The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana), through its foremost anti-corruption campaign platform, Corruption Watch, has exposed how some aspirants in the recently held New Patriotic Party primaries allegedly influenced delegates using money and other items to garner votes.
The report which highlights prominent persons like the Deputy MASLOC CEO, Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria, Deputy Procurement Officer at COCOBOD, Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama, incumbent Member of Parliament for Kwesimintim Constituency, Joseph Mensah and the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Dr. Prince Hamid Armah detailed how they allegedly influenced delegates.
CDD has in the first of a series of reports, published findings from the Northern and Western Regions.
The Corruption Watch investigation alleged that the Deputy MASLOC CEO, Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria took advantage of her office, using the State agency’s resources to induce delegates in the Yendi Constituency.
According to the report, Hajia Abibata Zakaria distributed GHS1,000 of state money under the MASLOC loans to each delegate in her constituency.
She is also alleged to have distributed three bags of NPK fertilizers to each of the delegates in Yendi.
Corruption Watch upon its findings contacted the Deputy CEO for her response.
She allegedly admitted to the findings but insisted there was nothing wrong with her decision.
“It is state money but the people applied for it. I do not regret it. As for the fertilizers, it was just one of the interventions for my people at Yendi. Those who benefitted were part of the people who made the decision.”
Her contender and winner of the elections, Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama, who is the son of the late Vice President Aliu Mahama is also said to have distributed 400 bottles of anti-snake sprays and 800 bags of fertilizers to delegates of the Yendi constituency, amongst other supplies to the constituency since 2017.
The third contender for the constituency has also been cited for distributing dried fish, salt and other ingredients.
In the Kwesimintsim Constituency in the Western Region, Dr. Prince Armah, who beat the incumbent MP, Joseph Mensah, is alleged to have paid an amount of GHs1,500 to each delegate, while the incumbent, Joseph Mensah is said to have given an amount of GHS1,000, in addition to a half piece of cloth to each female delegate and new singlets to each male delegate.
‘Vote-buying becoming normal’
In a corruption watch interview, the MP, Joseph Mensah said vote-buying has become a norm.
“We will give them some small inducement. It is true, we had to save some monies and give them some monies. It is normal in our politics now. The highest bidder gets the nod. I will not shy away from that.”
In the Effia Constituency in the Western Region, the MP and deputy Minister of Energy, Joseph Cudjoe is alleged to have distributed a standing fan, half piece of cloth, a 32-inch flat-screen television and an amount of GHS1,500 to each.
Prior to the elections, he is alleged to have distributed GHs400 to each delegate.
His opponent, Dr. Adwoa Kwagyirba who lost the elections allegedly gave GHS400 and a 32-inch television to each delegate a day before the election.