in some unethical behaviour while in office; Unless we abused or misused our positions during our tenure,” the Founder said.
The seven-time MP Mr. Alban Bagbin told the programme’s host Captain Koda that, the decision taken by the party does not resonate with its own principles of social democracy adding that the amount being charged will also spawn corruption.
The ‘killer’ fees are causing outrage in the party, with supporters of other aspirants and apolitical individuals expressing fear that the NDC race is for the highest bidder.
In the Nadowli Kaleo MP’s view, the aspirants can raise that amount, but their financiers could use it as a bait to dissipate public funds in the future.
“Any of us could try to mobilise that money because definitely, you can get in touch with people who have money to pay off, but I can tell you that is a wrong thing to do.
That is the beginning of corruption that is just giving evidence to what people have been saying – ‘create, loot and share’. I am not going to be part of that, I can assure you”.
Source: Ghana/otecfmghana.com/Francis Appiah