The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries took place last Saturday, with some incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) losing out to fresh faces, some of them big names in the scheme of the party.
At the end of the counting, nine NDC sitting MPs lost and will not be returning to Parliament after 2020.
Veteran Joseph Yieleh Chireh was taken down in Wa West by David Asante-Apeatu’s Executive Secretary, Peter Lanchene Toobu, whose resignation from the Ghana Police Service (GPS) set tongues wagging.
Ras Mubarack, who parked his Land Cruiser and rode bicycle to Parliament in a populist fashion, also lost in Kumbungu to Dr. Hamza Adam of the UDS, so was Jirapa MP, Dr. Bawaana Dakurah, who was forced down by Cletus Dapilah.
Oscar Larbi defeated incumbent Matthias Kwame Ntow in Aowin, while Engineer Yaw Gomado forced down Abdul Aziz Muniruin Akan.
Current MP for Buem, Daniel Kwasi Ashiamah, was defeated by former NDC National Organizer, Kofi Adams, while Sedem Afenyo defeated Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea at Amasaman.
In Chiana Paga, where jailed Abuga Pele controlled the seat for a long time, incumbent Lawyer Rudolph Amemga-Etego was defeated by former Kasena Nankana DCE, Thomas Adda Dalu.
Apart from Kofi Adams, new entrants like actor John Dumelo (Ayawaso West Wuogon), who was caught by National Security operatives with a vehicle belonging to the state, Felix Kwakye Ofosu (Abura Asebu Kwamankese), actress Dzifa Gomashie (Ketu South) – all won on the ticket of the NDC for 2020.
However, former Gender Minister Nana Oye Lithur was shocked in Adentan when she failed to beat Mohammed Adamu Rahmadan, brother-in-law of Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Victoria L. Hammah, who ran away from Ablekuma West to Kintampo North, was thrashed by John Kwame Kumah.
Oye Lithur’s demeanour during the counting of the ballot showed a politician in shock and it only endorsed the common Ghanaian political parlance ‘fear delegates!’
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Although she promised to call and congratulate the winner, she added that she was still unable to tell why she suffered her fate.
“I feel strengthened; I didn’t expect to lose. We covered all the tracks and carried a very strong campaign. The delegates have spoken and I congratulate Mr. Ramadan. Democracy has won,” she said.
Incumbent Rashid Hassan Pelpuo retained his seat with a wide margin in Wa Central as did Bede Ziedeng, a former Director of Elections for the NDC in Lawra.
Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, a lecturer at the University for Development Studies, who served as deputy campaign co-ordinator for John Dramani Mahama in the 2016 election, also won the Wa East primaries.
He defeated former MP, Amin Salifu, whose notorious goof ‘school of tree’ instead of ‘school under trees’ still resonates.
A 36-year-old hospital administrator, Tony Sumah, has replaced the longest-serving MP in the 4th Republic, Alban Sumana Bagbin, who is not contesting again in Nadowli-Kaleo.
A ‘Chief Fisherman’ Charles Hagan aka Panya caused an upset when he defeated former Deputy Western Regional Minister, Betty Bosumtwi-Sam, and a former MCE of Sekondi-Takoradi, Charlotte Odum.
Former presidential staffer Michael Kpessah Whyte lost again after making the headline with his taunting admonition to Linda Akweley Ocloo, the incumbent MP for Shai Osudoku.
He had told her that the chamber is not for widows, adding that she had enough opportunities to make an impact after annexing the seat in 2016.
Dr. Mustapha Ahmed’s bid to go back to Parliament through Ayawaso North did not materialise, as he lost to the incumbent MP, Yusif I. Jajah.
Despite warnings by the Atebubu traditional authorities that Sanja Nanja should not attempt to contest the Atebubu Amanten seat, the ex-NDC MP defied the odds and went ahead to win the party’s primary, and will represent them in 2020.
The chief in Atebubu in the Bono East Region recently invoked curses on Sanja Nanja, calling on their ‘gods’ to strike him if he dared to contest the seat again.
The Atebubu Traditional Council, led by Nsumakwanhene Nana Kofi Amoakohene, even went ahead and performed a ritual by slaughtering a white ram to the gods for Sanja Nanja.
