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General News of Thursday, 5 July 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

1 Constituency, 1 bus: GII, NDC accuse Blay of monetizing politics

Acting Chairman of the New Patriotic Party has come under attack for daring to buy 275 buses at a cost of $11 million for his party.

In a one constituency, one bus approach, similar to the party’s campaign mantra 2016, Freddie Blay has shipped in the 275 buses, 100 of which have already touched down.

The Acting chairman who is seeking to consolidate his position as the Chair in the New Patriotic Party’s Congress on Saturday 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.

His action has courted anger from the opposition National Democratic Congress and some anti-graft institutions.

A member of the Privileges Committee of Parliament Samson Ahi told Joy News the conduct of Mr Freddie Blay is a huge corruption test case for the president.

“Where did he get the money to procure buses?” he demanded and charged the president to look into the matter.

He said Mr Blay as Chair of the Ghana National Petroleum Company cannot be doling such humongous amounts for the purchase of such buses.

His concerns were no different from the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative Linda Ofori Kwafo who has vehemently condemned the action.

Linda told Joy News the procurement of the buses and the timing of the procurement are so wrong.

According to her, with just two days to go for the elections of the new national executives, it is nothing more than vote buying for the aspiring national campaign chair to buy 275 buses for distribution to party members.

“The timing and the person involved does not create a level playing field,” he said, adding, “it is not good enough for our democracy.”

While she believes Freddie Blay is “not a man of straw” she was quick to add that “procuring these buses at the last hour raises a lot questions.

“Any kind of procurement around this time erodes the competitiveness,” he said.

Some of the buses arrive at the Tema Port

She was worried that political parties form governments and if such practices are encouraged at the party level it will trickle down into national elections.

By purchasing these vehicles at the time he did, Linda Ofori Kwafo said Freddy Blay is monetizing democracy which now becomes “moneycracy.”



But the party appears to be playing down the impact of the scandal.

Evans Nimako said the purchases will not in any way influence the decision of the voters.

He said persons ready to vote on Saturday are “foundation members” who will not be swayed by the decision to purchase 275 buses.