A raging dispute over what is described as exorbitant nomination and filing fees for the flagbearership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is likely to create divisions in the party if not resolved.
Apart from former President John Mahama, eight of the flagbearer aspirants are protesting the pegging of the fees at GH420,000 (GHc20,000 for nomination forms and GHc400,000 for filing).
After petitioning the party’s Council of Elders for a reduction the fee, without any success as of now, the eight aspirants have threatened to take various actions if the party closes nominations today without their forms.
While others have threatened to break away, from the party, others have warned of legal action, describing the new fee levels as illegal.
According to conflict resolution experts and political analysts, the party risks a break away if the concerns of the aspirants are not addressed in a timely manner.
That, in addition, is likely to affect the party’s unity which it needs for the 2020 general election.
As the deadline for the filing of nominations elapses today, majority of the aspirants are challenging the National Executive Committee (NEC), and have also stayed away from the process since their petition has not been considered.
For instance, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a former Trade and Industry Minister has called the bluff of the party’s executives to close the nomination process as planned today.
He is confident the NDC National Executive Committee (NEC) would acknowledge it breached the party’s constitution by setting nomination and filing fees without consulting the National Council of Elders, and address the concerns of the aspirants.
Another aspirant, Mr Alban Bagbin, a second deputy Speaker in Parliament and former Minister of Works, has called on the party’s Council of Elders to intervene, otherwise he would no longer participate in the party’s affairs.
Similarly, the other aspirants including Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, have expressed disquiet about the situation, and have threatened to boycott the process and party activities.
They indicated in their joint petition that the NEC the new fess is an illegality which they vowed to fight.
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com