The New Patriotic Party (NPP) went to the polls last Saturday to elect parliamentary candidates ahead of the 2020 general election.
The candidates were elected in about 106 constituencies known as ‘orphan constituencies’ where the ruling party does not have Members of Parliament (MPs).
The exercise was characterized by intrigues, side dramas and even the sudden death of a delegate was recorded.
A candidate who brought branded mini saloon cars to a constituency with the intention to give them out had a rude shock of his life when he lost the contest and in anger left with his cars.
There was a sad spectacle in the Ablekuma South Constituency of the Greater Accra Region where a delegate—Jonathan Nii Otu Ankrah—collapsed while waiting to cast his ballot.
He fell and hit his head on the ground, and was rushed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital which was a few yards from where the voting was taking place but, unfortunately, was pronounced dead.
Sources say the delegate reportedly died from a heart attack.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Pusiga, Abdulai Zubeiru, also suffered a shock and fainted as he lost the primaries by seven votes. He had to be rushed to the Akunye Hospital in Pusiga for treatment.
He fainted immediately he was declared loser of the primary in the Pusiga Constituency. He polled 197 votes, just seven votes short of Abdul Karim Dubure’s votes.
The voting process across the country was generally peaceful except for a little misunderstanding that broke out at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern Region between supporters of the two aspirants who contested in the Lower Manya Krobo Constituency.
There were delays in starting the voting process in some constituencies, particularly at Ashiaman in the Greater Accra Region and Somanya in the Eastern Region.
The Asokore-Mampong Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alidu Seidu, was declared an unopposed winner for the Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region as his contender, Manaf Ibrahim, was barred by the party from contesting the primaries despite a court injunction restraining the party from going ahead with the election in that constituency.
In the Tamale Central Constituency, Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCo), Dr. Ibrahim Anyars, won the primaries with 539 votes, while his contender, Abass Zakaria, garnered 172 votes.
The Northern Regional School Feeding Coordinator, Madam Felicia Tetteh, was elected as the parliamentary candidate for the NPP in the Sagnarigu Constituency.
Ms. Tetteh won with 303 votes while Abdul Wahab Alhassan polled 97 votes.
In the Asuoagyam Constituency, former Managing Director of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA), Paul Ansah Asare, emerged victorious as he polled 539 votes against his contender, Kwame Adu Darkwa, who had 131 votes.
Last Saturday’s primaries marked Mr. Ansah’s fourth time in the contest but his first time to represent NPP in parliamentary election.
The 2016 NPP parliamentary candidate for Afram Plains South in the Eastern Region, Willie Hor, was re-elected to represent the party in the 2020 parliamentary election.
Mr. Hor secured 307 votes, enabling him to beat Tease District Presiding Member, Zeneyele Jacob, who had 202 votes out of the 545 total votes cast.
Parliamentary candidate for Ashaiman in the last general election, Alhaji Labaran Yakubu Barry, has been declared winner again in the parliamentary primaries of the NPP in the Ashaiman Constituency.
He obtained 449 votes to beat Eric Gregory Kwasi Kwatia who had 378 votes, and Alexander Amanor Narh-Gbeeku, who garnered 203 ballots.
Deputy National Security Coordinator in charge of Airports, Hopeson Yaovi Adorye, was declared winner in the Kpone-Katamanso Constituency primaries. He won with 321 votes.
Elsewhere, the DCE of Ada East District Assembly, Sarah Dugbake Pobee, won with 263 votes to beat her only contender, Betty Korleki Atsupui Quarshie, who garnered 126 votes.
Deputy Energy Minister Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam was elected as the parliamentary candidate in the Karaga Constituency. Dr. Amin Adam polled 385 votes while Alhassan Abdulai had four votes. Affa Sule garnered two votes while Dr. Baba Sayuti polled 78 votes.
Other winners included Prof. Kwesi Yankah who contested in Agona East; Mbomba Thomas, Tatale Constituency; Alhassan Abdallah Iddi, Salaga North; Alhassan Dahamani, Tamale North; Elvis Botah, Nadowli Kaleo; Dan D. Kuunsogna, Wa West; Dery Gobaah, Jirapa; Dr. Rashid Kwesi Etuaful, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency where the consciences of delegates were bought with cars; Edward Osei, Aowin; Martha Kwayie Manu, Juaboso; Frederich Addy, Dadieso; Musah Abdul-Aziz Ayaba, Mion.
The rest are Abdul Salaam Hamza Fatawu, Kumbungu; Osman Musah, Garu, Nicholas Niber, Bia East; Abdul Karim Dubure, Pusiga; Kofi Asante, Amenfi West; Lawrence Kwame Aziale, Buem; Emmanuel Abole, Bolga East; Thomas Doanab, Talensi; Michael Sarkodie Baffoe, Kintampo North; Nii Lante Bannerman, Odododiodio; and Joshua Kweku Abonkrah, Pru East.
At the Ajumako Enyam Essiam Constituency in the Central Region, Elisha Debrah Odoom, who had brought 11 saloon cars to the election grounds to donate to the party returned the cars after losing the contest.
He had promised to donate the branded cars to the 10 zones in the constituency and the remaining one to the constituency office for party activities.
Elisha Debrah Odoom was very confident of winning but he lost miserably to Rashid Kwesi Etuaful as he polled a paltry 67 as against Mr. Etuaful who secured 411 votes.
Angry and disappointed Elisha Debrah Odoom quickly asked that all the cars be loaded onto a trailer and taken to his residence much to the surprise of the delegates.
Key among the loser were the Deputy Minister for the Oti Region, Maxwell Blagodzi, Keta MCE, Godwin Edudzi Effah and Ketu South MCE, Elliot Agbenorwu.
Mr. Blagodzi who is very popular in the Nkwanta South lost with 27 votes to Madam Sherifa Tijanni who polled 289 votes.
The Keta MCE, Edudzi, polled 163 against the winner, Dr. Benjamin Dzameshie’s 270 votes.
Another major loss at Nkwanta North where Joseph Nayan a former MP and minister and minister during the Kufuor administration contested.
He managed only 131 votes against the winner, Ben Nador’s 259. Other two contenders, Batu Kwaku Osei and Makija John polled 45 and 8 respectively.
NPP General Secretary John Boadu, in a statement after touring some constituencies, said the process had been extremely smooth with the delegates of the party once again rising to the occasion and showing maturity in the conduct of the polls.
On behalf of the NPP, he congratulated “all the contestants, officials, the media, delegates and sympathizers of the great elephant family for this successful milestone. The day has produced only one winner, and that winner is certainly no particular individual but collectively the NPP.”
“I implore all our sympathizers and the general Ghanaian public to rally behind the new parliamentary candidates of the NPP in these ‘orphan constituencies’ and work in unity to snatch a lot of these seats from the NDC and increase our overwhelming majority in Parliament to continue delivering prosperity to the Ghanaian people,” he added.