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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2016


Mahama 'only competent' in mismanagement - NPP

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has delivered yet another barrage of caustic remarks against President John Dramani Mahama, describing him as a leader who is only “competent” in mismanaging the affairs of the country.

The latest jabs came Wednesday when the NPP launched a fundraising project dubbed “adopt-a-polling-station” campaign in Bolgatanga, the Upper East regional capital.

“I’m thinking that the President of the Republic is very competent. And this is my reason. He is very competent in mismanaging all the resources in this country. John Mahama is very competent in stealing the SADA money. John Mahama is very competent in mismanaging every little resource that is meant for the Upper East Region. John Mahama is very competent in mismanaging the free maternal care Akufo-Addo and Kufuor left in 2008.

“John Mahama is very competent in making sure that our guinea fowls fly to Burkina Faso. And he is also competent in also making sure that every money that is meant for you and I is kept by his own brother, Ibrahim Mahama. That is what John Mahama is very competent in,” the NPP’s Deputy National Youth Organiser, Nuhu Mahama Bayorbo, stated as a crowd of power-hungry party supporters punctuated his speech with deafening cheers and heavy applause.

The event took place inside the Bolgatanga’s main lorry station, monitored not only by security agencies but also by foreign observers from the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM).

Is the NPP broke?

The introduction of the fundraising project comes with an impression that the party, going into the second general elections in opposition since it lost power to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2008, may have run dry of resources from a fatigued squadron of donors.

But the party’s regional communications team, headed by Edmund Awuni, threw out that view, saying the idea was only meant to distance the party’s campaign funds from state resources.

“The rationale behind this is that we have seen that, over the years, people accuse political parties of using state funds to support or champion their party programmes. So, we have started this one, better late than never, and it will continue with us for the rest of the life of this party. We will continue to solicit funds from supporters so that nobody is tempted to think or believe that we are getting money from unscrupulous sources like diversion of government’s funds,” Mr. Awuni told Starr News.

He added: “We are in opposition and we are doing it. We will continue to do it when we are in government if God grants us power. Whether we are broke or not, that is not an issue; it is the rationale, so that we try to delink party politics from governance and also to make it look more transparent and accountable. This way, we are able to tell [the] Electoral Commission, when we are rendering our statements of accounts, that this is how we raised our money, this is the revenue that we have got and this is how we have spent it. It is laudable and it is more transparent.”

Adopting a polling station

The backside of the portion where the dignitaries sat at the event was curtained off from the blazing sun by a sea-blue banner. On the banner was a red-letter inscription: Adopt-a-polling Station. And below that bold lettering was a cautionary plea in white: Don’t sit on the fence.

A senior executive of the party’s Presidential Fund Raising Committee, Kweku Osei Bonsu, stressed those words on the banner when he took over the microphone to explain how a member could adopt a polling station.

There is a general form in the form of a flier to fill for anybody who may want to support a particular polling station with any amount of cash or raw foodstuffs. There is also a separate coupon to be issued to any individual or corporate group who wishes to support a particular constituency, with Gh¢5 being the least contribution.

The contributions go into the account of that constituency and they are distributed as the need arises among the polling stations found within the constituency. And there is another coupon for each region, with a minimum contribution of Gh¢10 for any interested party member or group. Whatever is accrued through those coupons is used to take care of the party’s business at the regional level and also to answer the needs of the constituencies within the region.

Donations, according to the party’s leadership, can be made by contacting the regional and constituency offices or by picking a coupon or a form from accredited party members tasked to go round on the fundraising mission. There are 1,226 polling stations in the Upper East Region of the 28,992 polling stations in the country at present.

Akufo-Addo to ensure full DKM repayment, flush out crime

The Deputy National Youth Organiser crowned the event with a reassurance that the party’s presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would not only purge the country of crime but would also ensure that the disgruntled clients of the DKM Microfinance Company Limited were fully repaid “in his first 100 days in office” if voted president at the upcoming polls.

“Let us make sure that the NDC don’t come around to snatch the ballot boxes. That is the only plan that is left for them to do. The only option for this NDC government is for them to steal the election. And stealing the election means snatching ballot boxes, stealing the election means causing fear and panic so that people will not go out to vote.

“I’m happy our constituency chairmen are here. And I’m happy almost everybody that matters in this party in the region [is] here. Let us make sure we guard and protect the ballot box to prevent them from stealing. If we prevent them, at the end of the day what we are going to hear is that NPP has won all the 15 seats in Upper East and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is having 67% of the total votes cast across the country,” Mr. Bayorbo added.

Two groups, the Bermuda Youth Alliance and the Professional Patriots Ghana (PPG), registered their presence at the launch with a donation of a flat-screen television set and a DSTV decoder to the party’s regional youth wing.

“One of the ways we can win this election is to make a lot of voter contact. When we are able to do a lot of voter contact than the NDC, there is no way we will not win. And one of the ways we think we can increase the rate at which we are able to meet voters is to bring them together through innovative ways. And we think that when we set up this particular DSTV avenue at the regional party office for free, the youth in the region, who like football a lot, would pass by and watch.

“We will use the opportunity to share [party] leaflets to the youths and give opportunity to parliamentary candidates [who live around] to come around once in a while to talk to the youth about the party,” Jambeidu Khan, Chairman of the Bermuda Youth Alliance and Upper East Regional Coordinator of the PPG, said and presented the items to the party’s regional chairman, Murtala Ibrahim Mohammed.

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