MAD RUSH FOR NPP SEATS …As party closes nominations tomorrow …Manhyia, Juaben lead pack
From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
AS THE opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) prepares to close nominations for selection of candidates for the newly created 45 constituencies in the country, reports indicate that there is serious scramble for the new seats amongst contestants in Ashanti Region.
Information indicates that the upcoming primaries could witness one of the keenly contested elections, with reports pointing to both Manhyia North and the Juaben constituencies, as the two most attractive places likely to experience an interesting battle.
The primaries are also expected to see more young politicians flexing their muscles in their attempts to join their senior colleagues in parliament next year.
Even before the Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. Samuel Pyne, makes the list of contenders officially public, which he has promised to do by the end of the day, signals picked up by The Chronicle indicate that the Manhyia North constituency and the Juaben constituency, detached from Ejisu, would witness the keenest contest.
About five active contestants, all of them in their youthful ages, are reported to be eyeing the seat to partner the incumbent, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, whose first tenure as MP has been described as a huge success.
Key amongst the lists include the current Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and a legal practitioner, Nana Yaw Osei, one Kwasi Konadu, a polling station chairman and nephew of Ghana’s former Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Adjei Barwuah and Collins Amankwaah, the Manhyia Youth Organizer.
Nana Yaw Osei, reports reveal, have made serious inroads in the constituency as he is seen as yet the most politically matured and academically experienced candidate.
The reported shocking withdrawal from the race by the former Ashanti Regional Minister and a one-time contestant, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, may just be the necessary catalyst that can assist the GJA chairman’s parliamentary ambition as information reveals Mr. Assibey is set to throw his weight behind the young legal practitioner.
Nana Yaw is seen as a very good pair with Dr. Napo, considering his strong legal background and political maturity.
One candidate that is likely to benefit from media hype and strong bond with delegates of the constituency is the energetic Youth Organizer, Collins Amankwaah, aka “Chief”.
He has since the defeat of the party, played active role in reviving the youth in the Ashanti Region, through his constant feature on ASH FM Breakfast show.
Chief is strongly attached to the constituency and such a feat could go a long way to help his course.
Most serial callers of the party in the region have also endorsed his candidature as many believe he has paid his dues to the opposition party and must therefore be compensated.
Also in line for the seat is a polling station chairman, Kwasi Konadu, who is relying on the influence of his uncle, Adjei Barwuah, to grab the seat.
In the Juaben constituency, the posters of Mr. Okai Kwanin, a student of London School of Law and a youth development worker is already flying in the communities within the constituency.
The 50-year-old businessman was the Campaign Manager for Mr. Kwabena Agyapong during the 2007 presidential primaries and also acted as National Coordinator for ‘Jawulah for Running Mate’. He also serves as a Co-opted member of the NPP Election Committee.
Mr. Kwanin told The Chronicle in a short interaction on Saturday that he has an unquestionable pedigree in the party and in the Juaben Constituency and, therefore, deserves to represent the people in Parliament.
He mentioned amongst other things, the establishment of a starch factory at Nkyerepoase, the expansion of the Kente Weaving business at Bonwire through the establishment of more weaving yards, the setting up of a starch factory at Achiase to add value to cassava production and the facilitation of the Boankra Inland Port, as some of the objectives that he would be seeking to achieve when elected.
The aspirant has also promised to adopt a door to door campaign to garner more votes for the party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo to ensure a resounding victory in December 7.
He is reportedly facing strong competition from two other candidates, including a female aspirant, whose name was only given as Mad. Pomaa, a highly influential female figure in the constituency.
Another candidate called Mr. Owusu, has also picked his nomination forms to contest the seat.
At the Ahafo Ano South-East constituency, the former first regional chairman, Dr. Osafredu Asubonteng is staging a comeback after suffering a defeat in 2007 in the hands of the incumbent MP, Balado Manu.
He, however, has the former NADMO Coordinator in the district, Johnson Kwaku Adu, to beat for the seat.
The latter candidate played a lead role during the visit of the party’s presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo to the constituency and this may have heightened his spirit and ambition for the seat which is also likely to fall eventually to the NPP.
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