Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Sammy Awuku
Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Sammy Awuku

The Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mary Addah, has bemoaned the growing instances of vote-buying in the Ghanaian political space.

Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story on Monday, November 6, she said it is about time attention is given to the monies spent to induce delegates in elections.

“… Have you thought of how GH₵400 could be given in multiples of over 200,000 people and if this is just for the party’s primaries, then, you can imagine the 18 million people. What would go into it? We should begin to pay attention and stop behaving like we live in places where there is money dropping from the sky,” she said.

Her comments follow some New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates confirming to JoyNews to have received money from some candidates in the just-ended presidential primary.

Mary Addah

The monies, according to the delegates, range from GH₵300 to GH₵400.

But the Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Sammi Awuku who also worked as campaign coordinator for Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s team sees nothing wrong with the provision of transport and other allowances for the delegates.

In an interview on JoyNews’ The Probe, he said the money was not raised from the Vice President, Dr Bawumia’s coffers, however, it was obtained from fundraisers.

This, he explained was because the aspirant’s nomination forms from the party stipulated that aspirants needed to be resourceful.

 “…. What we did was to assign and allocate to all these people. But we said that no matter what support you want to give, please do not go beyond a certain threshold because it cannot be victory procured on the altar of purchase,” he added.

Mr Awuku insisted that the GH₵400 given can in no way influence the delegates’ votes.

But Madam Addah, in response, condemned Mr Awuku’s comments describing it as “unfortunate.”

According to her, the party indicating that an aspirant ought to be resourceful does not mean that candidates should get money to distribute to delegates.

“They should admit that this is not right and let’s proceed on getting some solutions to these issues instead of trying to justify it. It is wrong today, it is wrong tomorrow and it will forever be wrong,” she said.

According to Madam Addah, the issue of vote-buying is the reason the cost of elections is rising, as it is corruption.

Meanwhile, the Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Haruna Mohammed says the party will probe the vote-buying claims.