The two-week-old National Democratic Congress (NDC) national executives have been asked to step aside from the process to chose the party’s next presidential candidate.
Eight disgruntled but united aspirants have accused the National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia of bias in favour of a particular candidate.
In a petition to the party’s Council of Elders, the aspirants would not name the favoured aspirant but leave little doubt that it is John Mahama, former president and highly-tipped to win the ticket.
They point to the opportunity given him to give closing remarks at the 9th National Delegates Congress in Accra and the consistent playing of his campaign songs at the Congress.
It was at that Congress that Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Asiedu Nketia and seven other executives won four-year mandate to steer party affairs.
But the young mandate is facing fresh legitimacy challenges.
Alban Bagbin who has been in Parliament since 1996 and a Mahama appointee, Dr.Ekwow Spoi-Garbrah, lead the pack of eight who have expressed willingness to present evidence of bias to the Council of Elders.
While they appear to have tolerated the alleged bias over several weeks, the trigger for the petition has been the setting of filing and nomination fees at GH¢ 420,000.
That decision by the National Executive Committee, “appears to have been designed to favour of that same aspirant”.
Photo: L-R (top): Sylvester Mensah, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Alban Bagbin and Goosie Tanoh; L-R (down): Elikplim Agbemava, Kojo Bonsu, Stephen Atubiga and Nurudeen Iddrisu
Portions of the 10-page petition states;
There is ample reason to believe that key players in NEC are biased in favour of a particular aspirant and are intervening unlawfully in the Primaries campaign to achieve a favourable outcome for that candidate.
In these circumstances we do not believe that the NEC can be trusted to administer the Primaries fairly. We have resolved not to proceed under the proposed unlawful Guidelines. Accordingly, none of us will pick up nomination forms or otherwise comply with the unlawful Guidelines until our petition is heard and the issues set out are fully resolved.