"Prof. Is Chasing Us With Money"

As the campaign for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearership slot swings into full gear, the camp of the sitting President has been accused of adopting dirty tactics to weaken his opponent, ahead of the crucial July 8 Congress. A leading member of the Nana Konadu Campaign team has made revelations about how he and some of his colleagues were being chased with money to switch camp from the former first lady to join President Mills’ campaign. However, President Mills’ camp has described the allegation as completely unfounded. The camp of the President, according to information, was allegedly baiting some leading members of Konadu’s campaign with irresistible and mouth-watering financial incentives, as a move to get them to back down their support for the former first lady. Saint Osei, a leading member of the former first lady’s campaign team, disclosed on Kessben FM breakfast show, hosted by Omanhene Yaw Adu Boakye, that they had received financial offers from the presidency, most of them very tempting, but they had rejected all of them, because of their loyalty to the former first family. Even though Saint Osei was not ready to disclose the details of such approaches, which he said, were made by high personalities close to the sitting President, he was ready to spill the beans, should the camp of President Mills deny the allegations. According to him, the pressure had become unbearable for the President, as defeat was staring him in the face, hence, leading members of his campaign team were trying everything desperately to weaken his opponent. He indicated that once they had decided to support the presidential bid of the former first lady, to unseat what he described as the incompetent and inefficient administration of President Mills, there was no way they would rescind their decision. Saint Osei said they had been motivated by the kind of response they had received from delegates and some leading members of the party, who wish to remain anonymous, stressing that nothing would stand in the way of Mrs. Rawlings’ victory, come July 8, in Sunyani. The Nana Konadu’s campaign member has, meanwhile, revealed that the former first lady would kick-start serious campaigning next week, where she would visit all the 230 constituencies across the country. He stated that an advanced team, which was sent to do underground works across the length and breadth of the country, has concluded its work, and presented the findings to the former first lady. Saint Osei said the report indicates that Nana Konadu has a massive chance to win the NDC seat. Nana Konadu was in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, on Sunday, where she joined the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to commemorate activities marking his 61st Birthday. He, however, noted that the camp of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was seriously monitoring events, particularly, recent acerbic attacks by some leading government officials, and would soon react accordingly. Saint Osei indicated that Nana Konadu had not kept mute about it, adding that at the appropriate time, they would respond in similar fashion. On the mass declaration for the President by some close associates of ex-President Rawlings, Saint Osei stated that those officials were following President Mills, not because they like him, but because of what they would gain from him. Describing some of them as stomach politicians, Nana Konadu’s spokesperson said it would only be a matter of time before they desert President Mills. He mentioned personalities like Enoch Teye Mensah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Prampram and Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, who he said, had all joined President Mills because of what they would gain. According to him, before E.T Mensah was given the appointment as Employment Minister, he had consistently criticised President Mills. But, in a sharp rebuttal, a leading member of President Mills’ campaign team and Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has rubbished the claims by Saint Osei, describing them as unfounded. Speaking in a telephone interview with The Chronicle, the Deputy Minister stated that President Mills did not need to secure the support of people from his opponent’s camp to win the July congress.