Defeated aspirant in the Assin North NPP parliamentary race, Eric Amankwa Blay, says the bicycles he gave to delegates in the lead up to the party’s primaries were winning bonuses.
Mr. Amankwah generated headlines when news went round that he ordered the recall of some 250 bicycles his team distributed to each of the polling stations in the constituency to aid vigorous campaign across the length and breadth of the constituency for his candidature.
“The thing is that the time that we were going round with my campaign team last year, in jotting points down we found out that in the electoral areas, during campaign, they have to walk from village to village so I and my team planned to give them bicycles so that it will be easy for them to campaign during the general elections. So we came back and then sat down with my financiers and at the end of the day they also agreed that we have to issue bicycles to all the delegates,” Mr. Amankwa explained to Starr News’ Regina Borley Bortey on the Campaign Trail on the Starr Midday News.
However there was a caveat, the bicycles were apparently not for free since it was tied to his winning to represent the NPP on the 2020 ticket in the Assin North constituency. He was emphatic that the delegates would only keep the bicycles if he won.
“And the condition was, if I win then you take the bicycles. As for the transportation and then a little bit of token it will be given to you. But if I win, then the bicycles will be yours. That was the condition. So it was a winning bonus, not a gift or a donation. But it was a winning bonus because you know that was if you are going to play a match and at the end of the day you lose you won’t pay losing bonus but a winning bonus and they also understood it,” he added.
According to the defeated aspirant, the delegates assured him of their votes, but on the day of voting, he lost. He garnered just 44 votes as against the incumbent MP Abena Duruwa Mensah who polled 389.
“After the distribution they (delegates) were happy but at the end of the day we lost the match so after losing the match then we had to go for our bicycles,” he defended.
Mr. Amankwa further disclosed that his team was going to meet on what to do with the bicycles indicating that there was a possibility of the team donating some to the party.
Responding to the order by the party’s General Secretary John Boadu for him to return the bicycles or be sacked from the party, Mr. Amankwa said he was yet to receive official communication from the party
“Right now officially nobody has called. There is no letter written to me. So if they call or I receive a letter of that nature….maybe he (John Boadu) also does not know that there was a condition. So the best thing that I have to do is if I receive any official letter or call, then I will respond to it and explain everything to them and I know by all means they will also get something to say about it and they will understand me too”.