Newly-elected Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay, has described as “very foolish”, claims that the timing for bringing in some 100 of 275 buses he promised the party, smacked of vote-buying, as far as the party’s recently held National Delegates’ Conference in Koforidua is concerned.
“It is amazing that people will suggest that”, he said, adding: “It’s very foolish for people to ask that”.
“It’s amazing that people will even suggest that and journalists will buy into that. Why now? If yesterday I didn’t do business, today I want to do business, ‘why am I now into business?’ It’s a very foolish question for people to ask that”.
According to him, he started arrangements to bring in the buses some eleven months ago – way before the internal polls held on Saturday, 7 July.
At the time, “I had not decided to contest yet”, he told Accra-based Joy FM’s Kojo Yankson in an interview.
Anti-graft body Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), the Minority in Parliament, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede, have all expressed reservations about buses, saying such moves monetise Ghanaian politics and engender corruption.
It’s ‘foolish’ to question timing of my bus purchases – Freddie Blay
Mr Blay, however, said critics like Togbe Afede do not know what they talking about. “Maybe he doesn’t know what he is talking about”, adding that: “…Before then, I arranged 200 motorbikes for the regions and two or three pick-ups for each region”.
The Minority wants Mr Blay to step aside as Board Chair of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for a forensic audit to be conducted.
It’s a lie, Amidu is not investigating me – Freddie Blay
Meanwhile, GNPC has issued a statement saying it played no role whatsoever in Mr Blay’s campaign.