A group of Regional and Constituency Executives of the Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have given reply to what they say is a deliberate attempt by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to force Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, out of the 2020 flagbearership race of the party.
In response to a Facebook post on Hon. Bagbin’s Timeline to the effect that he is dropping out of the Flagbearership race, because of the unprecedented hefty filing fee of GH¢420, 000, the executives have pledged to raise the money for their icon.
“As we speak right now, we have started a process of channeling contributions to a special purpose account for Hon. Bagbin and I am pleased to announce to you that money has started trickling in… we call on Hon. Bagbin not to give up,” Mrs. Gladys Kudor, Deputy Eastern regional Women’s Organizer, told a press conference in Accra on Saturday.
The conference, which had been organized immediately it appeared on Hon Bagbin’s Facebook Timeline that he is dropping out of the race, had been thronged by Branch, Constituency and regional executives in support of Hon. Bagbin.
Mrs. Kudor, a leading supporter of Hon. Bagbin, had shared the high table of the press conference with like-minded comrades including Wisdom Kukubor, Executive Member in Ketu South, Samuel Oppong, Dormaa West Constituency Youth Organizer, and Amarh Evans, of Greater Accra NDC.
According to Mrs. Gladys Kudor, the unprecedented huge filing fee quotation was deliberately coined by the NEC of the NDC, which is made up of pro-Mahama fanatics, under the intent of using money to eliminate by rough tactics.
“Everybody knows that we are in opposition now, and just a few years ago when we were in power, the people who benefited from Mr. Mahama’s rule are the ones who are still in his camp. How do you expect somebody like Hon. Bagbin, who did not get any juicy appointment to raise this huge amount of money?
“We wish to ask the NEC members, ‘how much did you pay to file for your nominations?’ if you paid GH¢5,000 to file your nominations, why are you quoting almost half a billion old cedis for Flagbearer aspirants? Is it really because you feel Mr. Mahama is so threatened that the only way out for him now is to use money power to frustrate his main competition? With all due respect, can NEC look us in the face and tell us that you are not positioning to sell the 2020 Flagbearership to the highest bidder,” Mrs. Kudor asked rhetorically.
She told the crowd of angry regional and constituency executives in attendance at the press conference that what the NDC NEC has done is just confirm the complaints of the party Founder that the NDC has now become a money making machine for some people.
“We wish to add our voices to those of all discerning Ghanaians calling for a review of this outrageous filing fee, and also urge our beloved party’s Council of Elders to step in and stop this injustice. But if all appeals fail, we wish to make it clear, that we the party executives in support of Hon. Bagbin have a plan B, and it is already in motion.”
She made a clarion call on Hon. Bagbin to dismiss any temptation of giving up saying he will win the Flagbearership come the 19th January. “We also urge all lovers, friends and supporters of Hon. Bagbin to come on board and contribute generously towards raising this filing fee. We shall overcome!” Mrs. Kudor chanted.
She added that no amount is too big or too small and that the followers of Hon. Bagbin must now feel that they are at the beckon of their convictions to raise money because Hon. Bagbin, who recently lost his brother and had a campaign vehicle of his involved in an accident is not in position to raise the ghc420, 000 required alone.
Samuel Oppong, the Constituency Youth Organizer for Dormaa West, in the Brong Ahafo region, who was one of the press conference conveners, later explained why they are so motivated to support Hon. Bagbin.
“Of all of the people contesting for the 2020 Presidential ticket, the one most richly qualified is Hon. Bagbin. This is a political science titan who consults for political parties across the globe. This is a man who taught both the current sitting President and his predecessor John Mahama the ropes in Parliament, a man that has been declared best MP ever” Mr. Oppong said.
He pointed out that because of his outstanding intellect, the Nadowli Kaleo MP was named the Exclusive Man of The Year award for 2017. The current Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament has also received Global Center for Transformational Leadership award, and the National Association of Nurses, Ghana award.
“Hon. Bagbin has been our longest serving MP, holding Nadowli-Kaleo for us since 1992; He has been Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Functional Executive Committee member and member of the Council of Elders of NDC. A man with such rich experience, how come you did not consult him before fixing the filing fee?” Mr. Oppong asked.
Evans Amarh, the Tema East Constituency Deputy Organizer said that Hon. Bagbin, who has also chaired Standing Orders Committee and the 2005 and 2010 National Delegates Congresses of the NDC was not consulted because he was the target of the high filing fee.
“We know what NEC is doing…the attempt to make Mr. Mahama go unopposed started from the so called Unity Walks which were used as platform for Mahama to address the party. The same was our national executive elections at Trade Fair. We Bagbin’s supporters across the country are many and will conquer obstacles for Hon. Bagbin to win massively “Mr. Amarh said to thunderous applause from the gathering.