A Governance expert, Frederick Oduro has condemned what some have described as an awkward campaign method adopted by acting National Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay ahead of Saturday’s congress.
According to Mr. Oduro, the decision by Freddie Blay to give 275 buses to each constituency in order to get him elected as substantive chairman for the governing party, should not be entertained in the country’s body politics.
The national delegates' congress is taking place in Koforidu, the capital of the Eastern Region.
“This issue should not be allowed, it should be taken to full haul so that we rid this out of our body politics,” Oduro declared on PM Express on the Joy News TV Thursday.
He said, the gesture is needless because Freddie Blay “is not just the chairman of any political party but a ruling party [and for that reason] he is opening the party up for attacks by its political opponents”.
“Because the party is in power [and] people are going to question him about his source of funding and I think we should condemn that,” he told host Nana Ansah Kwao IV.
Freddie Blay, a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has come under attack for daring to buy 275 buses at a cost of $11 million for his party. He has shipped in the 275 buses, 100 of which have already touched down.
He is reported to have deposited an amount of $3 million as part payment, with the remaining amount to be paid from the proceeds from the commercial use of the buses. But action has courted anger from the opposition National Democratic Congress and some anti-graft institutions.
Arguing in against the move, Mr. Frederick Oduro, who is with the Institute of Local Government Studies (IGLS), said Blay needed not to go to such extent to convince the delegates to vote for him.
Blay’s ability to steer the affairs of the party in opposition in an acting capacity and deliver a historic and convincing victory in 2016, should be speaking for him instead, he said. “I believe the work he did to get the party to be elected into power should be enough to get him to be elected as the National Chairman."
But Member of Parliament for Gomoa East Constituency, Kojo Asamani, who was also on the programme stated, the chairman’s initiative is in fulfillment of a 2016 campaign pledge to create jobs for the grassroot base to resource the party at the constituency level, when the NPP is elected into government.
And after getting the people's mandate, it is the turn for the party to fulfill its side of the pact by redeeming the pledge, Asamani said.
“This is not free money; it is in line with the work and pay vehicle owning system for drivers in Ghana,” he clarified.
The MP explained, it is only when the buses have been fully paid for that ownership returns to the beneficiaries. “These buses will provide jobs for the people and the party will have some income at the end of the month…This is not something that is being dashed to some groups so that they will vote for him,” Asamani noted.