The Ahotor project secretariat has taken notice of a statement from general secretary of the NDC Aseidu Nketiah about Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and his flagship AHOTOR constituency business project initiative for the NDC grassroots.
We at the AHOTOR project secretariat would like to state for the public record, and in categorical terms, that at no point in time did Dr. Kwabena Duffuor intend for his special initiative created specifically for the benefit of the grassroots of the NDC to become a donation to the party headquarters. This is the main reason why Dr. Duffuor initially went directly to gift the equipment for the Ahotor project directly to the Ashaiman constituency executives.
The idea of DONATION was originated by the party national executives who felt after the Ashaiman launch that the project ought to pass through their hands. Notwithstanding, Dr. Duffuor in respect of his vision for the party initially opted to collaborate at the national level for a smooth implementation of the Ahotor business project. However, it soon became apparent that the national executives were not prepared to collaborate as long as the project is going directly to benefit the party grassroots. The AHOTOR NGO secretariat therefore want to set the records straight through the following facts:
· After first launch of the project in Ashaiman, the Party National Executives requested a meeting with Dr. Duffuor which he gladly obliged and attended
· National Executives proposed the drafting of an agreement document. Their reason was to ensure that outgoing constituency executives do not take away equipment after losing elections. This according to them, was based on previous experience
· Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and his team agreed and drafted an initial agreement and submitted same to the national executives at a meeting at the party headquarters in Accra
· National executives asked their Lawyers including Alex Segbefia and Sammy Gyamfi to work on the submitted draft
· The National Executives returned with a completely different draft agreement suggesting to completely take over the AHOTOR Business Project initiative from the initiator with the vision, who they begun to now refer to as a DONOR
· Since Dr. Kwabena Duffuor meant the project to directly benefit and strengthen the grassroots especially and wanted to see to its successful implementation, the AHOTO secretariat moved away from the TAKE OVER proposal from the national executives. The secretariat maintained that Dr. Kwabena Duffuor had a specific vision where the AHOTO Business Proposal will be a special project especially for the grassroots and the project must be guided by its initiators to realize its business objective for the party benefit.
· The AHOTOR secretariat proposed the following management structure for grassroots ownership 1. That the equipment provided under this initiative will be the sole property of the AHOTOR NGO. However, a five member project management committee will be given custody of the leased equipment to operate events hiring services. Proceeds from the enterprise will inure to the benefit of the grassroots by a proceeds sharing formula captured in the memorandum of understanding between the AHOTOR secretariat and the respective NDC party management team working with the AHOTOR Project at constituency level. The National Executives did not respond to the proposal leading to an impasse and public perception that some elements within the National Executives were working to sabotage the AHOTOR constituency business project initiative. Public feedback from the delay started to fuel the erroneous perception that the whole AHOTOR Project initiative was a hoax, while expectations were building up at the grassroots.
· Following these public perceptions, the General Secretary issued a statement dismissing such claims of ‘’sabotage’’ on 9 June 2022 whiles assuring that the party was happy with the project
· On June 17 2022, the administrator of the party followed up to invite the AHOTOR secretariat team to the party headquarters for a meeting to plan the official launch of the project. It was stated in the letter of invitation that ‘’the Ahotor project will hand over the AHOTOR Project equipment to the Klottey Korle constituency after the official launch’’
· During the launch at the party headquarters on June 23 2022, Dr. Duffuor introduced the AHOTOR project manager to the National Party Executives and the public and asked anyone interested in the project to contact the Project Manager on all issues concerning the project
· The following week after the national launch, the FEC invited the AHOTOR Project team to the party headquarters for a meeting to sign an amended agreement. This agreement was presented by the FEC where there was to be a 7 member management committee with 3 members from the party and 4 members from the AHOTOR team. The AHOTOR team saw that as a workable proposal for both the party and the AHOTOR project for smooth implementation
· However, on Monday June 27 2022 the Ahotor team was re-invited to a FEC meeting where two members of the AHOTOR project management represented the AHOTO team. In attendance at the meeting were Asiedu Nketia, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Opare Addo, Barbra Asamoah, Daniel Martey, Ruth Dela Seddoh and others represented the Functional Executive committee of the party.
· During that meeting, the FEC turned around to tell the AHOTOR team that the previous 7-member implementation team agreement was a mistake and there had to be a new agreement which was not ready on that day
· They also demanded to visit the AHOTOR Project warehouse to inspect the equipment to ensure it satisfied the 275 constituencies, after which they will take custody of the warehouse keys from the AHOTOR Project team before there can be any further agreement.
· The general secretary also demanded that once they are satisfied with full complements of the AHOTOR equipment, the AHOTOR team will be required to pay for the cost of distributing the items. This was their verbal feedback message to Dr. Kwabena Duffuor
· At this stage, the FEC made it clear that the party under their leadership were limited in their capacity to distribute the AHOTOR project equipment on their own.
· We then monitored and observed after the national launch and handing over of equipment to Klottey Korle constituency, that the equipment were left at the MP’s residence because there were disagreements among executives as to who will handle the equipment. The chairman and the treasurer could not agree on who to take custody of Ahotor equipment. This created a stalling of the project in that constituency.
· On August 9th 2020, the AHOTOR team officially wrote to the FEC about our concerns from the pilot in Osu Klottey Korle and our decision to adopt a new business and management approach through a private NGO
· In all our communication with the party, we have shown respect and decorum for party structures
· The party National Executives however, had not responded until yesterday August 28 2022 when they reacted to the distribution of AHOTOR Project equipment to three constituencies in the Ashanti region.
Further Clarification On Dr. Kwabena Duffuor’s AHOTOR NGO Initiative
It is important for the benefit of the general public and the grassroots of the party to note the following emanating from the general secretary’s statement aired on TV3 on August 28 2022:
· The General Secretary talks about our approach not working in the interest of the party: AHOTOR is a grassroots NGO which operates by working directly to empower the grassroots by making sure they receive their logistics directly. This initiative is in the best interest of the party. Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has committed to ensuring the distribution of the equipment to every single constituency without any further costly delay as the procured items are currently been stored in rented warehouses at escalating cost. Any further delay cannot be in the grassroots interest. We are committed to empowering the grassroots through the AHOTOR project initiative so that all the 275 constituencies are empowered towards 2024.
· The general secretary also claims that the AHOTOR team has gone behind our agreement with the party executives. As indicated by the chronology of events cited above there has been no agreement with the party headquarters. However, as a grassroots NGO we have gone ahead to put in place an appropriate management agreement between the NGO and the party leadership at the constituency level.
· The general secretary also claims that the Party feels betrayed: The AHOTOR Project initiative is absolutely committed to empowering the NDC grassroots and ensuring that they receive the firdt phase logistics for their financial empowerment at the grassroots level and we are ready and willing and able to work with anybody who is also willing to put the grassroots first as demonstrated in all our engagement with the party.
· Finally, Asiedu Nketiah was quoted as saying ‘’If you want to donate to the NDC, after donating you do not have a hand in how the donation is used’’ – On the contrary, the AHOTOR project initiative by Dr. Kwabena Duffuor is not the usual ‘’traditional donation’’. Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has given the grassroots of the party an opportunity to initiate an innovative business enterprise with resources, a management structure, a system for accountability and financial independence. Dr. Kwabena DUFFUOR’s AHOTOR INNITIATIVE GIVES POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE!!!
Source: Yaw Barima, NDC Grassroots
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