Ayawaso West By-Election: Mad rush for Agyarko’s seat
There appears to be a mad rush for the vacant Ayawaso West Wuogon seat following the death of Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, the former Member of Parliament (MP).
Mr. Agyarko was a New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for the Constituency until he died on November 21, 2018 in the United States from gallbladder infection.
Even though he has not been buried, some people, who ideally should have been mourning his death, are interested in succeeding him.
Notable among persons reportedly vying for the position are his two wives, Lydia Alhassan, with whom she has five children and Naana Baiden Agyarko, who is said to be the first, with two kids.
Posters bearing their photos with NPP colours have started circulating on social media.
It’s not strange in Ghana for the wife of a late MP to succeed the husband in Parliament after his death.
In 2016, wife of National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Shai Osudoku in the Greater Accra Region, Desmond William Ocloo, succeeded her husband who died in a car accident in March, 2016 on the Accra-Kumasi Road.
Again, in 2001 Cecilia Amoah defeated Collins Dauda to win the Asutufi South parliamentary seat for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the death of her husband, Prof. Djan Amoah, few days to the December 2000 polls.
But it seems the NPP wants to break that tradition to encourage women to mourn their husbands and perform the necessary widowhood rites.
As a result, the NPP, according to DAILY GUIDE’s sources, is shopping for a consensus candidate to win the by-election to be conducted by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
Sources say the party’s leadership is encouraging the two wives who are reportedly fighting for the seat to mourn their late husband and perform the widowhood rites in these trying times.
Meanwhile, Naana Agyarko has debunked media reports that she is interested in succeeding the late Emmanuel Agyarko.
Candidates So Far
DAILY GUIDE has gathered that the NPP intends to settle on a businessman affiliated to the Despite Group of Companies, but it’s unclear whether he would accept the offer.
The businessman is said to be very busy and may not be able to represent the NPP, according to reports.
Aside the businessman, the paper gathered that some retired bankers and Ato Williams, a former President of the Young Executive Forum of the party, have expressed interest in representing the NPP in the by-election.
Some people are also considering Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, who lives at Westland.
Even though the NDC has been advised by its MP for Kunbungu, Ras Mubarak not to field a candidate in the by-election and allow the NPP to find a replacement, the names of four people, including John Dumelo, have popped up.
The NDC appears to be desperate to snatch the seat which is traditionally for the NPP in the by-election.
Apart from John Dumelo, who lives in the area and was accused in the past of ‘stealing’ a V8 Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to the state, a daughter of late NDC’s financier, David Lamptey, Delali Emmanuel Kwasi Brempong, who was defeated in the 2016 election by the deceased, Dr. John Kusimi, a lecturer at the Department of Geography and Resource Development of the University of Ghana and another female lecturer at the University, have been reportedly penciled by the party.
The activities of the youth in the constituency, who seem to be doing the bidding of the two wives, are said to be causing tension in the area.
A group calling itself Concerned Delegates of Ayawaso West Wuogon, petitioned the leadership of the ruling NPP to allow only the ‘first and legitimate’ wife of the former MP, Naana Baiden Agyarko to contest the upcoming by-election.
The youth, in the petition, said “It’s with a heavy heart that we, the concerned delegates of Ayawaso West Wuogon, write this petition. We are a group of over 500 delegates and from all the 11 electoral areas namely, Legon Electoral area A, Legon Electoral 8, Mempeasem Electoral area, Dzorwulu Electoral area, Okponglo Electoral area, Airport Electoral area, Christian Centre Electoral area, Abelemkpe Electoral area. Tesano Electoral area, Westlands Electoral area and East Legon Electoral area. We are from all the 137 polling stations in the constituency.”
“Over the last few days that we lost our Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, some people from his quarters have started pushing for one Lydia Alhassan, a “supposed second’ wife of the late Hon. Agyarko be made the parliamentary candidate of our party ahead of the by-election. “
It added that “those pushing this agenda make reference to the case of Asutufi South constituency in the 2000 parliamentary elections where prior to the elections, Professor Djan Amoah, who died mysteriously, was replaced by the widow Madam Cecilia who had returned from Zimbabwe.”
But it appears the two women are now avoiding the clandestine machinations.
Lydia Alhassan is said to have thrown in the towel due to the backlash.
“Even though I have heard of agitations from sections of the constituency I do not intend to contest.
According to her, “At the right time the rank and file of the party shall decide on a candidate that we should all support.”
“I have remained in a deep state of shock and mourning following the sudden demise of the father of the seven beautiful children of E.K, five of which I bore for him. I believe I can say same for Naana and her beautiful and kind hearted Jane and Sonny. Why anybody would want to do this to a family in mourning beats my imagination.
“Yes, several members of our party and the constituency in general have approached me to suggest that I consider the idea, and my response to them has remained the same; that I be allowed to bury the father of my children in peace and that the time is quite inappropriate for me now to engage in such discussions. I have also encouraged all to take the matter of the by-election in our constituency to the Lord in prayer.”
Naana Baiden Agyarko has also denied reports that she intends to vie for the position.