Wontumi bought votes to win – Ben Ephson

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Pollster Ben Ephson has accused the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly called Chairman Wontumi, of ‘bribing’ delegates to re-elect him as chairman.

Mr Ephson earlier predicted a loss for Chairman Wontumi prior to the elections which occurred between Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29.

Contrary to the Pollster’s predictions, Chairman Wontumi polled 464 votes to defeat his closest contender Odeneho Kwaku Owusu who garnered 306 votes.

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But Mr. Ephson reacting to the Chairman’s victory declared that “we think that the distribution of money carried the day. I don’t think that the delegates, without inducements, would have voted for a Chairman under whose watch the NPP’s percentage of votes in the Ashanti moved from 76 per cent in 2016 to 71.6 per cent in 2020.”

“…somebody who thinks he has the hundreds of thousands, he rented an office for the regional NPP, he defaulted in payment of rent and the party’s properties are thrown out. But for inducement, who would have retained such a national Chairman?” he said in interview on 3FM.

An aspirant of the Ashanti Regional Chairmanship position, Robert Asare Bediako also alleged that he lost the election due to vote-buying.

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whiles I was paying each delegate GH¢1,000, I thought I would win but some paid more than me so the delegates also gave in to the highest bidder and it’s very worrying the trend of monetization in our body politics”.

Pollster Ben Ephson also disclosed that ‘breaking the eight’ with Chairman Wontumi would be an illusion if Wontumi continues to ran the NPP’s stronghold, Ashanti Region, like he did from 2016 to 2020. In his view, the party must work twice as hard to win in 2024.

Addressing members of the party after emerging winner, Chairman Wontumi in his victory speech said that “our campaign of breaking the 8 has started from Baba Yara Stadium, NDC cannot stop us.”

“[NDC] can lie, [NDC] can spread fake news but winning the 2024 elections is a movement.”

Meanwhile, some disgruntled NPP serial callers in the Ashanti Region, led by spokesperson Abilele have also asked Chairman Wontumi to change his attitude and leadership style to enable the party win in 2024.

“He should change his attitude because if he doesn’t change his attitude then I don’t believe the breaking the 8, we are going to break that 8”, said Abilele.

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