National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has extended an olive branch to the eight disgruntled presidential hopefuls that united against high nomination and filing fees.
Joshua Akamba is urging Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava to work with national officers of the opposition party to forge a united front that can win general elections in 2020.
His call for peace comes on the back of an extension of the deadline for the primaries process after a previous deadline was reached amid protest by the eight presidential hopefuls.
The eight had accused National Executive Council (NEC), the party’s highest decision-making body, of failing to consult the National Council of Elders before setting what they believe were unnecessarily high nomination and filing fees.
They said NEC's failure to consult the Council Elders, which chaired by former President John Rawlings, constituted a grand breach of the party's constitution.
Former President John Mahama, who is seeking to lead the party again in the 2020 general elections, and Joshua Alabi were the only aspirants that failed to sign a petition to the Council of Elders for intervention.
Some of the aspirants had even threatened legal action, but after a peace process brokered by the Council of elders on Wednesday morning, the filing fee was reduced from GHS400,000 to GHS300,000.
Also, the sale of nomination forms, which closed on Tuesday, December 4, has been extended to Saturday, December 8. The nomination fee of GH¢20,000, however, stands.
The date for the primaries has also been moved from January 19, 2019, to January 26, 2019.
‘Disgruntled 8’: L-R (top): Sylvester Mensah, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Alban Bagbin and Goosie Tanoh; L-R (down): Elikplim Agbemava, Kojo Bonsu, Stephen Atubiga and Nuruideen Iddrisu.
Commenting on the brouhaha that threatened to degenerate into a bitter internal party rivalry on PM Express, Mr Akamba promised the eight aspirants that national officers of the party remain committed treating each aspirant fairly every step of the primaries process.
“If there is anything that they [eight aspirants] think that we did that hurt them so badly…they should forgive us,” an apologetic Akamba said on the current affairs programme on MultiTV, Wednesday evening.
According to him, Ghanaians will not forgive the NDC if the party fails to recapture power in 2020.
‘I can assure them that yesterday there was a meeting between national officers in the interest of the party on how we can organise a decent election for them and after that we should be able to come together. That is how come when the Council of Elders called we listened to them and we agreed to the process as it is now and tomorrow [Thursday] they will also be met and we will discuss it,” he assured.