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16.12.2005 Politics

Ohene Ntow: I am not the Castle’s candidate

By Statsman
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NANA Ohene Ntow, one of the favourites to win General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party in their National Executive elections this week, has once again spoken out against claims that he is the Castle's candidate. “There is absolutely no truth in reports that I am being funded by the Castle,” he told The Statesman in an interview Monday.

He was responding to an article in Monday's edition of this newspaper (“Who is Who?”); an analysis of the various candidates standing for General Secretary and National Treasurer of the governing party, which noted “strong charges that he [Ntow] is the Castle's candidate and has been liberally funded by the 'big house'”.

The analyst nevertheless gaveOhene Ntow an 8/10 chance of taking the position, rating him as joint-favourite along with Abeeku Dickson and praising his “dogged determination” and “persevering spirit”. “He has covered more ground, pressed more flesh and persuaded more delegates than any of the other candidates,” this paper reported – and all this on a “shoestring budget” rather than Castle handouts, Ohene Ntow insists. “Anyone can check out the claims, and would find them to be false,” Ohene Ntow stressed – saying that he had already several times refuted the claims to a reporter from this newspaper.

“The real capital came from sheer goodwill and from rank-and-file supporters,” he said – categorically denying any suggestion that any funding had come from the Castle.

Rather, it had not been a “big cash” campaign at all, he said; but rather a “shoestring” one, conducted on a very tight budget. Ohene Ntow pointed out that on a recent visit to the Brong-Ahafo region, he had had to borrow five million cedis from the Assistant Regional Secretary in order to cover petty expenses.

“If someone is conducting a big cash campaign, they would not find themselves in this position,” he said.

Asked therefore as to the origins of the rumours, Ohene Ntow pointed the finger at his competitors, and various others who might want to “damage and deride” his campaign. He described their efforts as “most mischievous” and called upon his rivals to conduct the remainder of their campaigns in a more truthful manner.

“Mine has been a campaign of truth, unlike some of the others,” he said. “If the allegations had been true, I would have just kept quiet,” he went on. “But false reports that I have been given an unfair advantage in the competition through funding from the Castle are absolutely untrue, and I want this cleared up.”

The annual delegates' conference of the ruling NPP will be held in the Great Hall at the University of Ghana, Legon this coming Saturday. Nana Ohene Ntow will face stiff competition from Mustapha Hamid, Andy Appiah Kubi, Abeeku Dickson and Francis Kojo Smith for the position of General Secretary.