Acting National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Freddie Blay, appears to back away from his fanciful promise of buying 275 buses for the party members in each constituency, if elected as chairman of the party in the impending national delegates’ congress.
Media reports last week suggested the legal practitioner had promised party delegates that he would personally procure buses for the party at each of the 275 constituencies in the country.
“I am supplying buses to all the constituency branches of the NPP. Each constituency will receive a bus from me personally for commercial purposes just to raise money for party activities,” he is quoted as saying on Asempa FM.
Mr Blay’s campaign pledge attracted a storm of criticism from a section of the public and civil society groups, including the Ghana Integrity Initiative who urged the Economic and Organized Crime, EOCO, to investigate Mr Blay as his promise amounted to “political corruption”.
But in an interview with TV3 on Thursday, Mr. Blay denied stating that he would personally finance the buses.
“I have not said that I, Freddie Blay, will buy vehicles for the constituencies. I’m saying that I want to help empower the party at the constituency level.
“Some of the challenges critically are how to finance the party, how to make sure that each constituency will have a few motor bicycles or one or two pickups to campaign with, to get in touch with the grassroots,” he added.
Mr. Blay said the party should find a way of financing the buses, indicating that they would seek a bank facility among others to fund it.
“The party can explore ways and means to do this and therefore will not have to depend on Freddie Blay to provide such resources from my own pocket. We’re going to find a facility, and some financial institutions, depending on the proposal we give them. It could make it possible for us to acquire the buses so we run them commercially,” he explained.
Asked how much it will cost the party to procure the buses, he responded, “I wouldn’t tell you now. I’m saying that we are working around the facility; we’re even negotiating on it to arrive at how much it will cost in entirety”.