Politics of Tuesday, 1 February 2005
Cape Coast -- THE Central Regional Director of Operations of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Jacob Allotey-Jacobs, has said that the "super-abuse" of incumbency, coupled with the free-flow of cash and goods, helped the NPP to win the December elections in the Central Region.
Aware of the poverty level in the region and as the controller of the national resources, the NPP, about three days to the elections brought in, truck loads of items, such as bicycles, motor bikes, fishing gear, television sets, VCD players and billions of cedis and lavished them on the poor people in the region to vote for them. The people took the money and obliged, he added.
In an interview with the "Ghana Palaver" at the weekend, to explain why the NDC lost in the region, Mr Allotey-Jacobs said "this worked strongly against us in spite of the organizational structures that we set up, including meet the people rallies by the flagbearer Prof. Mills, which attracted unprecedented crowds the various keep fit exercises, some of which were led by the Ex-President J. J. Rawlings and the flagbearer themselves, which shook the foundation of the NPP in the region, sent signals about our impending victory.
"The launch of the NDC 2004 campaign at the Victoria Park Cape Coast, was a typical example of what caused the nightmare for the NPP, which sent them holding several crisis meetings, which resulted in the rush for goods and cash to the region", he added.
The NDC could not match the NPP in terms of "splashing of money and other items" to people to buy their votes, adding and said, "this is exactly what happened in the region".
Watching the whole scenario, it seemed as if the Central Region was under a siege by the NPP at that time.
"The NPP even went to the extent of recording the voice of an unknown old woman and presented it as the voice of Prof. Mills' mother, who was recorded to have said "Fiifi, do not go with Rawlings for he will kill you later" and said this wicked message made the rounds in the rural areas and was gleefully received by the rural folk..
He also recalled how NPP, got some journalists to twist a promise by the ex-President "to come back" as an indication to rule, in place of Prof. Mills, if the NDC wins. Not conversant with such cheap propaganda, the rural people easily and readily imbibed such messages, which were backed with the distribution of billions of cedis.
Finally, the Director of Operations called on the leadership in Accra to close their ranks to encourage those on the ground to remain united.
"As a mass party, there may be some differences, from time to time, on issues bordering on policy or strategy, but this needs not make news-headlines", he added.