Atubiga pledges $1m donation so all aspirants file for free

National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer aspirant Stephen Atubiga says he is willing to donate any amount of money to his party to cater for cost involved in the upcoming flagbearer elections to be held in 2019. His decision is borne out of growing concerns over the GHȻ420,000 aspirants are expected to pay in total to qualify to contest to lead the party. Some eight aspirants including Stephen Atubiga himself, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Joshua Alabi petitioned the founder of the NDC Jerry John Rawlings to intervene and make the party executives reduce the said amount.

When the issue about the high cost of the filling fees came up, executives of the party explained that they needed the monies for the organization of the upcoming elections. Although the party announced a reduction in the filing fees to GHȻ300,000, Stephen Atubiga insists the amount is still high. Speaking on 3FM‘s Sunrise morning show on Thursday, December 6, 2018, Mr. Atubiga said he is ready to donate as high as a million dollar to the party in order for the fees to be waived for aspirants. According to him, costing the filing fees as such a high fee defeats NDC’s ideology of a socialist party. “The ideology and principle of the party is that it is a social democratic party, so when you go beyond certain amounts, it becomes a capitalist party which we do not represent. “Immediately we shift the poles, even though the party needs it, it leaves the party in a different predicament, and I am saying that I can donate one million to the party, I can raise hundred million dollars for the party, but once it becomes that I should pay a certain amount to contest the elections, it cuts some people off,” Mr.Atubiga told host Winston Amoah. He said quoting such huge sums as filing fees will discourage young people who are interested in joining the party from coming in. Mr. Atubiga said the eight persons who petitioned the founder have been given an official invitation to have a meeting with the Council of Elders and founder of the party on Thursday at 2:00pm. He indicated that he will pledge his donation towards the party elections at the meeting. “Today I will tell the Council of Elders that I want with my team to donate the GHȻ400,000 or more as donation, then we will write a letter that they should waive the filing fee so that when I go out there I will have the moral right to tell young people not to give up on the party which is a social democratic party.” On why he picked the forms despite protesting against the amount involved, Mr. Atubiga said he had no intention of doing so, and that it was a kind gesture from people who believe in him. “I want to use this opportunity to thank the onion sellers, and all those people form Techiman for that kind gesture…for collectively surprising me by picking the forms for me,” he noted.
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By Irene Amesimeku||Ghana]]>