Politics of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Although the ruling National Democratic Congress is yet to announce date for its penultimate internal elections to elect parliamentary candidates for the 2016 elections, The aL-hAJJ can confidently report that there is a tall list of incumbent and experienced Members of Parliament and even first timers, whose legislative dream will come to an end after the party’s impending primaries.
Despite spirited defense being put up by some of the MPs who were mentioned in the June 18, 2015 edition of The aL-hAJJ as likely to exit parliament after the party’s primaries, there is overwhelming evidence on the ground, from constituency executives to party foot soldiers and the constituents in general, on how some of these legislators will be ditched at their respective constituency primaries.
At best, what is threatening to hit the current legislative front of the NDC could be described as tsunami, particularly if one considers how some constituencies are bent on carrying out their threats to supplant their MPs, most of who are veterans in the august House of parliament.
Greater Accra Headlines Casualty
In the Greater Accra region for instance, as many as 11, out of the 19 incumbent MPs of the NDC, are at risk and could be making way for new entrants at the yet-to-be announced parliamentary primaries of the ruling party.
Aside the MP for Ablekuma South, Fritz Frederic Baffour; Ablekuma Central, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie and Krowor, Dr Oakley Quaye-Kumah who are reported considering not to seek re-election, eight other sitting NDC MPs in the region who are currently scheming to get another nod have an uphill task persuading delegates and could be shown the exit.
Headlining the list of MPs from the capital region whose defeat will shock many at the primaries are MP for Abokobi-Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho; Klottey Korle, Nii Armah Ashietey and Ningo Prampram, Enoch Teye Mensah.
The rest are MP for Domeabra-Obom, Daoud Anum Yemoh; Ledzokuku, Benita Sene Okity-Duah; North Ayawaso, Dr Mustapha Ahmed; Ashaiman, Alfred Agbeshi and Adentan, Emmanuel Nii Ashie-Moore.
In the Adentan constituency, although Emmanuel Nii Ashie-Moore is in a comfortable position to retain the seat for the ruling party, reports are that he has herculean task to get another opportunity to represent the party as he is expected to face strong challenge from a youthful looking son of PNC chairman, Adamu Ramadan and the former MCE for Adentan, Kakra Vanlare.
Tricky Situation At Madina
The NDC’s control of the Madina constituency is being threatened ahead of the 2016 elections following the election of a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the Kufuor administration, Alhaji Boniface Abubarkar Sadiq as NPP’s parliamentary candidate.
Reports indicate that some youth members of the NDC have pitched camp with the newly elected NPP parliamentary candidate, with others also threatening to vote en-bloc for him if Alhaji Amadu Sorogho is retained by NDC as its parliamentary candidate for 2016.
Boisterous Amadu Sorogho is expected to face stiff challenge from seven candidates who are bent on unseating him. Among the seven include a renowned Human Rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, who reports show to be in pole position to win back members of the NDC who have and/or are contemplating to jump ship to the camp of the NPP candidate, and possibly retain the seat for the ruling party.
However, some party elders of the NDC in the Madina constituency, told The aL-hAJJ on condition of anonymity that, “in spite of everything, we fear Amadu Sorogho may win the primaries again because the number of people contesting him are too large and they may split votes for him (Sorogho) to sail through. Lawyer Francis Sosu is the popular one amongst them and he can beat Sorogho and retain the seat for us if it’s a straight fight between him and Sorogho.”
Supporters of the NDC say the party could lose the seat for the first time if Alhaji Amadu Sorogho is allowed another opportunity to represent the party in 2016.
In the Ashaiman constituency, the MP whos doubles as deputy Majority leader, Alfred Agbeshi, stirred the hornet’s nest over the weekend when he announced his intension to stake another claim to the seat after pledging not to seek reelection ahead of last year elections.
The veteran MP explained that his earlier decision was informed by his resolve to bow out with the late President after his second term, but following his tragic death and the emergence of President Mahama, it would be proper that he teams up with likeminded NDC MPs in the august House to shepherd President Mahama to stardom, and retire with him in 2021.
But his constituents are said to be at variance with his explanation and have threatened to show him the exit with the power of their thumbs.
In the case of the other NDC MPs from the Greater Accra, they are largely facing internal insurrection from party folks and constituency executives because of accusations of neglect and non-performance.
New Faces For NDC World Bank
In the NDC’s World Bank, the Volta region, reports are that MP for Agotime-Ziope, Juliana Azuma Mensah; Central Tongu, Joe Gidisu; South Dayi, Edem Asimah; Afadzato South, Joseph Amenowode; Krachi East, Wisdom Gidisu; Biakoye, Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua; Nkwanta South, Gershon Gbediame and Anlo, Clement Kofi Humado could face the shock of their lives as desperate moves to have them supplanted by new candidates is now in full gear.
In the Ketu South constituency, Minister of Agriculture, Franklin Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, who was very popular at the last party primaries, is expected to face stiff battle from some formidable candidates including the man he dethroned ahead of the 2012 elections, Albert Ziga.
