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24.03.2004 General News

NDC Agents Abandon Posts

By The Statesman

The NDC's agents monitoring the voter's registration exercise at various polling stations across the country are fast abandoning their posts following what they described as a “classy case of deceit” by their party officials.

According to some of the agents who spoke to The Statesman at weekend, the decision to withdraw their services was informed by the party's inability to fulfill its promise of paying them a daily allowance of ¢50,000.

According to a polling agent at Darkuman, a suburb of Accra, who spoke on condition of anonymity, they were promised ¢50,000 allowance a day only to be informed later that the party could only afford a total of ¢100,000 for the two week exercise. This open deceit, the agent said had eroded the confidence some of them had in the party. The withdrawal of services. The Statesman investigations have established that it is not limited to Accra but extends to other parts of the country, especially in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions.

At Abomosu in the Atiwa constituency of the Eastern Region for instance, none of the registration centres in the town could boast of a single NDC agent despite the fact that the party has a strong person like Rear Admiral (Rtd) Ohene Kwapong, former Navy Commander, leading it in the area. The popular refrain on the lips of the NDC agents is 'money palava'. But Baba Jamal NDC's General Secretary in charge of Finance and Administration described the attitude of the agents as a mark of indiscipline.

According to Jamal, the party has laid down rules for voicing out grievances. Jamal, who is the party's parliamentary candidate for Akwatia, said with or without agents the exercise must continue, “We cannot allow these people to hold us to ransom,” he said. Asked to confirm or deny the agents' claim, the NDC deputy general secretary said the matter was no for public consumption. How much we pay our agents is an internal issue,” he said.

According to Jamal, the suspicious moves by the government prompted the NDC to be vigilant and safeguard its interest. “We have a cause to be suspicious of the handling of the electoral process,” he opines.

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