Acting National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has challenged the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) to petition the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for his 1 constituency, 1 bus campaign promise to all NPP constituencies across Ghana.
The Programmes Manager of the GII, Mary Addah, last Monday appealed to EOCO to investigate the acting national chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, who is seeking re-election for promising 1-constituency, 1-bus for commercial purposes ahead of the NPP election.
Mary Addah asked: “why is he buying all these buses at a time they are going for their elections? What is the intention behind the buses?”
According to the GII, the promise by Freddie Blay was a clear issue of vote-buying which was against the electoral laws of Ghana to induce voters to vote for you.
But a statement signed by the spokesperson for Freddie Blay, Richard Nyamah, sighted by Today, described the comment by the programmes manager of the GII, “mischievously and deliberately misrepresented and invented by her own facts as to what Freddie Blay is supposed to have said in a couple of interviews to the effect that he has acquired 275 buses for each NPP Constituency in the country.”
The statement added that Freddie Blay did not at any point in his interviews say that; “(1) He is giving the buses as gifts to the constituencies, (2) He is by the buses seeking to influence them (delegates) to vote for him as Chairman of NPP, (3) He is taking advantage of his incumbency as acting chairman of the party”.
Mr. Nyamah in setting the records straight said; “Freddie Blay indicated his belief in the NPP foundational principle of a property-owning democracy. To actualise it, he emphasised that his MAIN objective as the next NPP National Chairman will be to empower the party and its members to own businesses and property for the party to be self-sufficient whether in government or not.
He explained that Freddie Blay has through a facility acquired 275 buses for the 275 constituencies of the NPP in the country, which will allow various Constituency Chairmen, and Secretaries co-sign for each constituency. The said buses are to be run commercially by any bus operator in the country, a process, he said, they are currently negotiating on.
He added that the various constituencies would open bank accounts and pay monthly installments.
“A portion of the proceeds is to be lodged into the constituency account for use by the constituencies for party activities. At the end of full payments, the buses become the properties of the constituencies, who are encouraged to buy new buses or invest the proceeds into other businesses to help finance the party at the constituency level,” the statement said.
The statement added that “We wish to urge Ms. Mary Adda and the Ghana Integrity Initiative to file a petition at the EOCO or CHRAJ or both if they feel strongly that Freddie Blay has engaged in any wrongdoing. However, we will want to caution them not to allow themselves to be used by our opponents to do their bidding.”
Story: Gottlieb BAAKO
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