With less than a week for members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to go to the polls to elect news national and regional executives, some allegations and counter allegations of vote buying have been popping up in the regions.
While some people view amounts of money given to paid-up members who gather to meet with aspiring candidates as mere transport fare, others see it as a vote-buying tool.
In the Western region, for instance, the Regional Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Zambaga Rufai Saminu, is accusing his Regional Chairman, Moses Dotse Aklorbortu, of being “unethical and despicable” in his conduct regarding the subject matter.
According to Mr. Rufai Saminu, it beats his imagination that after collecting his share of the transportation fare from Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, one of the aspirants for the position of the president, Mr. Aklorbortu would turn round to accuse the said aspirant of bribery and vote buying.
In his petition to the GJA Elections Committee, Mr. Rufai Saminu said all aspirants who visit the Western region give transport fares to delegates of the GJA who are in good standing, adding that “this was done through him, ‘Angel Moses’ Dotse Aklorbortu.”
“Therefore, his accusation that candidate Albert Kwabena Dwumfour gave money to buy the Journalists is not only sheer wickedness, but unfounded.
“He facilitated for other candidates to visit the region and when they met the delegates, even in my absence as Regional Secretary, he, ‘Angel Moses’ (petitioner) took charge of collecting and distributing transportation fares to delegates,” he stated.
Mr. Rufai Saminu therefore wondered why Mr. Aklorbortu would be circulating a petition in the media in which his name is explicitly mentioned in a manner that drags his reputation in the mud.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, I was selected to facilitate the meeting, but because he was not given that opportunity, he decided to attack the integrity of the candidate and myself,” Mr. Rufai Saminu further said in his petition.
“Even when I had the opportunity to give the transportation to all journalists, they did not call me to receive it, but he the petitioner, called me more than hundred times on the very day to receive his transportation fare,” he added.