To all intents and Purpose, the Just ended NPP Parliamentary Primaries, is one that lived up to expectation in terms of drama. It had been widely tipped to be a cliffhanger of an events , the stakes we really high for a political party that was gearing up for it second term challenge with it old foe the national democratic congress. Events Preceding this primaries has been characterised with curses, invective,and aspersions as Party faithful across the length and breadth of the country were up in arms with Party executives for disqualifying the preferred candidate. In the end close to 65 sitting MP,s were cleared to go unopposed, a move that was greeted with mixed feelings by party rank and file. Allegations of vote buying ,also spread like wild fire as some aspirants reportedly doled out hefty cash inducement in the region of three to six thousand per delegate and other valuable material possessions all in a bid to sway them to their fold.
When all was said and done ,the dies was cast , and it was time for a little over 100 Mps to slug it out for supremacy among themselves. Prior to these day the party hierarchy had laid appropriate guidelines for observing covid-19, safety Protocols, but this did not sink well with the delegates, as many of them were seen openly violating the social distancing and other safety Protocols guidelines.
So voting began in earnest amidst expectations of some incumbents loosing out to some new entrants, and some fierce rivalry between some heavyweights in the party. Pocket of violence featured prominently in some constituencies which is very usual with contest of this nature. But the moment of truth beckoned when the polls closed at 1pm and the ballot were counted .in the succeeding paragraph I served you with a potpourri of events in the aftermath of Perhaps the nation’s first electoral exercise since the advent of covid-19 pandemic.
It was a case of dynasty at play as some sons and daughters of some top politicians in the Party tried to step into the shoes of their parents. Son of former vice Alhaji Aliu mahama of blessed memory, farouk mahama, gave a good account of himself as he won the Yendi seat with a convincing margin. Sheila barrels, daughter of veteran politician, and former minister of state under the kuffour administration kwamena bartels ,was safely guided and aided by his father to snatch the Ablekuma north seat from the incumbent Akua Afriyie, it must be said however that, this is a constituency that is notorious for giving sitting MPs only one term.
Perhaps the only MP who manage to survive that scare was Sheila,s own father kwamena bartels, two other MP ,s who’ve come after him (The incumbent inclusive) have all served one term, it remains to be seen if the young lawyer and philanthropist can break that jinx. Dakoa Newman, of okai Kwei South, followed suit with a resounding victory over the incumbent Ahmed Arthur thought to be a heavy weight in that race, Young Dakoa Newman, is the daughter of Victor Newman director of research at the jubilee house and a close ally of the President Akufo Addo since 98.
It’s worth noting that one other candidate that featured on the okai kwei South seat was Nana Fredua Ofori Atta, a relative of the President, but guess what that lineage was not strong enough to earn him his pride of place as he was defeated massively polling only 21 votes out of the total votes casted. The dynasty tale was climaxed at dome kwabenya, where son of speaker of parliament Mike oquaye jnr , for the second time running failed to capture power from his old foe Sarah Adjoah sarfo, as he was piped by an eight vote margin difference. So in summary, the the dynasty pack largely lived up to expectation as they succeeded in making many of the sitting Mps ambition of seeking four more years an illusion.
The drama did not end with the dynasty pack as many more surprises unfolded in the immediate aftermath of ballot counting, Perhaps the delegate wanted to send a strong message to Party Executives that if for the first time as much as 65 candidates have been cleared to contest unopposed, they were also ready to ensure that as much as 40 in incumbent MP,s looses their seat.
In New juabeng constituency, the stage was set for what many political pundit would describe as clash of the titans, chairman of the finance committee Dr Mark Asiebey, locked horns with C.E.O of freezones board , Michael okyere Barrie, two gentlemen who have both distinguished themselves in their respective field of endeavour, It was strong contest that was only fit for the political gods , but in the end the free zones board c.e.o and husband of popular gospel musician Phillips baafi managed to edge out the finance guru and head of parliament finance committee, Mr okyere bàafi had Previously contested and lost to Assibey Yeboah.
Then came the constituency that has earned the nickname as the “Florida” of Ghana,s Election “Bantama” . The incumbent Daniel okyem Aboagye had his own taste of karma when he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of deputy chief of staff Francis Asenso _Boakye in much the same way that he , some four years ago scuttled the second term ambition of the then incumbent Hon kwamena kokofu. The build up to the primaries in this constituency was very tensed amidst allegations of vote buying and intimidation levelled against Asenso _Boakye by the incumbent who was the thought of as the candidate with deep pocket due to his proximity to the seat of government at the jubilee house.
More drama unfolded, as the day wears on, a lot of debutants decided to pit their strength against their incumbents counterparts which produced a lot of surprising results. Ace sports Journalist turned politician and Presidential staffer at the jubilee house, Kojo frimpong Popularlly called “shakes” perhaps had an overblown expectation of himself as he dared to unseat the “Mugabe” of wenchi Professor Gyan baffour who doubles as the minister of planning , Professor Gyan had held on to that seat for three consecutive terms and was seeking to consolidate it for the fourth time.
As it turned out, experience won the day, as the veteran Politician was able to ward off competition from Kojo Frimpong and three other who competed with him to establish his supremacy in wenchi.
Nkawkaw constituency had it own story to tell, as convener of pro government Pressure group LMVCA and C.E.O of Ghana publishing company David Asante Boateng ,met his Waterloo at Nkawkaw Junction. David Asante as the name of his pressure group depict, had his vote counted alright , but that was not enough for him to clinch the much needed victory in Nkawkaw, this was a race that had the likes of Seth Adjei Baah of Shaba fame and the incumbent Eric kofi daafor who doubles as the regional minister, when the curtains were drawn down it was the less fancied Joseph Frimpong who emerged from obscurity to hold the mantle for Nkawkaw constituency.
It was a tale of short lived victory for hiplife musician and former musiga President, Bice Osei Kuffour Popularlly known as of obour ,in the Asante Akyem constituency , Prior to the race a lot factors had conspired to work against him. Fellow musicians like criss waddle and d black had Publicly campaigned against him a and urged delegated in the constituency not to vote him , citing his poor management at the helm of affairs as musiga President and lack of accountability for some funds that were entrusted to him. Events surrounding his own fathers covid-19 Status, which led to his unfortunate demise and matters arising from his burial also compounded issues for him.But all of this did not deter the “ konkontiba” hitmaker from having a shot at the Parliamentary seat. When voting ended ,results were announced , as obour and his supporters having the belief that they were in a comfortable lead, took to the streets to celebrate , only to realise much later that a recount of the ballot had switch victory in favour of the incumbent rather, that notwithstanding, the hiplife star took it in his strides and Promised to stage another come back.
But in all , it must be said that a lot of this debutants used this first time contest as a litmus test of the their popularity on the ground, and one would not be surprised at all if they stage a come back in the next four years , with renewed strategies to annex the seats in their respective constituency.
For now, those who had 4more and are jubilating, we celebrate and congratulate them, whiles their counterparts who had 4less and are licking their wounds , we commiserate with them and wish them better luck next time. Indeed, the Primaries lived up to it billing and had by all standard Proven to be a contest of “ 4more and 4less”.
Michael Tettey Ameley – The writer is a Socio Political Commentator and a marketing communication specialist, He has over a decade worth of experience in the banking sector. He holds an H.N.D in marketing and Bsc Marketing degree from Accra Technical University and University of Professional studies respectively.