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NPP Primary: Delegates to Swear by Deities as Show of Loyalty?

Presidential and parliamentary primaries of Ghanaian political parties have thrown up some interesting and often shocking prepositions from all manner of inducements to mysticism. The refrain “fear delegates” by one-time General Secretary of the NPP, Sir John seems to be guarding many who get into the political fray for some key political party positions. Particulary, the presidency.

You may think it’s a fictional tale, especially hearing of delegates being asked by candidates to swear an oath of allegiance or loyalty through a deity of their (candidates) choice. The candidates know why they do so, and the delegates are also aware of how scary they’ve become during election primaries. But on the side of the delegates, the huge financial inducement is worth forfeiting one's conscience for the next four years.

It’s only when, in some instances, delegates commit to the call of candidates that delegates are offered all many of inducements—from hard cash through to household appliances, living room set of furniture, among others. My underground sorties show how some candidates in the NPP presidential race, are hell bent on winning the candidacy; thus, their supporters consulting and asking delegates to swear special oath of allegiance, long before the November 2023 date for the NPP presidential election.

This is to ensure that delegates do not renege on their promise of voting in a certain direction. The last parliamentary primaries of both the NPP and NDC offered classical case of the mythical phenomenon in Ghanaian elections. In the case of the NDC, there is nothing much on that front in the party's presidential nomination next month. It’s the believe among many NDC faithful that the party’s presidential nomination is a one-man race between ex-president Mahama and ex-president Mahama, meaning Mahama has no contender in the race.

The obvious inducement should not be surprising at all because even at the national level, political parties give all manner goodies to voters to secure their votes, let alone, in a limited areas of party primaries. The inducements are high at this level.  Both the NPP and the NDC claim they have reformed their delegate elections to eliminate any such flaws; yet the money bags around, can still get their way through with their bottomless pockets.

Now the conventional wisdom is why parties—candidates would want delegates to swear to their faith before they offer them any kind of gifts. Often delegates or the electorates show commitment to a particular party or candidate but do otherwise on the day of election. With the belief that deities' exact instant justice on any individual who violates such oath, candidates use such trickery to ensure that delegates or voters vote in tandem with their secret declaration.

The practice has somehow found a place in our electoral discourse. During the NPP parliamentary nominations prior to election 2020, disgruntled and vanquished candidates came out in the open cursing delegates who took their money and yet refused to vote for them. It was through some of the disgruntled lots that Ghana got to know that the practice has gained firm root in our body politic. Candidates who won the parliamentary primaries did not only induced delegates financially, but also made them—delegates, swear an oath to stay truthful to the cause.

They were virtually coerced into voting in a certain direction or pattern and the coercive power was so threatening that the only way they believe they will stay alive after the election was to sacrifice the sanctity of their conscience and replace it with monetary reward even if, temporarily.  Signals picked by this author offer a clear indication that everything possible is being done by the establishment to ensure that His Excellency, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia takes over from his boss, the President. And that include delegates swearing to a deity, aside the huge financial rewards in the offing for them.

Perhaps, this shouldn’t be a secret at all; especially when the President was only short of issuing a “defacto” decree that “the best assistant in the 4th Republic has been his heir apparent”. The President made that position so clear during his tour of Walewale, the hometown of the Vice President. The immediate NPP chairman, Freddie Blay was even more blunt in the Bawumia endorsement, suggesting there was nothing wrong for the President to have a choice in the NPP nomination run and if the choice is Bawumia, so be it.   

Content created and supplied by: RKeelson (via Opera News )

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