Rudolph Sebuabe is one of the four people aspiring to be elected as Parliamentary Candidate to represent the NDC in the Kpone Katamanso Constituency, Greater Accra.
Though he has been busy on his campaign tour since he successfully passed the vetting process, betterghanadigest.com managed to get him for an exclusive interview.
Why Do Politics?
I’ve been in politics for all this while, I used to be the branch chairman of this Kpone Barrier Branch a.k.a Calypso Branch since 2000 until 2018, when I stood down to contest for the constituency chairmanship. And even though I Unfortunately lost, I should say that gave me the impetus to climb up again when this opportunity came. Most especially, when this our current Member of Parliament decided not to go again, it means the seat has become vacant and we have to compete for it. So I also offered myself to contest.
Which is the most pressing challenge that you have identified & how do you plan to address it?
Among the numerous challenges that our party faced in this constituency. I chose four as my vision, and this is what I am campaigning on.
The first and foremost is that since the inception of the party, we have dominated this constituency. Meaning this constituency is our stronghold. But we don’t have a party headquarters (office) at the constituency level. So my first vision is to ensure that we put up an office for the party in this constituency.
The second one is to provide transport because when you mobilize people and you want to send them to a gathering, you definitely need to move them in a vehicle from one point to the other. We need transport. I feel if we have some vehicles such as mini buses, it will lesson our cost and burden of hiring buses all the time.
The third one is to create jobs for our youth and women. This is a very critical thing that any leader should focus on. I believe that is going to make our party attractive. Because if our members and their dependents get jobs, it means that we have livelihood and we could have time to do our party work as well. So I intend to assist in training and giving vocational training to our youth and women and then after this training, we will assist in guarantying soft loans for them as startups.
How is the response so far?
As a matter of fact, the response has been excellent. To the extent that even my critics who were initially saying they are too lofty, we couldn’t raise the resources to implement them and so on are now claiming that they are also going to put up a party office, they are going to create jobs, they are going to provide a transport system and so on. I was so surprised and amazed that those who were initially attacking and criticizing have no bought into the idea.
My argument is that, since this is our stronghold, whoever becomes the next Parliamentary Candidate should see to it that all these things are put in place. That is going to make our party more attractive and visible.
How do you feel about the threats and attacks on your life and How has it affected your campaign?
To me, any threat of an attack is just to put fear in whoever is being threatened. That is basically the essence of these threats. If you have at the back of your mind that people are assailing you, to eliminate you, you will feel threatened because you are a human being. It will resist your movements automatically.
The moment I begun to experience these threats, quickly I beefed up security within wherever I live and move. I have spoken to some military experts and I have also made a formal complaint to the Police and investigations are ongoing.
Initially I was traumatized, I had to now reduce the number of team members I go out with so that as soon as we finish campaigning, if they are only two people, I can drop them off somewhere quickly and then I move away. Nobody knows where I am going and it’s not the best. In fact it has even affected my family. They don’t know where I sleep, they only see me the next morning. I think it’s not the best at all.
Who do you think are the people behind the threats?
Based on the first threat I encountered, the one who called me clearly stated that they have been assigned by one of the aspirants to eliminate me because they felt I will win and I will be blocking their chances so they were hired and given money to eliminate me. But upon trailing me for a while they realized I am a good person. However, because they have already taken part payment, I should refund the part payment which they claim to be GHC50, 000.00, so they can set me free.
Then again, they gave me time that I must cough out this money. The incidence happened on Monday night, and they gave me up to Friday. So by Friday they had called me about four times, even sent me text messages that I was not responding to their calls. One of the calls incidentally came when I was at the police station making the report so I put it on loud speaker for the police man to listen. In fact the police even encouraged me that it could be some fraudsters who were trying to fleece me. But then they are also doing their investigations and so I keep reporting.
However, I cannot suspect anybody under the circumstances, and I will not even attempt accusing anybody. But then the focus now is to get hold of the person that uses this number that has been used to threaten me.
Did they mention the name of the said aspirant?
No, they refused to mention the name. In fact that was the Friday. I should say it’s not one person. I listened to at least three voices. The first voice that called me had a Nigerian accent. The second voice had a Ghanaian English accent and the third voice was completely an ewe language, and he claimed that he was the driver of those thugs and that he was advising me to pay the money. But I was also very strong insisting that if it is because of the contest, then I will step down for them to leave me. But they also said they have already been assigned so if I should fail to pay, they will carry on with their threat.
What is your relationship with the other aspirants?
Very excellent. Even last Sunday the constituency organized a meeting with all aspirants for us to sign an agreement that if any one of us should win, the rest of us should lend our support, and we agreed.
I actually announced it at the meeting but the national organizer of the party, Mr. Joshua Akamba advised that since it was a security matter I should not continue in that direction. So I did indicate that at the gathering.
At the moment, the strategy is to always be around where there are people. As soon as we finish our campaign, I hurriedly drop off my people and then I also set off to an unknown location.
What makes you feel you are the best candidate to represent the NDC in the Constituency?
If you look at our constituency, we seem to have some deep seated problem that I believe that even national is aware, that is division. And this division is not going to go away. And the actors are of this division are still in this race and it’s like entrenching the division. So I believe that is their weakness they cannot see.
I am taking the advantage to said no let me be in the centre right to unify the constituency. So when I declared my intention to stand, my message was that we need a unifier. Because unity at this juncture should be a very big capital for the constituency if we should retain the seat. That is my primary goal. So I set of with the unity mantra.
How do you intend to deal with the division?
I think that is an art any politician who is championing unity must be conversant with. First I intend to reach out to those who have lost and then get them to meet with my team in a closed door meeting to discuss issues about reconciliation. After we will set out a date and invite the leadership of the party at the national level to come and meet with us in order to strengthen the process of reconciliation. So that for once we will be united for victory in 2020.
What is your take on the Free SHS policy?
I think the policy must be scrapped, that is my personal view. It needs to be scraped because it is not productive. And the cost involved is so huge that that cost should rather be channeled into other developmental issues. This is completely ad-hoc.
Already the constitution guarantees progressively free education at that level. Let’s revert back to what the constitution has stated, of which the NDC was actually adhering to by providing the necessary infrastructure and facilities that are required to fully implement the policy. The NDC targeted some number of areas and begun with the construction of E-Blocks. I will recommend that we should add boarding facilities to the schools we were building.
We have seen the defects and even the cost that it has brought to parents by way of double track vacation classes. Parents are now spending more on secondary education of their children than they used to. When the children come from the double track, you will need to engage a private teacher to be teaching them and you pay. Apart from the double track, we have issues of overcrowding, which has led to the loss of lives; and those lives are potential talents that have been lost. The whole thing is a hoax. It does not make sense. I believe those who developed the constitution foresaw the challenges that we would encounter should we attempt it the way we are doing it now.
What is your message to the delegates?
My message to the NDC delegates is that they should vote for somebody who will work in their interest and in the interest of our party to retain the seat. And that is me, Rudolph Sebuabe (The Unifier), number four on the ballot paper. Thank you.