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29.11.2005 General News

I Will Not Resign -Esseku

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National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says he wouldn't resign his post despite calls on him to do so after alleging the presidency receives kickbacks on contracts.

Harona Esseku has come under severe pressure to resign after he told some party officials at a secret meeting that contractors were paying kickbacks to Castle instead of paying it to the party to run its activities.

The Enquirer newspaper has secured a tape recording of the said meeting with a follow up interview with the party chairman who reiterated some of the claims.

Anti-corruption group, Ghana Integrity Initiative has confirmed the existence of the tape recording and says the onus lies on the party chairman to prove the allegations are not true.

The confirmation has raised questions on what happens next to the allegations.

But party chairman Harona Esseku disputes the said comments attributed to him.

He called into JOY FM's Super Morning Show Tuesday to dare the Enquirer's editor to make the tape available for broadcast.

He said he would then be prepared to appear on a panel with the enquirer's editor on JOY FM.

He denied saying kickbacks were received by the presidency “but rather contributions and donations would be on that tape when it is played”, he said.

He declined to answer any further questions but confirmed that he has a number of occasions collected money from the Castle.

“I do send people to receive money from the Castle. Sometimes I go there myself. The monies were from several organs of the party including the presidency”, he told Super Morning Show Host Komla Dumor.

He said party officials frequent the Castle to collect fundraising monies “but they do not go to a specific office

Asked whether pressure was on him to resign, he said, “I am not going to resign. I was elected so I would serve my term. If in the future I decide to resign, that is fine but I have not contemplated resigning now. I have filed my papers and I am seeking re-election”, Mr. Esseku said.

Minister of Information and former General Secretary says the President is the Chief fundraiser for the party and that the party does not receive kickbacks.

“The president is a member of the New Patriotic Party and he is a part of the fund raising machinery of the NPP. There is absolutely, I repeat, absolutely nothing wrong with the President raising funds for the party. We are aware of the Political parties law and it allows for fundraising from individuals and companies to run political parties. We don't take kickbacks, we organize fundraising to source funds”, he said

But Mr. Botwe said on the same programme that the matter should not be investigated because the “Chairman was talking loosely”.