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Election 2020: NDC's Naa Koryoo poised to snatch Awutu Senya East from Hawa Koomson

MAVIS HAWA KOOMSON2 MP for Awutu Senya East, Hawa Koomson

Sun, 26 Jul 2020 Source: Peter Nee Jeffrey, Contributor

Until Tuesday July 21, 2020, not many people in Ghana did not know who Phyllis Naa Koryoo Okunor, the National Democratic Congress candidate for Awutu Senya East (Kasoa) constituency is. This changed when the sitting Member of Parliament and a government minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson’s alleged gunshot was broadcast live across the world.

The beautiful mother and hardworking community activist, Naa Koryoo (popularly known in the constituency as NK or “The Woman”), was suddenly thrust into the limelight after her contender for the hotly contested parliamentary seat of Awutu Senya East (Kasoa), Mavis Hawa Koomson, made headlines across the world for firing a gunshot during voters registration exercise going on in one of the polling stations in the constituency. Ironically this particular polling station is very close to where Naa Koryoo, lives.

An election survey conducted a day after the shooting shows Naa Koryoo would win this hotly contested seat in Kasoa. The poll puts NDC ahead 10 percentage points of NPP in number of seats in Greater Accra and Central regions of Ghana. Naa Koryoo who is very well known in the community for her activism, when contacted said, “This is excellent news for Awutu Senya East voters and NDC.

However, Naa Koryoo said, despite the poll results, which shows her well ahead of Mavis Hawa Koomson, is not taking anything for granted, and stated, “that’s why I have been working hard as I can to win this seat and bring much needed development to the people of Kasoa who deserve better”. Naa Koryoo said she is confident NDC will win the seat, but as the brutality and beatings of the voters of Kasoa by the NPP thugs shows, it won’t be easy.

Many in the constituency, especially mothers and the market traders blamed Mavis Hawa Koomson for presiding over many acts of violence that have characterised the registration exercise in Kasoa which had given the constituency a bad name. Many said Naa Koryoo would never bus “foreigners” (those who do not reside in the constituency) to register in Kasoa. Many of the constituents that this writer spoke to said, they have known Naa Koryoo since her student days, seen her grown to become a God fearing, anti-corruption crusader in the constituency. Many attest that they have attended Naa Koryoo’s constituency office to get support with issues they face in the constituency, and accused Hawa Koomson and the NPP of neglecting Kasoa. Many, including mothers and the youth said they will accept NPP vote buying money but would still vote for their local girl, own daughter and sister, Naa Koryoo.

A spokesman for Naa Koryoo claimed the support for Mavis Hawa Koomson had collapsed following the gunshot in the constituency. He added that after the gunshot by Hawa Koomson, Naa Koryoo is picking up more NPP votes. The day after the gunshot by Mavis Hawa Koomson majority of the voters in Kasoa called Naa Koryoo to check if she is alright. That is how strong the people of Kasoa like Naa Koryoo. Many in the constituency see Naa Koryoo as someone who can do great things for the constituency.

In an interview with a number of the constituents, many alluded to the fact that Naa Koryoo grew up in the constituency, knows the local difficulties they face, including lack of jobs for the youth, lack of drinking water and rise of serious crime, all issues that Naa Koryoo has been working hard to address.

As ever, much of the focus would be on marginal constituencies in Greater Accra, Central and the Northern Regions, places where the winning majority in 2016 was small.

There will be a lot of focus on seats such as Adenta, Awutu Senya East and other marginal seats that NDC would have to win to form the next government. The most striking of the 2017 election was that the results in lots of the seats was very close.

Unlike 2017, NDC has decided to choose local candidates like Naa Koryoo, who grew up in the constituencies that they are contesting, knows the issues that they face and can help bring development and employment to their own people. NDC will be hoping to win back some of the seats they lost in 2017 with hard working and dynamic local candidates like Phyllis Naa Koryoo Okunor. Kasoa has become an ultra-Marginal seat thanks to the hard work of the NDC parliamentary candidate, Naa Koryoo.

Many of the residents, including the youth, market traders and hawkers in Kasoa that this writer spoke to said they are first name terms with Naa Koryoo. Although Kasoa is supposedly in the Central Region, however because of its close proximity to Accra, the Capital City of Ghana, it is fairly representative of the whole country, both in ethnic mix and politically speaking. This trend has been seen across all the regional capitals and their suburbs in the country.

Some of the residents of Kasoa, who have known Naa Koryoo since her student days growing up in the constituency, said she instrumental in getting the NDC administration under President Mahama to build a first class hospital for Kasoa but the edifice was never used and left abandoned by Mavis Hawa Koomson and her government, the NPP. The resentment for Mavis Hawa Koomson and the NPP in the constituency is such that many are saying the seat is already reserved for Naa Koryoo.

Naa Koryoo, who grew up in Kasoa, is known for campaigning on local issues such as lack of unemployment who has drove most of the youth to the streets to hawk. When this writer catch with her during her busy community engagement meeting with her constituents, she said, “I am honoured to be fighting this election as the NDC candidate for Kasoa, my hometown, and would do everything as Member of Parliament to promote President Mahama and Vice President Naana Jane’s message of development and job creation for the youth that are so desperately needed here in Kasoa and across the country.

Naa Koryoo said the NPP brutality and beatings of Ghana people shows that NDC are the party that represent the moderate and peace abiding Ghanaians.

Columnist: Peter Nee Jeffrey, Contributor
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