Politics of Thursday, 24 December 2015
– Over Outcome of Amenfi West By-Election
Following the not-too-impressive performance of the ruling National Democratic Congress and the good showing by the opposition New Patriotic Party in the recently held by-election at Amenfi West in the Western region, information reaching The aL-hAJJ indicates that bigwigs and political strategists of the governing NDC are beginning to revise their notes on how to approach the November 07, 2016 general elections.
Election strategists and kingpins of the ruling party who previously were predicting a 57% first round victory for President John Dramani Mahama in next year’s presidential polls, this paper’s investigations have revealed, are murmuring among themselves over how in spite of the wrangling in the NPP, the party gave the ruling party a run for its money and even ended up winning in communities thought not be their stronghold in the Amenfi West constituency.
“The Amenfi West by-election has painted a picture of the realities on the grounds. Things are not as easy as we think…we will have to work very hard if we are to retain power in 2016. My only worry is that some people are not painting the right picture to the president…they keep telling him all is well and that we will win 2016 election in the first round. Look at how fractured the NPP is yet they won polling stations they have never won since 1992…this alone is enough to tell us that we need to wake up and do things that the people like,” an executive member of the NDC in the Western region told The aL-hAJJ.
The officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said even though the NDC won the election alright, “our (NDC) performance was very abysmal. We won with less than 3000 or about 10% of the votes compared to the 2012 elections margin of about 10000 votes or 23%. If our vote margin can shrink so fast like that in just three years, then 2016 does not look too good for us. The fact that people didn’t show up at the polling stations to vote should even tell us that things are not too good for us, trust me.”
The ruling NDC candidate Eric Afful struggled to poll 15,809 (52.64%) votes to beat the NPP’s Paul Derkyi who garnered 13,079 (43.54%) to win the Amenfi West parliamentary seat which became vacant following the demise of its occupant John Gyetuah.
The outcome of the election, party insiders told The aL-hAJJ, “is really causing serious stir among” the leadership of the party with some of them whining over how the party risk losing the 2016 elections in spite of the NDC’s impressive performance in the area of infrastructure and good governance.
Vice President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur may have summed up the mood within the camp of the ruling NDC in a remark at the just concluded NDC TEIN conference on Monday in the Central Region when he acknowledged how 2016 elections could be tough for the party.
The vice President said despite the fact that the NDC has done a lot of work, “we need to continue to work more because next year is going to be tough.” Adding “anybody who tells you it is going to be an easy walk over doesn’t know what they are talking about. We need to project the work we have done.”
The vice President’s observation was enforced by another over worried NDC communicator (name withheld) who, in an earlier memo to The aL-hAJJ, predicted doom for the ruling party if nothing was done to restore the party’s hitherto promising bright chances in the 2016 polls.
“Ketu south has been the biggest constituency in Ghana that gives the NDC the largest percentage in elections. Here, there is so much chaos that even common parliamentary primary is still hanging. I am a national communicator and I enter trotro every day and know what is happening on the grounds. In fact, in the north (Volta) the NPP have Dankwa ladies and they are doing extremely well by pulling all the NDC women to their side. Here we are nobody cares! Those who really want and ready to work in NDC are normally not given the chance to work. Look we are just here in the head office and nobody cares. We want to work, we love to work, we are ready to work but …well, we pray and hope one day, someone will hear and love that president should really win 2016 election and come to help. National intelligence is not working, national security is not working, there is so much lies and sabotage and no one cares. I am sad!!!”
Another worried NDC bigwig (name withheld) also said “despite our achievements, the NPP continuous to win the propaganda war. Yes, it is true that we have done a lot in the area of infrastructure, but there is more to do. We need to find immediate ways to solve unemployment and the hardship in the country. Farmers in the cocoa growing areas are complaining bitterly about how we are handling the sharing of agro-chemicals and this contributed to our abysmal performance at Amenfi West.”
An outspoken Member of Parliament from the Western region virtually in tears told The aL-hAJJ “You people must try and paint the true picture on the ground for our ‘big’ men to know all is not well for us, but for the intervention of some of us, many of our supporters said they won’t go out to vote, we had to virtually go on our knees to get some of them to go and vote”.
The influential MP who does not want to be named however, promised to do all in his power to have audience with the president to draw his attention to the anger of the people who are mostly cocoa farmers.