Ashanti NDC Executives Fleeing Positions
Some embattled Ashanti Regional executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who were embroiled in a bribery scandal, leading to a seven-member fact-finding committee, have begun abandoning their positions.
Information available to The Anchor indicates that some of the executives indicted by the Dr. Samuel Sarpong-led committee will not strategically seek re-election at the regional level to safeguard their own political career.
Chief among them is the current regional secretary, Kwame Zu, who has apparently abandoned the ship, after just a term in office.
This has come as no surprise to many, because, sources within the regional leadership say some of the executives have become very unpopular and cannot be trusted, having come across as people who cannot secure the integrity of elections at the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) stronghold.
For instance, this paper’s digging has revealed that Mr. Zu, who is a lecturer, researcher and consultant at the Kumasi Technical University, (KsTU) was allegedly found guilty of the bribery allegation and directed to stay away from all the party’s activities.
For some strange reason, the secretary, judging by a publication by ‘The Chronicle’ newspaper of Thursday, September 22, was accused of compromising his position by abandoning his role soon after the voting ended in the 2020 elections.
The KsTU lecturer, who appeared before the committee, was thus seen as having betrayed the cause of the NDC.
However, to the surprise of many, he is said to be now lacing his boots to contest in the Deputy General Secretary race of the NDC at the national level, where delegates are scattered across the country and may not punish him for his role in the last general elections, unlike if he had sought re-election at the regional.
The Anchor has sighted some posters belonging to him on his social media, declaring his intention for the position.
But even though the committee’s report is yet to be made public, his declaration for national executive member position, some say, betrays the work of the committee.
Another accused person, one Mr. Abofrah, who happens to be the NDC’s regional director of elections, is yet to be heard, though his position is not elective.
It is also unclear what the committee found on him.
Interestedly, the regional chairman, Augustus Nana Kwasi Andrews, who was principally accused in the bribery allegation, has also set in motion plans to retain his seat.
Like Mr. Zu, the regional chairman has his posters already flooded on social media sites and on many NDC platforms, massively creating awareness and soliciting votes from delegates.
This is despite media reports that, the two have been indicted in the fact-finding investigative work, chaired by Mr. Sarpong.
Questions have thus begun to pop up about the complicity of these individuals in the report and the appropriateness of them seeking to lead the party again.
The committee also disclosed that there was no teamwork, proper coordination, while factions were created for personal gains.
Portions of the report read: “No teamwork and factions were created and as a result of that, factions operated to their own advantage,” saying that the Ashanti Regional Chairman was unaware of the party members who were supposed to represent the party at the Electoral Commission (EC) collation room.
This assertion was also confirmed by the secretary to the committee and former deputy chief of staff, under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Johnny Osei Kofi, who spoke to The Anchor by press time yesterday.
According to him, their findings revealed that the party had no one at the EC’s strong room and so had to call the regional youth organizer, Ernest Brogya Genfi, who was then in Tepa, to come and represent the NDC by signing all papers.
The report, which has been submitted to the party, said Nana Kwasi Andrews, who initially wrote to the committee his unwillingness to appear but later rescinded that decision, was very evasive.
The regional chairman also came across as someone who had no clue about the conduct of the elections, despite him being a top regional executive member.
It was realized that, the chairman, instead, relegated all responsibilities to Mr. Zu, who, on his part, used the opportunity to undermine the process.
“Generally, the Regional Chairman exhibited gross incompetence; he seemed not to know what was happening before, during and after the 2020 elections. He was not on top of his work as Regional Chairman. He left everything in the care of the Regional Secretary who also manipulated the system to his advantage,” the committee established.
The Samuel Sarpong-led committee thus recommended that, going forward, the chairmen and secretaries should not be allowed to control all the finances, suggesting the setting up of a financial committee at the constituency and regional levels, where all donations, both financial and material, meant to be used for party work, will be channeled.
The committee emphasized that the proposed financial committee must be made public for the information of the public and any individual or group of people collecting any donation without passing such donations through the committee should be severely punished, when identified.
It was also found that it was Nana Kwasi Andrews that called some lawyers from the NDC stock to proceed to the Regional Secretariat to help Brogya-Genfi draft a protest note.
But when he appeared before the committee and was asked, he flatly denied this finding, yet admitted that he called on Brogya-Genfi to indicate that he signed the final document under duress.
The regional chairman said it was Mr. Zu who authorized Brogya-Genfi to sign the elections result document.
In the view of the committee, the collation and declaration of the Ashanti Regional 2020 results were poorly managed, and it is expected that the committee’s recommendations will help the party organize better and proper elections in future.
Some 18 members, comprising five elected executive members, four appointed officials and nine party members, appeared before the committee to be interrogated.
Other members were Kwabena Bempong Marfo, Prof. Ohene Adjei, Ms. Juliet Abena Takyiwa, Kaakyire Oppong Kyekyeku and Kwadwo Adu Gyamfi.