However, at the end of voting at St. Martin’s R/C Primary School at Amantin, Sanja Nanja polled 947 to beat his only challenger, Peter Boadu Mintah, who got 320.
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The former MP, who lost the 2016 general election to NPP’s Kofi Amoakohene, vanished immediately after casting his vote and never returned to even watch the counting of ballots.
Another surprise was in the Sunyani West Constituency where 27-year-old Millicent Amankwa Yeboah defeated four-time contestant and former Deputy Minister of former Brong Ahafo Region in the Mahama administration, Samuel Justice Adjei.
Millicent polled 623 votes to beat the ex-minister who managed 171 votes. The third contender, Abdulai Appiah Yahya, got 283 to take the second position.
Other winners in three regions of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo included Pru East, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, 482; Nkoranza North, Mensah Kwasi Joseph, 239; Techiman South, Christopher Beyere, 655; Kintampo North, Joseph Kwame, 532; and Kintampo South, Felicia Agyei, 449.
The rest were Pru West, Mohammed Masawudu, 317; Sene East, Dominic Napare, 494; and Sene West, Kwame Poku Twumesi, 227.
In Sunyani East, Allan Sekyere won with 419 votes while Gordon Asubonteng also won Dormaa Central with 401. The two controversial men for Asutifi South Constituency, Collins Dauda and Eric Opoku, Asunafo South went unopposed.
Delegates retained incumbents who contested in the primaries in the Volta Region where the party says is its ‘World Bank’.
Out of the 18 constituencies, only Fifi Kwetey (Ketu South), Richard Quashigah (Keta), Bernice Adiku Heloo (Hohoe) and Clement Kofi Humado (Anlo) did not enter the contest.
The vacancies have now been filled by three new faces, including the former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts, Dzifa Abla Gomashie.
The other three freshmen are Kwame Gakpey for Keta, Richard Kwame Sefe for Anlo and Prof. Margaret Kwaku for Hohoe.
That notwithstanding, two aspirants who are known associates of former President Jerry John Rawlings who is the founder of the NDC, failed in their respective bids to represent Keta and Akatsi North respectively.
They include Dr. Dzokoto, who could not defeat Kwame Gakpey and Dr. Donald Senanu Agumenu, who was floored by Peter Nortsu Kotoe.
Samuel Okudzetor Ablakwa defeated William Mawuli Adado while Benjamin Kpodo won in Ho Central.
James Klutse Avedzi, Emmanuel Korsi Bedzra and Kwame Agbodza all retained their positions as aspirants for Ketu North, Ho West and Adaklu constituencies respectively, while Rockson Deafemekpor, Joyceline Tetteh and Angela Alorwu Tay were re-elected in South Dayi, North Dayi and Afadjato South respectively.
Dela Soway also retained her candidature at Kpondo despite fierce competition from James Fonu Kpatakpa, immediate past National Youth Organiser.
The fiercest of all the contests which ensued at South Tongu saw Korbla Mensah Woyome polling 578 votes against his only contender Maxwell Lukutor, who had 505 votes. This is about the second time Maxwell is contesting Woyome. It was a home-run for incumbent Alexander R. Hottordze at Central Tongu too.
Sam Dzata George scrapped through by only seven votes in Ningo Prampram against Michael Kwetey Tetteh, who until the election was the party’s chairman in the constituency.
Mahama Ayariga, who has been dragged to court by Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, went unopposed after his contender, Abdulai Musah, pulled out last minute, while NDC’s darling ‘economist’ Isaac Adongo easily swept the Bolga Central, with former Deputy Attorney General Dr. Dominic Ayine winning the Bolga East without sweat.
Veteran Cletus Avoka was re-elected in Zebila; Edward Bawa in Bongo; B.T. Baba in Talensi; Robert Kuganab in Binduri; David Adakudugu in Tempane, as well as Dr. Mark Nawaane in Nabdam.
Besides, James Agalga in Builsa North; Hajia Laadi Ayamga in Pusiga, as well as Albert Akuka in Garu.
The fate of the Asawase, Mpohor, Yilo Krobo, Fanteakwa North and Ellembelle constituencies are yet to be determined because of unresolved issues in the electoral areas.