Activities of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the Upper West Region have virtually come to a halt.
The two parties are not putting up any show at all to win an election to enhance democracy in the country.
The PNC Regional Office in Kabanye Electoral Area (a suburb of Wa), which has its name and emblem painted on a rented premises, is now being used as a laundry. They have no furniture, logistics nor any gadget.
The party lost its Sissala-East Constituency seat to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the 2012 general election.
When the Daily Graphic went to find out what the party was doing to regain its lost seat, Mr Mohammed A. Moomen, its Regional Organiser, said the PNC was cash-strapped and could not afford to continue paying rent for the office.
“The headquarters of the party has left all activities at the polling station and constituency levels to our fate. No activity is being pursued at the grass-roots level from the headquarters. They are not telling us anything in terms of how we can build a formidable force at the grass roots,” Mr Moomen said.
“As of now, we have to plan for our elections at the grass-roots level and for the constituency executives to pave the way for the regional executive election later this year but nothing is being heard from the national executives,” he said.
He said any correspondence, especially from the Electoral Commission (EC) to them, was sent to the laundry where it was given to Mr Mumuni Osman, the laundryman, who doubles as the caretaker, and he collected and attended to it.
He was hopeful that something would be done soon to assist them launch a vigorous campaign to retrieve the lost seat and even win others. The PNC placed fourth in the current parliamentary elections in the region.
The CPP on the other hand has no regional office. They only collect their correspondence from the PNC caretaker.
During a random sampling by the Daily Graphic reporter to solicit the views of the citizens in the town, it was realised that although some of the people had heard of the party during the previous elections, they did not know where its regional office was located, or even party executives. At the constituency level, the story is the same.
According to the Upper West Regional Organiser of the PNC, Mr Mohammed Moomen, the party is formerly located in the Wakpaani Electoral Area, but as of now, the office has been taken over by the landlord.
An official of the Electoral Commission, Mr Ali Osman, said all correspondences between the office and the CPP were deposited at the PNC office for their attention. They are collected by the same caretaker who doubles as a laundryman there.
Mr Abubakari Iddris, a teacher at Kabale Junior High School, said he was unaware of the party’s activities. He said the CPP had no office in the town. “During the last general election, you could only hear of them occasionally moving in the town, and you see a vehicle moving about campaigning and that’s all. No serious business,” he said.
For his part, a tutor at the Integrated Communities Centres for Employable Skills (ICCES), Mr Elias Zumakpeh, said he wished to see the party being effective in the constituencies in order to become an alternative political party that could win an election in the region.
He urged the “party members not to think that they cannot win elections. They must be seen to be participating in order to become a force to reckon with.”
A journalist in Wa, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, criticised the functions of the CPP in the region as a drain on the economy, which hinders development, and also described it as “shameful and an abuse of democracy.”
The only political parties busily moving around in the region are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic People (NPP) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP). The NDC, which has the monopoly of all the seats in the region, hopes to retain all the 11 constituencies in their grips. But the PPP has declared an outright vow to win three of the seats in the region, come the next election.
The Upper West Regional Chairman of PPP, Mr James Sohimwinye, said judging from various defections from other political parties into their fold, they were hopeful to win at least three seats in the next election. The NPP will also not be left out of the race since it is determined not only to win some seats, but also to dislodge the NDC from the Flagstaff House and power.