Former Asokwa Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and an aspirant for the Ashanti Regional Chairmanship position Robert Asare-Bediako has boldly admitted taking money from party leaders to declare support for Wontumi in 2018 polls.
In an interview with the media in Kumasi, he said: “I was called by party leaders to step down for Wontumi at the time. They promised to pay all I’ve spent so accepted. I left for the USA to move on with my life after elections. Later I was invited by the party hierarchy, and they paid an amount as compensation. So yes if you ask me…I was paid, in fact all the debt incurred was paid in full. If for nothing at all I campaigned on the ticket of the party and that alone is a plus for them….”
According to Asare-Bediako, his decision to bow out of the race then was reached upon circumstances beyond his control so there was nothing he could do than to step aside for incumbent regional chairman, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, popularly know as Chairman Wontumi, to go solo.
NPP mounting pressure on contestants to step down?
It must be recalled that earlier this year, there was growing disquiet within the ranks and file of the ruling NPP in the Ashanti Region.
It followed what some described as “pressure from some party elders at the national level” on some contestants to step down in the just ended constituency and forthcoming regional chairmanship polls.
Robert Asare-Bediako on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 issued and signed a letter explaining his exit from the chairmanship race.
Portions of the letter read: “The “panin pa wo fie” campaign has the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at heart. But, upon sober reflection and introspection, and circumstances beyond my control, I, Robert Asare Bediako, gracefully suspend my campaign”.
Then on April 12, 2018, barely 3 days to the polls, he denied, on Accra-based Peace FM any machinations by party big guns in his decision to withdraw from the regional chairmanship race.
He claimed that he was not paid to step down as was earlier reported in the media, adding that the move was in the spirit of unity ahead of the 2020 elections.
However, many people after Asare Bediako’s interview and subsequent contradiction have argued that based on his confessions, he could step down again for Wontumi should he decide to pay him, and effectively end his ambition to be the Ashanti Regional chairman of the NPP.