NPP Too Broke To Organise A Centralised Election - Sir John Concedes

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has challenged critics within the party to raise an amount of 1.2 million if they want a centralised election and a National delegates conference. Until that amount is raised, Owusu Afriyie popularly known as Sir John told Joy News the party will go ahead with a decentralised election to be held at the regional level. The mode of election for the March 1, 2014 National Delegates Congress has been a subject of great controversy within Ghana's biggest opposition party. The current national executives led by Jake Obetsebi Lamptey claim the party is not in a sound financial state to organise a centralised election like it did four years ago when all the delegates converged at the Kumasi Sports Stadium for the election. According to the executives, a centralised election will cost the party an amount of 1.2 million cedis while a decentralised one will only cost a little over 150,000 cedis. With the party in such dire financial state, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and his executives have been vociferous in calling for a decentralised election. But their call has been vehemently countered by some party gurus who insist money should not be the barrier to a centralised election. Some of the party leaders could not understand why there is no money to organise a centralised election when Members of Parliaments contribute an amount of 35,000 cedis every month for the running of the party. Former General Secretary of the party and MP for Okre, Dan Kweku Botwe, told Joy News' Dzifa Bampoh the party can raise the necessary funds to organise any election the way it wants. He said the current executives must have other reasons other than lack for funds to want to organise a decentralised election. Okaikoi North MP Patrick Boamah was even more critical in his analysis of the issue. He said if the current national executives cannot raise the required funds to organise a centralised election then they have no moral right to seek re-election. He added the party must have a centralised election so that the executives will render proper accounts to the party before the election is held; otherwise they will be the only executives in the history of the party not to have rendered accounts before elections. In a reaction, the General Secretary of the party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie said all those singing the chorus of a centralised election should bring money for it to be organised. Sir John has also debunked claims of embezzlement made against the current executives. According to him, the Jake-led executive has already submitted its audited accounts to the Electoral Commission as well as the National Executive Council of the party, adding, accusations of embezzlement can only be made "out of ignorance." He explained the monthly contributions the MPs make are not "kept in the bank for a rainy day" but are always put to good use by paying allowances of party office staff and utility bills. He said the "wild and omnibus allegations" of misappropriation have no basis.