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NPP GUNS FOR FOUR NDC SEATS

Politics

In the fast-approaching run-up to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, behind-the-scenes research on the chances of the two leading political parties has shown that, as of March ending this year, four seats seem to be slipping from the grasp of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

In the fast-approaching run-up to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, behind-the-scenes research on the chances of the two leading political parties has shown that, as of March ending this year, four seats seem to be slipping from the grasp of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

The seats include Shai-Osudoku and Kpone Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region. Another is the prized Tamale Central in the Northern Region.

Swinging

The last seat, Chiana-Paga, which is on the border with Burkina Faso, may also be slipping into the hands of the governing New Patriotic Party on account of the strength of the opposition there, independent sources in the regions have told the Daily Statesman.

Paga is expanding, attracting middle-class folk, most of whom vote for development, just as those in Navrongo and Chiana.

Our checks further revealed that factors which account for the likely change include the change phenomenon, on the back of which the NPP rose to power; attitudes of incumbent MPs; and development and incumbency.

“Ailing Lion”

The MP for Kpone Katamanso, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, is a member of a royal family and had youthfulness and vibrancy on his side. All of this, combined with the force of incumbency, has served to keep him in the indigenous seat since 2005.

Now, however, he is likely to lose the seat if, like William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, he fails to warm up constituents.

First, “the Lion” is spent in the community where reverence for his father, a late chief of Katamanso, helped his cause. Second, the old cultural and deeply traditional colours of his constituency are fading away as the area rapidly becomes another mixed, middle-class suburb.

Indeed, scouts told us that what in 2016 befell Adenta, which was perennially in NDC hands, may be happening to the Lion despite his clout.

“Passenger”

Constituents already consider The Lion to be “a virtual passenger” in Parliament.

There are also claims among the crowds of indigenous boys who have supported him since 2005 that the Lion is choosing to abandon them at a time when they need him badly to give them the resources to fight to retain the seat for the NDC.

Then there are whispers that he has got himself mired in too many land litigation cases – some of them involving his own NDC apparatchiks.

All this is hurting his credibility as a political force for 2020.

Shai-Osudoku

The NPP has never won this seat. The closest it came was when it won the Asutsuare township because of lingering anger against the NDC for raping the Asutsuare factory, which was the main source of employment to the Asutsuare and Osudoku communities.

The indigenous youth have since been fighting the NDC, sometimes in physical skirmishes.

An adjoining community, Volivo, which is inhabited primarily by many settler farmers, has been the main source of help for the NDC in nearly all elections. Settler communities have historically been NDC strongholds.

Unfortunately, new settlements and indigenous businesses are developing around Asutsuare and Dodowa, which has the potential to weaken the NDC’s grip on the constituency. Checks with the Dangme East District Assembly show that development projects slated for the constituency will soon have a numbing effect on the NDC’s grasp of the seat.

Tamale Central

The 2016 parliamentary election in Tamale Central was highly controversial. Indeed, independent sources said that had the results been contested by the NPP, the NDC “would have messed on themselves”.

That is why the retreating MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, may be excused for straying into Nima to try his luck. Dagbon youth, middle-class businesspeople and students in second and tertiary institutions, Daily Statesman checks revealed, are baying for the NDC’s blood.

The NPP still has its 2016 parliamentary candidate, Ibrahim Anyars Imoro, pencilled in to snatch the seat and prove a point.

Chiana-Paga

In Chiana-Paga, the seat slipped from the hands of the NPP because of a misunderstanding among aspirants.

A primary is expected to resolve that, with a female candidate likely to get the nod for reasons of gender sensitivities.

Like the youth associations in Tamale Central, the booming youthful population in Chiana-Paga, including students in second-cycle and tertiary institutions, rooted for the NPP in the last elections.