Despite the seeming national disaffection against the John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s handling of the economy, one region that the President and his party can count on in the 2016 elections whether rain or shine is the Volta Region.
However, information available to The Al-Hajj suggest that if urgent steps are not taken to appease and sooth the people of the Volta Region, especially in this on-going ministerial reshuffle, then that feeling of electoral optimism could fade by December 2016 when Ghanaians head for the polls.
The NDC’s World Bank as the region is popularly referred to, is crumbling, especially the southern sector, and some parts of the region for what many described as a seeming neglect by President Mahama in his appointment of ministers and other executive positions.
Scores of citizens of the region of varied background who spoke to this paper pointed out that as the region with the largest votes for the ruling party, only two of their people have been appointed by the President as ministers in even less fancied ministries while the Eastern Region, which is a minority region and also offers less than 50 per cent of votes in the region to the NDC, could boast of five key ministerial positions.
The Volta region currently has only Mrs. Dzifa Aku Ativor, Minister of Transport and Mr. Kofi Humado, Minister of Agric (who are rumoured to be on their way out) as substantive ministers while the Eastern region could boast of the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper; the Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah; the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong; the Local Government Minister, Julius Debrah and the Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Mrs. Nana Oye Lithur.
This, the Volta elites and their Chiefs think is an insult to them and a betrayal of their loyalty to the party and government, since the inception of the 1992 Republican Constitution.
“Why do they continue to disrespect us and take our patience and loyalty for granted? They must know that we are humans and so there is an extent to which they can stretch us beyond which they themselves will regret. So we are watching and looking at them,” one influential member of the NDC from the Volta Region told this paper on condition of anonymity.
A political strategist familiar with the Ghanaian electoral system told The Al-Hajj that the NDC government will be losing the 2016 elections if there is even some slight apathy in the Volta Region given the margin of victory in the last two elections in this country.
Sources in the region told this paper that the Southerners such as those in Keta, Ho, Ketu and the surrounding areas feel neglected in this Mahama government. Ironically these are the areas the NDC bags most of its votes than any area in the country, irrespective of the presidential candidate the party fields in elections.
The northern part of the region are also less enthused with what they called government’s neglect, arguing that the choice of the Chief of Staff has done nothing to cover the vacuum that has been created by President Mahama’s style of appointment. The Chief of Staff stashed most of the appointments to the central areas of the region such as Hohoe, Kpando and surrounding areas, leaving out the Kokomba-dominated zones around Nkwanta, and Kadjebi areas.
A leading member of the NDC from the Volta region disclosed to this paper that the NPP is building a strong base in the Nkwanta areas because of the neglect of the NDC government.
“If things remain like this for the rest of the President’s tenure then expect an overwhelming victory for the NPP in the Northern Volta, the source predicted.