From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale
WITH THE main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) withdrawing from the Kumbungu Parliamentary by-election, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), obviously seems the favourite, but the Convention People’s Party (CPP) insists it is rather poised for massive victory.
According to the General Secretary of the CPP, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, the Nkrumaist party was leaving no stone unturned in winning its first parliamentary seat in the present parliament, to enable the CPP contribute to the democratic development of the nation.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle after leading the CPP’s parliamentary candidate, Moses Amadu Yahaya to file his nomination with the Election Commission (EC) to participate in the Kumbungu by-election, Mr. Greenstreet bemoaned the continuous broken promises by the NDC to the Chiefs and people of the area in the last 20 years.
He said that the NDC candidate, Alhaji Imoro Yakubu, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for the area had contributed to the underdevelopment of Kumbungu, and could not therefore present any new message to the people.
The CPP General Secretary described it as a complete embarrassment for the two NDC MPs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni and Alhaji Imoro Yakubu to be unable to lobby for the construction of the 18 kilometer Tamale-Kumbungu road, which serves as major economic road to the people.
Mr. GreensTreet revealed that the CPP candidate, Moses Amadu Yahaya who is a known development worker and assemblyman in the area had been in touch with the people and had his foot-print all over the constituency in terms of development.
Urging the people to get rid of the NDC and rather vote for development, the CPP General Secretary presented Mr. Moses Yahaya to the people as the best candidate with the ability, commitment and willpower to develop the Kumbungu Constituency.
The CPP Constituency Secretary for Kumbungu, Alhassan Nasiru Nabila asserted that out of the 116 communities in the constituency only 12 had been connected to the national electricity grid within the last 20 years that the people had been led by the NDC MPs.
However, the CPP Candidate, as a private individual, had been able to lobby for 136 boreholes for the 116 communities in the area, connected 7 communities with pipe borne water, provided micro-finance to women groups, organized free extra classes for students in the communities and also organized several clean up exercises in the area. These, he indicated, had made the CPP candidate the choice of the people.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (EC) has closed nomination for the Kumbungu by-election, with the main opposition NPP failing to partake in the race. The NPP is still firm on its decision to boycott elections organized by the EC until further notice. As a result, the ruling NDC candidate, Alhaji Imoro Yakubu will have the CPP and PPP to deal with.
The Electoral Commission is expected by law to hold a by-election in Kumbungu to fill the current vacant parliamentary seat. The Kumbungu by-election which is slated for April 30, 2013, was necessitated by the elevation of the MP for the area, Alhaji Lawyer Mohammed Mumuni to the position of the Secretary General of the ECOWAS and ACP countries to continue the remaining tenure of Dr. Mohammed Ibin Chambas.
About 39,478 voters from 74 polling stations are expected to cast their votes in the by-election. Mr. Moses Amadu Yahaya of the CPP was the first to file at the Kumbungu District EC office followed by Alhaji Imoro Yakubu of the NDC and Ahmed Mansuru Mohammed of the PPP.
Interestingly, all the candidates are promising nothing but development of the deprived district. The possible tarring of the Tamale-Kumbungu road which has received several political promises is definitely one of the major expectation of the chief and people of the area.
Also speaking in an interview with The Chronicle, the Former MP and NDC parliamentary candidate in the by-election, Alhaji Imoro Yakubu downplayed the claims by the CPP General Secretary to win the Kumbungu seat.
According to him, his chance for massive victory was already established, since he did not see the CPP and the PPP to be any strong contenders in the election. Adding, “The Kumbungu seat has been for the NDC since 1992 and I am going retain it in a grand style because I am the people’s choice and everybody knows about that”.
Alhaji Yakubu maintained that winning the Kumbungu by-election would afford him the opportunity to continue the developmental projects he had started before his defeat to the former Foreign Minister, Alhaji Lawyer Mohammed Mumuni.
He said that his priorities of promoting quality education, healthcare delivery, agriculture and youth empowerment would not be changed when voted into power.