An aspiring National Democratic Congress flagbearer, Elikplim Agbemava, has repudiated the party’s processes to elect a flagbearer for the 2020 presidential elections.
He says there are clear indications that the race is being ‘cooked’ for a particular candidate and challenged the party’s national executives to restore the integrity of the contest by leveling the playing field.
Eli, as he is popularly called, was speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen talkshow on Friday protesting the party’s GHȻ400,000 nomination filing fees, and accused all the party’s national executive committee members of having openly declared support and preference for ex-President John Mahama.
“Look every single member of the NEC has made a categorical statement that for them, they are for John Mahama. Every single member, Asiedu Nketiah has said it, Ofosu Ampofo has said, you know, Hannah Bissiw has said it, Akamba has said it, you understand, so I mean, are they referees? You ask yourself. And it is sad, you see, I can go and lose, it is my problem but we must have the standards, the principles, if tomorrow, Jean Mensah of the Electoral Commission comes out and says that oh for me, I don’t think that this contest is necessary so Akufo-Addo alone should be allowed to go for 2020, would anybody be happy? Would anybody be happy? These are the things, we are pushing the country into a ditch…”
Elikplim Agbemava said the lopsided race to elect John Mahama does not augur well for competitiveness and unity in the party.
According to Eli, the party will suffer ultimately should the biased officiating continue, as it would yield the expected result of a leader foisted on the party.
Filing fees too exorbitant
He said the high filing fees for the presidential race only puts the party’s race for a flagbearer up for sale to the highest bidder and makes a mockery of the party’s democratic credentials.
He insisted that leadership is not about wealth, and although he agreed with his host that a leader need be resourceful, he said the high fees only shuts the door to many well intended persons but who are poor.
“They do not understand politics if that is the objective, they are not fighting for the country”, he said of the executives pegging the filing fees that high.
He said the party’s current leader, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo paid no more than 15,000 to file his nomination to be elected national chairman of the party, saying arguments that the party needs to raise funds to run affairs cannot apply to only the presidential aspirants, saying if the party needs money, it is the duty of the entire membership to raise the funds. “It is too much”, he said.
Eli said it is wrong for the party leaders to put money ahead of equity as it only excludes a section of the society from participating in the democratic processes, much against the accepted and durable standards of equity, integrity, commitment and loyalty to nation.
“If I can pay and somebody else cannot pay, what does it mean?” he quipped, saying emphatically he would not be picking the nomination forms if the fee is not reviewed.