The petitioners of the NPP-USA 2018 elections have declared that their intention for the petition to the NEC in Ghana was not necessarily to create confusion as other people think but purposely to ensure free, fair and Transparent election.
The lead petitioner, Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu and the second petitioner, Mrs. Angelina Quaidoo, popularly known in her political life as Yaa Asentewaah, clarified their intentions of the petition when they were interviewed on Amenado Radio in Denver, Colorado, USA on Sunday March 4, 2018.
According to them, all NPP-USA members who love the party should support their action which will result in strengthening the democratic practice among NPP members in USA and all the other external branches across the world.
They believe that the move will help clear the electoral fraud mindsets of members so that hostility and anti-party elements within the NPP-USA can be controlled to help attract other people to join the party. Again, advocating for peace after the elections to pave way for unity, thereby bringing all hands on board to move the ROPAA forward is another strategic reason for the petition. “We just want the right thing to be done so that members will feel motivated to help mobilize people for the ROPAA. That’s it”. Mr. Osei Owusu said.
Mr. Joseph Owusu disclosed to listeners on the show that both the party executives in Ghana and USA have received the grievances accordingly and he was confident that they would act on them as soon as possible.
“We sent it through email to all the recipients on the petition list. The Acting Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay has received it because I followed up with a phone call and he assured me that he will act on it from Monday, March 5th. Also, I called the Acting General Secretary, Mr. John Boadu and I left a voice message reminding him of the document in his email”. He explained.
He continued that Ghana’s Ambassador to USA in Washington DC, Dr. Bawuah returned his phone call and spoke to him after he called and left a voice message. In his delivery, he told the host of the show that the Ambassador also assured him that he would act on the petition as soon as possible. The next recipients he contacted were NPP-USA NEC and Elections Committee after he sent copies of the petition via email to them. He again followed up with WhatsApp messages to the General Secretary, Mr. Augustine Agbenaza and a member of the elections committee, Mr. Ebo Quansah. “Once I checked my WhatsApp and they showed that the messages had been read, it was enough evidence to justify that they have received the petition”. He said.
Responding to the host about their reasons for submitting the petition, Mrs. Angela Quaidoo talked about the six main issues bordering most NPP-USA members that led their quest for seeking redress through the application of the party’s internal grievance procedures. “We have complained about our concerns for some time now and our voices were not heard. Some of the executive office candidates tried to resolve the issue peacefully but their objections were disregarded. We think action needs to be taken to save the image of the NPP-USA and the time to do that is now”. Angela said.
Explaining her views on the potential electoral malpractices, she mentioned six major concerns, including conflict of Interest issue against the Acting Chairperson who is also contesting for the chairperson position, integrity and transparency of the online voting system which is not in conformity with the provisions of the NPP’s constitution and the NPP-USA by-laws, failure on the part of the current and previous executives to conduct biennial congress to enable members to ratify certain irregularities in the by-laws before the conduct of the 2018 elections.
According to Angela, the NPP-USA executives should have organized the biennial congress to abolish the dangerous online voting system which created misunderstanding during the 2014 elections.
“We are not going to vote with this fraudulent online system again. It will never happen”. She vowed. Instead, she pronounced that it is the wish of NPP-USA members to vote through the chapter-by-chapter system or vote at an organized congress, where delegates will be present to cast their votes.
Among other concerns raised are the disenfranchisement of potential voters who are qualified NPP-USA members, absence of candidate representation at the EC and poor financial accountability within the branch.
In their closing remarks, they thanked all NPP-USA members for their unflinching support and advised them to keep calm as the NEC in Ghana has assured them to do their best to stop the elections until the right procedures are followed to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
Finally, they cautioned that court injunction on the elections will be the next action if the NEC fails to address their concerns. “We have shown enough respect to seek redress through the laid down grievance procedures, as enshrined in our constitution and we are waiting for a good response from them”. They said. Lastly, they encouraged all NPP-USA members and other external branches to work hard for victory in 2020.