Aspirants should’ve petitioned NEC; Council of Elders can’t help them – Otokunor

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Peter Boamah Otokunor

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy General Secretary, Peter Boamah Otokunor has said the aggrieved aspirants in the race for the NDC’s presidential slot would have been better off petitioning the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

This is after the presidential aspirants petitioned the party’s Council of Elders to intervene in their stalemate with the NEC over aspects of the nomination process.

The nine aspirants accused key members of the NEC of bias towards former President John Mahama and also urged the Council of Elders to act on concerns over the GHc20,000 and GHc 400,000 costs respectively for nomination forms and filing fees.

But on Eyewitness News, Mr. Otokunor explained that petitioning the Council of Elders was pointless as the body was dissolved after the party’s Delegates Conference in November, in line with the NDC’s Constitution, and is yet to be reconstituted.

“Until we appoint a new Council of Elders and swear them in, they do not have the capacity to operate in that respect and that is a constitutional provision.”

Mr. Otokunor said he was surprised they aspirants were even petitioning the Council of Elders given their knowledge of the advisory role of the body.

“That even aside, the Council of Elders is an advisory body of the party and they do not make decisions. If you have concerns with the petition made by a group, if you have concerns with the decisions made by a group, who do you send the petition too? Don’t you send it to the group that took the decision?”

The Deputy General Secretary also toed the party line, insisting that the filing fees for the party were reasonable.

“If we are going to organsie primaries that will make you a flagbearer, is it wrong to contribute towards the preparation of the primaries?”

Aspirant’s complaints

Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, are the aspirants that have petitioned the Council.

(L to R), Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Alban Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah, Prof. Joshua Alabi

They urged the Council of Elders to demand that the party Chairman, General Secretary, and any other members of NEC or the party secretariat that have demonstrated bias in favour of a particular candidate recuse themselves from the primaries processes.

In their petition to the NDC’s Council of Elders, they said there was reason to believe that key players in NEC are biased in favour of a particular aspirant.

They singled out the NDC Chairman and General Secretary, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Johnson Asiedu Nketia as having “made public statements to the effect that they prefer the same individual to lead the party into the 2020 elections.”

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa | citinewsroom.com | Ghana