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The Dome Kwabenya constituency in the Greater Accra region had 172,907 voters on the electoral roll for the 2020 general elections. Barring any division of Ghana’s most populous constituency by the Electoral Commission, we expect a higher voters’ list for the 2024 crucial parliamentary and presidential election. And from the point of view of a lay fellow like me, I want to believe the constituents of Dome Kwabenya would be in a dilemma deciding whether to repeat the pattern they have threaded in past elections or for once, consider a change, given the fact that the usual preference of the electorates in this constituency in terms of electoral choice has been abysmal to the rational mind.
All the ills attributed to the previous regime have been doubled, tripled and in some cases quadrupled. And the conduct and misunderstanding lingering between the current Member of Parliament, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo and her political party will definitely have political consequences for the party’s fortune in 2024. It will be either a drop in votes, or a loss of the seat. It can also be an absolute win depending on whether the dynamics change. For now, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not looking nice in the eyes of the ordinary voters like us in the constituency.
Reports have it that Mike Oquaye Junior who is Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, the Attorney-General, Mr. Godfred Odame and a Presidential Staffer, Madam Sheela Takyi Oppong have shown interest in contesting in the NPP parliamentary primaries. Don’t forget the current MP has also expressed readiness to stand for the fourth time on the party’s ticket.
My tip for who wins the NPP internal primaries is Mike Oquaye Junior, for a set of reasons.
When you scale him up with his contenders, he comes across with a lot of political experience and the fact that, this is his going to be his third attempt after losing to Hon. Adwoa Safo by a margin of seven votes in their last primaries. And very importantly, his conduct in office as Ghana’s High Commissioner to India has not generated as much controversy as have his contenders like the Attorney-General, Mr. Godfred Odame. Surprises are to be expected in this race as Sheela Takyi Oppong, who is also the Director of the Rebecca Akufo-Addo Foundation is garnering growing odds amongst the party’s delegates.
Whoever wins in the NPP parliamentary primaries will be contesting against the NDC’s candidate, Madam Faustina Elikplim Akurugu, a marriage counselor by profession. And she is staging a comeback in the struggle for the seat having chalked a relative success in the 2020 general elections on the ticket of the NDC polling 52,262 representing 40.6% against the 75,041 of 58.4% from the current MP.
The NDC has some issues to iron out in this constituency as far as the 2024 elections are concerned. The PC and the NDC executives are not absolved of any of the blames.
I will explain why the NDC cannot behave like the NPP later.
The NDC cannot afford to trivialize apathy even in government, much less in opposition.
For those banking their hopes on opinion polls emanating from some research houses, caution is what you must undertake.
In the days leading up to the by-election in Assin North, an outfit that predicted a win for the NDC in Dome Kwabenya for the 2024 elections, projected a win for the NPP candidate in Assin North. Your judgment on this is as good as mine.
The NPP at this moment has not failed to demonstrate their might in doing anything and everything to retain power. The situation of lack of a clear majority in Parliament for the NPP and consequences they have suffered for that, will definitely be a matter they will spend time and resources to ensure this spectacle does not repeat itself. They will endeavour to secure maximum number of seats, and the Dome Kwabenya seat is one they will not allow to slip.
The leadership of the NDC have a duty to the party and its members and to the entire Ghanaian families that are looking up to them for rescue.
As for the Dome Kwabenya seat, it has moved to the center, making it accessible to any serious candidate.
With cohesion and togetherness, the NDC can win it.
With proper strategy, the NPP can win it.
For now, both are far from the finishing line.
Report by: Abdul Phatahu Munir (APM)