NDC Primaries: Spotlight on hotspots in the Volta Region
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) heads to the polls to elect parliamentary candidates and a presidential candidate this weekend for the 2024 general elections.
As it seeks to capture power and take over the administration of the country, there is a huge focus on the Volta Region, where its electoral fortunes dwindled in last two elections despite being a stronghold.
The party also lost the Hohoe parliamentary seat to the governing NPP in 2020, a historic occurrence, considering that the party had occupied all parliamentary seats in the region since the inception of the 4th republic.
The opposition party, however, hopes to win back the seat with the launch of its “Operation 1 million votes and 18/18”, that seeks to capture all 18 seats, and also secure a one million votes gap in the presidential election between the two parties.
Here are the identified hotspots in the region ahead of the primaries:
The Ketu South Constituency is expected to witness a fierce contest between Dzifa Gomashie and Foga Nukunu. Mr. Nukunu lost the 2019 primaries with just 31 votes, and so he is expected to pull a surprise on the incumbent. Madam Gomashie, on the other hand, is sure of securing the mandate of the delegates, as Jim Morti, who had issues and was disqualified from contesting Fifi Kwetey in 2015, joins the race.
Three aspirants are contesting against Emmanuel Bedzrah’s bid to serve a fourth term in Parliament.
Samuel Dzidulali Kofi Danku and Eric Delanyo Alifo are staging a comeback after they were beaten by the incumbent in 2019, with Edwin Kweku Adae, a former Constituency Treasurer, being a new entrant.
Many believe that Mr. Bedzrah, who is seen as the ‘people’s choice’ would sail through, while a section of the constituents also believe the NDC needs a new face to represent the party in 2024, and subsequently the constituency in parliament.
They have, therefore, objected to Mr. Bedzrah’s intention to continue his works in parliament for the NDC and Ho West Constituency.
The prospects of Della Sowah winning the primary in the Kpando Constituency look gloomy as Sebastian Fred Deh is making inroads with some constituency and regional executives backing his bid.
Danso Archie Martin and Divine Selase Agbeti entered the race as underdogs, with hopes of truncating Della Sowa’s bid to represent Kpando in parliament in 5 straight terms.
She’s engaged in a rigorous campaign to convince delegates to give her the nod for a fourth term, as she identifies herself as an important asset in parliament for the NDC. She serves on the Mines and Energy, Standing Orders, and Business Committees.
The incumbent, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey’s desire to represent the Keta Constituency for a second term in parliament is threatened by the quest of socialist and businessman, Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah, and acting Volta Regional Director of Health, Senanu Kwesi Djokoto.
Both aspirants have made solid statements after declaring their intentions to contest the NDC primaries.
Some believe Mr. Jones-Mensah would use his influence, money, and philanthropic work to win the election.
Others are also convinced that Mr. Djokoto, a two-time Keta NDC Chairman and failed aspirant in 2019, would garner the votes of the delegates. He earlier indicated his disappointment in the approval of Mr. Jones-Mensah to contest, despite issues of the latter’s eligibility to partake in the primaries.
The camp of Mr. Jones-Mensah, however, refuted the allegations that their aspirant is not a registered member in the constituency among other accusations.
The NDC shockingly lost the Hohoe seat to NPP’s John Peter Amewu in 2020, and would be looking forward to electing a solid candidate to recapture the seat in 2024.
6 candidates including 2 women have been approved to contest the primary.
Frank Selorm Ankutse hopes the introduction of his self-funded health insurance policy for NDC executives in the constituency coupled with other philanthropic works would convince delegates to elect him.
Meanwhile, Christine Afi Fiakpoe believes she has what it takes to wrestle the seat from the NPP’s John Peter Amewu, describing herself as the tsetse fly that would kill the elephant in Hohoe.
Theophilus Kodjo Dzimega, Thomas Worlanyo Tsekpo, Condobrey Victor Herman, and Vera Hayibor are making frantic efforts to contest the parliamentary election on the ticket of the NDC.
The results of the primary would determine the NDC’s fate in recapturing the Hohoe seat from John Peter Amewu, who has become a household name in the constituency with some residents labeling him as ‘The Messiah.’
Benjamin Kpodo retired from parliament on the grounds of old age, adding that he is the first parliamentarian to have served 3 terms representing Ho Central.
This gives the NDC an opportunity to put forward a fresh parliamentary candidate.
7 members of the party have been approved to contest the primaries, with Stanley Nelvis Glate, Emmanuel Kafui Dzamefe, and Edem Kofi Kpotosu making a second attempt. The 3 aspirants were beaten by Benjamin Kpodo in the 2019 primaries.
Raphael Korda, Kasu Delali Kofi, Selorm Dey, and Robert Kofi Doh are new entrants who are making inroads with their campaign messages to delegates.
The Ho Central primary is crucial for the NDC because the governing NPP, is keen on winning the seat.
There would be an interesting contest in the Ketu North Constituency as the NDC is tasked to replace the incumbent, and a former Deputy Minority Leader for the NDC in Parliament, James Klutse Avedzi, after he announced his retirement from the legislature.
A former NDC National Deputy Youth Organiser, Edem Agbana, faces competition from 7 others in the Ketu North primary.
Among the 7 is Donald Cog Senanu Agumenu, who hopes to win the mandate of the delegates in Ketu North, after failing to beat Peter Nortsu Kotoe in the Akatsi North Constituency in two attempts.
Francis Seglah, John Kwabla Adanu, Prosper Yao Ledi, Gabriel Kwabla Adovoe Tanko Kwamiga-Atokple, and Leonard Kwabla Nyakpo would contest for the Ketu North slot on 13th May 2023.
The hopes of the incumbent MP for Afadzato South, Angela Alowu-Tay, winning the primary hangs in the balance as a former Constituency Chairman and Presidential Staffer, Frank Afriyie, is threatening to give her a run for her money.
Delegates in the constituency are divided between the two aspirants. Some are preaching for change with the explanation that Madam Alowu-Tay had been redundant during her two terms in parliament.
They asserted that the constituency has seen very little development under her watch and less parliamentary participation hence the need for a change.
However, the other divide of the delegates want Madam Angela to be given the nod to serve a third term.