Hot race for Bekwai seat
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
A TIME bomb is slowly ticking to explode in the Bekwai constituency of the Ashanti region, as the NPP clears yet another hurdle to ensure victory in the 2012 elections.
With the massive endorsement of incumbent independent Member of Parliament, Mr. Joseph Osei-Wusu by constituency executives, against the return of the former Member of Parliament, Mr. Kofi Poku Adusei, the political situation is likely to be heightening as rivalry between the aspirants is revisited.
The Chronicle can confirm that the former MP, Mr. Poku Adusei and incumbent MP Osei-Wusu have picked nomination forms yesterday, when the nominations opened and they are expected to return same today.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has scheduled a constituency congress at to be held at the local Methodist Church at Bekwai on September 22, 2012, in line with Article 11 of the party’s constitution.
The constituency executives have endorsed Hon. Osei-Wusu as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the general elections in December.
A resolution signed on August 17, 2012, said even though Osei-Wusu entered Parliament as an independent member, he continued to be a party member and aligned with the NPP caucus to work in Parliament, besides funding party activities in the constituency single handedly since 2009, when he was sworn in as the MP for Bekwai.
Signatories to the said resolution include Mr. Patrick Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman, Osei Kwando, First Vice chairman; Akashi Owusu-Sarcoxie, second vice chairman; Atta Adusei, Secretary; Victor Poku Dua; Assistant Secretary; Fred Nkansah, Organizer and Akwasi Agyapong, Youth Organiser.
Others include Ibrahim Boabeng, Assistant Youth Organiser; Vera Hall, Women’s Organizer; Comfort Kyekire, Assistant Women’s Organizer; Research and Electoral officer, Kwaku Kyei Baffour and Francis Owusu Antwi, Financial Secretary.
The rest are Baffour Awuah, Treasurer; Anthony Bediako, Commications officer and Yusuf Alhassan, Nasara Co-ordiantor.
In July this year, the Ofoase-Kokoben branch of ‘Nana for President 2012 Movement’ (NAFOP) cautioned the Bekwai constituency executives against attempts to encourage the imposition of a candidate who is not popular with the electorate.
The local chairman of NAFOP, Mr. Vincent Attobrah Kyei said the task of NAFOP is to mainly campaign for Nana Akufo-Addo to emerge as winner in the 2012 elections, but is worried about the circumstance which led to the woeful defeat of the party’s parliamentary candidate in the 2008 election.
The group has, therefore, reminded the executives that the popularity of the parliamentary candidate can affect the fortunes of the party negatively or positively and suggested that the party works to avert the reoccurrence of the situation in the 2012 elections.
A section of members of the Nassara Club of the Bekwai Zongo community led by one Razak Osman, has also cautioned the NPP leadership to work to avoid confrontation and communal conflict.
Meanwhile, a group called ‘Sankofa’ has announced the comeback of the former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Fisheries under the Kufuor administration and pledged support for him.
The Member of Parliament for Bekwai, Hon. Joseph Osei-Wusu is reportedly the popular and preferred candidate for the Bekwai constituency in the up coming parliamentary elections, according to a survey in June this year by FA News Agency which sampled opinions of 500 residents over five days.
The Independent candidate polled 83.8% ahead of others, including Poku Adusei, who polled 7.6%. The respondents cited achievements of both persons as the basis of their choice.
MP Osei-Wusu, popularly called Joe Wise by his admirers who has since last year been entrusted to lead the electioneering campaign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo in the Bekwai constituency, polled 34,700 votes as an independent candidate in the last elections, while Kofi Poku Adusei polled 8,432 votes in the parliamentary elections in the name of NPP.
In a similar research by Mr. Ben Ephson of Allied News in July 2008, Mr. Osei-Wusu, then a defeated NPP aspirant polled 274 votes representing 85.4% of the 321 residents sampled between June 29 and July 2, 2008.
According to Ben Ephson’s survey of July 7 2008, Mr. Kofi Poku Adusei, the then incumbent MP, polled 7.5% (24 votes) while the NDC candidate had 21 votes (6.5%).
The scanty votes for Mr. Poku Adusei and the NDC candidates were explained by their loyalty to their respective parties (NPP and NDC).
The reasons advanced for Mr. Osei-Wusu’s popularity in 2008 are the same in the FA News Agency report in which 80% of the respondents opted for a second term for the incumbent MP.
It is against these results that mainstream supporters of the party in the constituency would wish that the NPP takes a firm decision regarding which of the aspirants contests the 2012 elections on the ticket of the party without any adverse effects on the electoral fortunes of the party.
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