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Monday, August 3, 2020

NPP polls: I would’ve given my 10 cars to the party had I won – Odoom

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A failed aspirant in the just-ended New Patriotic Party parliamentary primaries in the Ajumako-Enyan-Assiam Constituency of the Central Region, Mr Elisha Debrah Odoom, has denied allegations that he distributed saloon cars to party delegates on the day of the election, Saturday, 28 September 2019.

Some 10 Hyundai i10s bearing the image of the aspirant, were paraded at the polling centre as the election went on.

They were allegedly meant to be given to the delegates to influence them to vote for Mr Odoom, who was in the race with the District Chief Executive Ajumako-Enyan-Assiam, Mr Ransford Kwesi Nyarko as well as Mr Richard Hagan and Mr Rashid Kwesi Etuaful.

At the end of the day, Mr Etuaful won the race to represent the governing party in the 2020 parliamentary polls.

However, in a statement, Mr Odoom said he was writing to “unequivocally deny the allegation that we distributed cars to delegates at the just-ended primary election at Ajumako-Enyan-Assiam Constituency.”

According to the statement, “Right from the beginning, the import of our campaign was to build on resourcing the party through the electoral areas in the constituency”.

“In the light of this, we proposed a ‘one electoral-one business’ model. For business, we meant corn mills, plastic chairs, mattresses and canopies for hiring, tricycles, cocoa-spraying machines, taxis and other economic ventures that are indigenous to their localities because I was exposed to the reality of the potentials of the people in the constituency, especially, the youth, to be very productive and the fact that they lacked the capital, network and opportunity to connect to facilities and resources.”

The statement continued: “The idea was to help the party to become economically-independent at the grassroots” and also “to cause the party to be highly attractive in the constituency ahead of election 2020.”

It indicated that “polling station executives have been complaining about their neglect after every election in the constituency”, hence the aim of aspirant “to resource and set up.”

The statement further continued that: “Inasmuch as we desired to lead the party in the constituency to wrest power from the NDC, there was the need to see the polling station executives being economically-independent. To this end, a special arrangement was made with a car dealership [company] to procure ten small cars to be used as taxis to the benefit of all the party members and not just delegates in the nine zones of the constituency. This special arrangement was of a ‘work-and-pay’ kind as done in the normal scheme of things.”

“The release and presentation of the cars was conditioned on the success of Mr Odoom’s candidature”, the statement noted, and “the cars have been sent back because having lost the election, we will not have the leverage to guarantee compliance of the payment schedule as agreed with the car dealer.”

The statement reiterated that: “No delegate has been given a car, as is being reported in the media. And it is unfortunate that [such an] innovation has received a negative reportage”.

It said Mr Odoom, notwithstanding, is “still committed to supporting the party to deliver on the ‘one electoral area-one business’ proposal as mentioned in our campaign.”

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