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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Columnist: Adamu, Albert

Accord us with some intelligence, Mr. Kyeremanten

I have just had the privilege of listening to an interview granted by Mr. Alan Kyeremanten, to Classic FM in Techiman, while on campaign tour of the Brong Ahafo Region and all I can beg of Mr. Kyeremanten is for him to grant the NPP Party and its delegates some little intelligence and know that this is not a party of baboons who can just be told anything for the sake of winning votes.

In the interview, Mr. Kyeremanten makes a whole lot of promises indicating very clearly that those promises are what he has been telling the delegates of the party in his rounds. He promises to open offices everywhere, even though that ideally should be the task of the General Secretary. He promises that because he is an “international man” who can bring in so much money to satisfy everyone in the party.

But the promise that sounded most absurd to me, to put it mildly, was his promise to pay fulltime salaries to executives of the New Patriotic Party, from Polling Station level to Regional level.

Mr. Kyeremanten in his interview says, “There is a saying that if you don’t have anything for your in-law, you don’t turn round to also rob him; the person has sacrificed himself as an executive to work for the party, if we don’t have money for the person, we should not also watch the person to use his own resources to work for the party. Due to this, I’ve told the party members that if I become flagbearer this year, I will make sure that every party executive gets a full time salary, from polling station, constituency to regional as well as the electoral area coordinators so that the person can concentrate on the work of the party.”

Aside the fact that this policy is unheard of anywhere in the world of politics, is the issue of the numbers which makes this promise not only absurd but insulting. Only a candidate who thinks very lowly of the delegates of this party will make this promise and expect anyone to believe it and to cast a vote in his favor on the basis of this promise.

The NPP currently has 5 polling station executives in each of the 26,002 polling stations. In total therefore, there are 130,010 polling station executives. Also, there are roughly 6,000 electoral area coordinators across the country. With 16 executives in each of the 275 constituencies of the country, the party also has 4,400 constituency executives. Finally, there are 160 regional executives as each of the 10 regions is manned by 16 regional executives.

Together, Mr. Kyeremanten is promising to pay at least 140,570 executives, in what he describes as fulltime monthly salaries, something which will make the NPP the second largest employer aside the Government of Ghana, how funny?

The amounts involved in Alan’s proposals are very ludicrous, to say the least. The minimum wage currently stands at GH¢6 per day or GH¢180 a month. Therefore assuming Mr. Kyeremanten wishes to pay each of these 140,570 executives of the party, which will be woefully inadequate anyway as a monthly salary, it means Mr. Kyeremanten will have to cough up, GH¢25,302,600 or 253billion old cedis every month to pay all these executives just the minimum wage. For a year, Mr. Kyeremanten will need to raise GH¢303,631,200 or 3.03 trillion old cedis to pay these salaries. How on earth is Mr. Kyeremanten going to raise these amounts to pay salaries? No Party in power can even raise GH¢25 million every month, even the government which has access to all taxes and revenues will find it hard raising an extra GH¢25 million every month in this country.

So why should Mr. Kyeremanten go down this path? Is he so desperate to be Presidential Candidate that he has to make any weird promise which, in his view, will get him votes? And is it not interesting that Mr. Kyeremanten never thought of this policy when the party was even in government and when he was so close to the power-that-be but is suddenly thinking of this fulltime salary promise?

The advisors of Mr. Kyeremanteng should let him know that it is not every promise that will win you votes. Some promises can even infuriate delegates. The NPP is not known for this kind of promise and go campaigns.

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Albert Adamu

NPP Member, Cape Coast South Constituency