Seasoned journalist, Kweku Baako has rebuffed arguments by opposition parties which seek to suggest that vote buying is an idiosyncratic practice prominent in only the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The NPP ended its primaries on Saturday, June 20, 2020 to elect Parliamentary candidates for the party in about 168 constituencies across the nation.
However, prior to the primaries, there were reports of some aspirants inducing the party delegates with money and various items in order to win their votes.
The largest opposition party, the NDC, waded in describing the level of vote-buying and opulence that were on display at the NPP’s primaries as “alarming” and “unprecedented”.
At its Weekly Press Briefing on Monday, 22 June 2020, the biggest opposition party’s National Communication Officer, Mr. Sammy Gyamfi, said: “The alarming level of vote-buying and opulence we saw in the NPP this time around is unprecedented”.
“We have never seen this level of ostentation in our body politics before and that should give every democracy-loving Ghanaian, genuine cause of concern”, he noted.
Contributing to Wednesday’s ”Kokrokoo” on Peace FM, Kweku Baako called out the hypocrisy of opposition parties creating an impression that this culture of moneycracy in Ghana’s politics is peculiar to the NPP and argued that all political parties tend to induce their delegates and electorates at large with money and items to win votes.
Pulling out a list of documents to support his claims, Mr. Baako stated emphatically that money in politics has characterized all administrations since the regime of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah till date and believed it can only be solved when comprehensive discussions are held to address it.
”There is no Republic administration in this country which has been free of this subculture. None! From first, under the great Osagyefo himself to today…and it is not good at all. Let’s be honest…We have to get the courage to admit that this thing is a negative phenomenon. It’s been with us for a long time and if we don’t check it, it could create problems for everybody”, he stated.
He therefore asked political parties to stop playing politics with the issue.
”You’re just perpetrating hyprocrisy. You’re seeking to make hypocrisy a virtue rather than a vice…If you want to play politics with it, go ahead and do politics with it. But the truth is that this problem will come back each time,” he stated.
Kweku Baako sees this moneycracy as a deep-seated problem.
”We cannot tackle what happens only at party primaries and solve this challenge. That’s my argument. If we want to deal with this challenge, let’s be very comprehensive and sincere, and honest about the phenomenon. Its roots and its dynamics and I’m saying if that is so, all the political parties, we all have questions to answer.
”There hasn’t been that determined focused commitment to dealing with this thing because, in actual fact, we’re all guilty and the truth is that we’re all beneficiaries of this corruption of the political process; the seeds of which were sown way back…Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s do self-retrospection. That’s why I said we’re all guilty of such subculture. And I do not want to hear some people standing out there and shouting unprecedented expenditure.”