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Politics of Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

Bernard Mornah denies NDC sponsorship

Bernard Mornah, General Secretary of PNC Bernard Mornah, General Secretary of PNC

One of the candidates contesting the position of National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), David Apasera, has accused his challenger, Bernard Mornah, of clandestinely receiving funding from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), but the latter has dismissed the allegation.

According to the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, the PNC general secretary who is now seeking to become the national chairman “is in the good books of the ruling party” and that he (Benard Monarh) is being sponsored by the NDC.”

Apasera, who told this paper in an interview that he was having difficulties mobilising funds for his campaign, contended that Bernard Mornah could not have embarked on the kind of nationwide campaign he is currently doing without external support from well-resourced benefactors like NDC and government.

He also accused NDC of having a special interest in PNC’s congress and alleged that that might have informed their decision to bankroll Mornah’s campaign.

He was speaking to Today over his chances of annexing the chairmanship slot of the PNC at the party’s upcoming delegates’ congress in Wa in the Upper West region.

The PNC has slated its national delegate’s congress for November 27 to 29 this year to elect national executives.

So far only National Treasurer, David Apasera and General Secretary, Bernard Mornah, have expressed the desire to succeed two-time National Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan.

Nominations will open on November 2, 2015 and close on November 7, 2015 to be followed by vetting of all aspirants from November 9 to 12.

Apasera told Today on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 that even though he was the right candidate for the chairmanship position, he was constrained by funding as he was unable to move about to the regions to campaign for votes.

And whiles Bernard Mornah had gone round the country canvassing for votes from delegates several times, Apasera was yet to do same.

He disclosed that he has so far toured Western, Central, Eastern and Ashanti regions where he met delegates, but wished he could have done more regions.
“With the politics that we have today, it has been so much monetised that if you don’t have money, you can’t move”, he pointed out, noting further that one needs money to cover expenses such as hotel accommodation, feeding, fuel for vehicle, as campaigning is expensive.

Apasera said currently he relies on a small salon car to travel to the regions despite not being conducive for such rigorous work, explaining that his only pick-up truck was burnt by opponents during his campaign as PNC parliamentary candidate for Bolgatanga Central constituency in 2012.

Notwithstanding these challenges, David Apasera was confident of winning the slot to lead the party into the 2016 elections.

He said party delegates recognise the fact that he has kept faith with PNC from its inception in1992 till date, pointing out that his contributions and experience as a party person have been acknowledged by party members.

Pointing to his long association with PNC, Apasera stated that he has been with the party in the trenches, became a regional executive member, then an MP for two terms- during which period he represented Ghana at the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament.

Twice, Mr. Apasera had been National Treasurer. Prior to this, he was once an assembly member in the Upper East.

“I have the best of experience. No one can say he is better qualified in terms of experience. I know everything about the political terrain,” he claimed.

Apasera further claimed Bernard Mornah lacks the experience to lead PNC successfully, arguing that the general secretary should rather wait for his time because “he is relatively young and fairly new to the PNC.”

Justifying his call on his opponent to take things easy, he said Bernard Mornah only became a member of the party in 2004 when he was brought to PNC head office to do his national service.

“Then we made him youth organiser and later he became the general secretary, I don’t think that is enough for him to jump over everyone who has been with the party from the beginning to become the chairman,” Apasera averred.

He revealed that even though he had long harboured the intention to vie for the chairmanship slot, he had to hold on for other senior members like Ahmed Ramadan to compete for the position.

He thought Mornah should learn from his example and wait for his turn.

When this reporter asked whether he was getting funding from main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Apasera answered in the negative.

However, he admitted working closely with NPP during his time in Parliament, saying PNC MPs sat with the NPP majority side from 2001 to 2008.

But, he was quick to add that despite that past collaboration he has not received any support from NPP.

When called to respond to Mr. Apasera’s accusations, Bernard Mornah refuted the allegation but quickly added that he has got no time for shenanigans and comments that would distract his attention.

“As far as I am concerned, my interest is how to build PNC to make it a viable party. If others want to throw mud at me, let them do it. I am not interested in these shenanigans,” he declared.

He said he wants to “concentrate on his campaign and would not respond to people whose stock in trade is how to malign others”.

He said his campaign had gathered momentum and that everywhere he went people responded positively to his message.

Meanwhile events took a different twist on Thursday, October 16, 2015 when Mr. Apasera called up this reporter to plead with him to drop aspects of the story containing his NDC’s accusations against Bernard Mornah.

He explained that he made those allegations based on rumours and without any evidence to back them.

He also pointed out that he could be wrong about the period Mr. Mornah joined PNC.

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