EC Swerves Akua Donkor Boys

CONTROVERSIAL POLITICIAN Akua Donkor is in hot waters as the leadership of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) has sternly cautioned her to refrain from parading herself as the party’s flagbearer for the 2016 elections.

Charles Abankwa, National Chairman of the GFP, disclosed that the party was yet to go to congress to elect its flagbearer for the upcoming elections so it is wrong for Akua Donkor to pose as the GFP flagbearer.

The disclaimer follows the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) alleged connivance with Akua Donkor to state its position on the raging controversy over the voter register.

Leadership of the GFP is boiling with rage for not being allowed to defend its position at the just-ended stakeholders’ forum on the voter register organised by the Electoral Commission.

The GFP leadership, with Akua Donkor as the party’s co-founder, was prevented from defending its position at the forum by the EC officials and national security operatives. It was not allowed access to the conference room at the Alisa Hotel in Accra and rather gave the platform to Akua Donkor, who articulated a different position.

Former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings said some of the parties, particularly the smaller ones, were paid to toe a certain direction consistent with the ruling National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) position, even though it is obvious that the register needs a replacement.

After allowing political parties and other stakeholders to submit their proposals on the issue about whether or not there is the need for a new voter register ahead of the 2016 general elections, the GFP leaders said they were prevented from articulating the party’s position.

The officers were the National Chairman, Kwaku Abankwa; the Co-Founder and National Organiser, Ernest Berko; the Communications Director, Alex Ababio and the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party.

After going through security checks at the hotel and cleared to go, the executives were approached by some staff of the EC who demanded their accreditation.

They however could not produce any, with the explanation that when they came the previous day – which was Thursday – they encountered a similar problem because Akua Donkor, former flagbearer, had given out their accreditation cards to two other people with instruction that they (leaders) should not be allowed inside.

Akua Donkor went there in the company of two young men other than the national executives of the party.

On Thursday after waiting for almost three hours, the executives were allowed inside but could not present the party’s position on the debate over the voter register due to delays and were asked to come the following day (Friday) to make their presentation.

But when they arrived at the event venue on Friday with intent to make their presentation, they suffered a similar fate as they were again prevented by some staff of the EC and the national security.

The EC officials said they had been instructed by Akua Donkor not to allow them entry.

This resulted in an argument between the two sides, compelling the disappointed executives to show documents issued by the EC indicating that they were national officers of the GFP.

The documents included a letter from the EC signed by its Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, acknowledging their proposal on the issue about the voter register dated October 2, 2015, one signed by its principal electoral officer, Nana Kwaku Duodu, confirming their positions as national executives of the GFP, dated October 6, 2015, another dated October 14, 2015 and signed by the same EC boss and addressed to the General Secretary of the party inviting them to the stakeholders’ forum and yet another one dated October 26, 2015 signed by the Acting Public Affairs Director, Christian Owusu-Parry, for the Chairperson.

EC’s Complicity
In the heat of the melee, Principal Public Relations Officer of the EC, Sylvia Annor, had to be called in and she indeed confirmed knowing them as executives of the GFP.

That notwithstanding, Madam Akua Donkor, who was standing close to them, denied knowing them and therefore asked that they should not be allowed inside.

Later, Christian Owusu-Parry was called to save the situation but he failed to do so since he said it was an internal party affair and preferred not to get himself involved.

This was what compelled the GFP executives to question why the EC officials allowed Akua Donkor to attend the forum with the two gentlemen when the invitation letter was sent to them.

In the end, Akua Donkor was made to make a presentation which was at variance with the earlier proposal sent to the EC by the national executives, who were supporting the call for a new voter register.

An obviously disappointed Communications Director of the GFP, Alex Ababio, could not help but blame the EC for what he said was an orchestrated plan to deny the party the opportunity to state its case.

‘We are saying that the Electoral Commission did not act professionally because they are supposed to be acting neutrally. The various letters they have written to us indicate that they are dealing with the national executives so why should they allow Akua Donkor and the two guys to attend the forum and deny us entry?’ he queried.

Flagbearership Race
The GFP leadership has admonished Akua Donkor to come and pick forms from the party’s leadership if she indeed wants to contest for the party’s presidential candidate position again for the 2016 elections.

‘Akua Donkor is an ex-flagbearer of the GFP. We rallied behind her to lead the party for the 2012 polls, but we are now approaching 2016 therefore she cannot be parading herself as our flagbearer,’ Charles Abankwa stated.

According to him, a person can refer to himself or herself as the flagbearer of a political party only when congress has endorsed him or her, noting, ‘but in our case, we are yet to go to congress so Akua Donkor cannot parade herself as our flagbearer.’

He said the party’s leadership is not happy about Akua Donkor’s action but all attempts to locate and order her to refrain from posing as the 2016 presidential candidate of the GFP have so far failed to yield any positive results.

Mr Abankwa said Akua Donkor had resorted to playing hide-and-seek with the GFP leadership since it proposed the idea of going to congress for the party’s 2016 flagbearer to be elected.

According to him, on some few occasions that they reached Akua Donkor on phone to discuss the party’s impending congress, she ‘without provocation started to hurl incessant insults on me.’

He said on Nhyira Fm that Akua Donkor, due to reasons best known to her, ‘had been dodging the idea of the party going to congress to elect the next flagbearer. But whether she likes it or not, we shall go to congress to elect our next flagbearer.’

Akua Donkor’s Response
Meanwhile, Akua Donkor, who sounded peeved, vehemently debunked the assertion that she is not the 2016 presidential candidate of the GFP, stating emphatically that as far as she is concerned, she is the GFP’s presidential candidate.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu & I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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