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16.11.2002 General News

Josiah Aryeh Accuses - Botchwey Uses Party Vehicles

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Dr. Josiah Aryeh, the vocal general secretary of the leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has claimed to have substantial proof that the party finances and vehicles have been put at the disposal of one candidate competing for the presidential slot.

The secretary explained that the unconstitutional act had been perpetrated by some powerful elements in the NDC and he, therefore, challenged those behind it to come out to deny or accept the charge. He made this assertion during an interview with Chronicle, held at the party headquarters in Accra.

The former law lecturer, who was indirectly referring to his chairman, Dr. Obed Asamoah, stated that the man had secretly identified himself with Dr. Botchwey and has managed to put the party's resources at the disposal of Botchwey's campaign train.

He added that "credible" information had showed him that some 31st December Movement vehicles had been re-painted and were being used by Dr Botchwey.

This, he said, contravened the order that no executive should support any contestant seeking the party's mandate As readers would recall, the charge that Dr. Botchwey and his perceived godfather, Dr. Asamoah, have been using party resources for his campaign has been made a dozen times and refuted as many times.

But the current claim, coming from no less a person than the chief executive of the NDC, seems to give some credibility to the allegation, watchers of the political scene have been remarked.

According to Dr. Aryeh, names like, Mike Gizo, Ampofo, Sumaila, are those who backed Dr. Obed Asamoah during his quest for the chairmanship against Mahama Iddrissu and are the very people who are supporting Dr. Botchwey.

On that basis he contended that his assertion that, the chairman supports the former Finance Minister is not just aimed at "throwing dust in the eyes of the Ghanaian public."

The NDC firebrand said there are people who are highly opinionated and have dedicated their lives to the nation, who by disposition, temperament and training will not be comfortable when certain things are not done properly in an institution or organisation.

This was when he was asked why the NDC resort to the media rather than resolve their differences internally when there is a problem within their ranks.

Arguing further, Dr. Aryeh said that there are people in the party who have mastered the political culture and systems who will very quietly take advantage of the situation, therefore it is necessary that, sometimes when it comes to crunch, "you ought to fight the issues as they are, in order to run the institution efficiently and effectively".

In another development, 29 constituency chairmen of the NDC in Ashanti have, in principle, overturned what is now known as the "Obuasi Resolution" in which 21 of the 33 constituency chairmen declared their support en bloc for the former Veep, Prof. Atta-Mills, reports Sebastian Freiku.

At a meeting on November 7 and 8, 2002, the party executives discussed the relevance of the "Obuasi resolution" in the face of the existing regulations adopted by the National Executive Committee of the party.

The discussants agreed that the signatories to the resolution had erred.

"They simply thought the resolution was in order as had been the practice previously," the meeting concluded.

The house was convinced that the resolution was a misplaced one in the context of the NEC regulation.

This declaration followed the admission by some of the signatories to the said resolution at the meeting that "action was as a result of misinformation".

The meeting brought to bare the fact that by the new regulations such resolutions which declared support openly for one contestant or other did not carry weight any more.

The chairmen, Mr. Sly Akakpovie, blamed the regional secretary of the party for not educating them on the regulations earlier on.

They, however, pledged that henceforth they would confer with the Regional Secretariat of the party to do the right thing.

Akakpovie on his part apologised to the house for any lapses in his role as the secretary. He reminded them of the impending primaries to elect MPs and urged them to be abreast with party regulations regarding the exercise.

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