Politics of Monday, 21 December 2015
Incumbent Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has won the party’s primaries convincingly to lead the constituency in the 2016 election.
Although initial reports had suggested that the voting which took place on Sunday witnessed a low voter turnout, the incumbent MP managed to poll 9,855 representing 84.45% of the total votes cast.
Mr. Charles Hodogbe, a two-term former Member of Parliament who made a return, polled a meager 849 votes representing 7.82% of the vote while the third contender, Bennert Appleh, a businessman, managed 778 of the votes representing 6.67%.
There were 187 rejected votes representing 1.6%. The total votes cast stood at 11, 482. The constituency has a registered voter population of 17,070 who cast their ballot at 109 polling centres.
The election in North Tongu was rescheduled from November, after an aspirant, Christopher Kofi Eleblu, who was disqualified by the NDC National Petition Review Committee on October 14 on grounds that he was once prosecuted for defrauding the State to the tune of GH¢646, 000.00, filed an injunction to stop the election.
However, his suit was thrown out by the court paving the way for the poll.
Suggestions were that, the disqualified Mr. Eleblu, was the Deputy Education Minister’s fiercest contender, and that he may have played a role in getting him disqualified, a claim he has denied.
Mr. Ablakwa had in the previous primary beaten six people to win the bid including Mr. Eleblu who gave him a stiff competition.
Mr. Ablakwa thanked his constituents including opinion leaders who supported his bid and promised more development projects in the years ahead.
“I want to thank God for this sweet victory; it has been long and coming; we should have had this election about a month ago; but everything that happens we give glory to God because he knows best; and we can only show gratitude and appreciation to him. I want to thank the good people of North Tongu, the chiefs. The queen mothers, the youth and the women who have returned me to Parliament because as you know in North Tongu, we are proud to say that we are the world bank of the National Democratic Congress. This is a far higher margin than what I won with four years ago, and it shows that when you work hard and you are humble and dedicated to serving your people, they will reward so I am very grateful to the constituents and to all those who supported me in the NDC fraternity.”
He said the victory will also spare him on to work harder for the constituency in his second term.
“I received support from all over the country; people came here and volunteered their time to support me and I am really touched by that show of solidarity. I want to use this opportunity to assure the people of North Tongu that I am going to continue to serve them with full dedication and with humility, and it will also mean more development. We have a slogan that says North Tongu rising; and this is a confirmation that all that has gone they really appreciate it. And once they have shown appreciation they have encouraged me to even work harder for my second term and they can be rest assured that I am going to put in my all with their support and by the grace of the almighty God”.
North Tongu is a safe seat for the NDC, and so one can say that barring any unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Ablakwa is head for Parliament in 2016.
There are still two outstanding primaries in the Volta Region namely Ketu South and Nkwanta South, which are also on hold due to disagreements spearheaded by disqualified aspirants.
The Volta Regional Chairman of the NDC Mr. Kwadwo Gyapong told Citi News in an earlier interview that those ones will come off as soon as all legal issues are cleared.