However, it is still unclear if Fiifi Kwetey could be ditched at the party’s primaries as being planned considering the privilege position he currently holds in government.
The Three Northern Regions
In the three Northern regions, NDC MPs whose seat could be taken over by new faces include MP for Savelugu, Hajia Salifi Boforo; Damango, Mutawakilu Adam; Sagnarigu, Alhaji A B A Fuseini; Salaga South, Ibrahim Dei Abubakari; Bole-Bamboi, Joseph Akati Saaka; Chiana-Paga, Abuga Pele and Bolgatanga Central, Opam-Brown Emmanuel Akolbire.
The rest are Navrongo Central; Mark Owen Wayongo who is rumored to likely step down, Binduri, Noah Ben Azure; Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, Mathias Asoma Puozaa; Wa East, Ameen Salifu and Yapei Kusawgu, Alhaji Amadu Seidu who is reported considering to hang his political gloves.
In the Navrongo constituency, the Defense Minister, Mark Wayongo, is said to have told constituency executives his unwillingness to seek re-election, however, following the election of Kofi Ada as NPP’s parliamentary candidate, the constituents are prevailing on him to rescind his decision.
They fear the NDC could lose the seat to NPP’s Kofi Ada should Mark Wayongo carry through his decision to abdicate the seat.
President Mahama’s Backyard
In the Bole-Bamboi constituency where President John Dramani Mahama was MP for 12 years, the current MP, Joseph Akati Saaka, according to sources, is a “pale shadow” of the President, and as such there is a groundswell for his replacement.
According to the constituents, following President Mahama’s sterling performance as legislator for the area, which also propelled him to serve in several portfolios until his nomination as vice president and subsequently as president, the Bole-Bamboi constituency needed someone to fit squarely into the shoes of the President.
Already, the constituency executives are said to have settled on an accomplished academician, Prof Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, to take over from Joseph Akati Saaka.
A B A Fuseini Vrs Azorka
The case in the Sagnarigu constituency could best be described as turf war between the incumbent MP, Alhaji A B A Fuseini, who doubles as deputy Northern regional Minister and Chief Sofo Azorka, the NDC’s Northern regional Chairman.
Reports are that following Alhaji A B A Fuseini’s alleged campaign against Chief Sofo Azorka’s second term bid as regional Chairman, the former has vowed to pay him back by sponsoring the current Northern regional youth organizer, Mohammed Amidu Adam aka Abio, to replace him.
The regional Youth Organizer and the regional Chairman have since dispatched surrogates to be projecting the latter, especially on social media to garner enough support needed to wallop the astute journalist.
Western/Central Not Left Out
In the two Akan regions, which the NDC has controlled in the last two elections, 10 sitting NDC MPs out of the 37 in parliament face possible eviction from the law making house after the party’s primaries.
Members of Parliament for Gomoa West, Francis Kojo Arthur; Agona West, Lawyer Charles Obeng Inkoom; Ekumfi, Abeiku Crentsil; Gomoa Central, Rachel Appoh; Amenfi Central, George Kofi Arthur; Evalue Gwira, Kweku Tanikye Kessie; Shama, Gabriel Kodwo Essilfie and Sefwi Wiawso, Paul Evans Aidoo, according to reports reaching the aL-hAJJ, all have one of their foot outside the walls of parliament.
Legislators for Cape Coast North, Ebo Barton Oduro and Mfantsiman West, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah will not seek reelection and therefore will not be in the next parliament.
While the MPs for Gomoa Central and Ekumfi were said to be gradually dousing the raging tension in their respective constituencies for their replacement, their case was worsened by recent unguarded and unconstitutional pronouncement by the party’s Central regional Chairman, Bernard Allotey Jacobs that he will protect all first time MPs from from being challenged.
In the Ekumfi constituency for instance, delegates who were considering giving Abeiku Crentsil another chance to represent the party were reported to have flared up after hearing Allotey Jacobs’ fatwa and have vowed to teach him a lesson by voting against his preferred candidate.
In the Shama constituency, Gabriel Essilfie, although popular among the constituents, could fall out if the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection decides to add flavor to her political ambition by opting to contest the seat on the ticket of NDC.
However, if Nana Oye Lithur decides to shelve her dream, the Shama MP is safe to get another term in office.
Eastern and Brong Ahafo
The casualty in the Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions will not be that much as only 4 out of the 23 NDC MPs face possible exit. They include MP for Kimtampo North, Stephen Kunsu; Sene, Dominic Nepare; Yilo Krobo, Magnus Kofi Amoatey and Afram Plains North, Emmanuel Aboagye Didieye.
In the Yilo Krobo constituency, reports are that the incumbent MP, Magnus Kofi Amoatey is likely to bow out on grounds of old age.
In the Ashanti region, however, the three NDC MPs there are said to be enjoying maximum support from party supporters and are in comfortable position to retain their seats.