An Election, as defined by Wikipedia "is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office." A concept well known by all electorates of Damongo Constituency as it should, considering our many things about this part of the country, are decided by-elections; Presidents, Judges, Members of Parliament, School Prefects, Student Leaders, Assembly members, Party leaders etc are all voted upon by the general population; and if not, they are decided by elected officials.
Damongo Constituency has had successful General Elections since 1992 that saw a smooth transition of power and governance between the two major Political Parties; National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party.
In essence, the wind of another election is blowing. Though disarrayed by the Corona pandemic, the Electoral Commission; the autonomous body charged for the conduction of public elections in Ghana is burning the midnight oil to making sure that we have another free and fair election in December.
Ere to the decision by the Government to impose restrictions on public gatherings and movement in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, there were already concerns about the belligerent ability of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to complete a compilation of a new voter register in time for the December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections. Whether the Electoral Commission will be able to compile a new register or not, Articles 63 and 112 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana set the timelines for holding presidential and parliamentary elections.
Article 63(2)(a) requires the presidential election to take place “…not earlier than four months nor later than a month before the term of office expires,” while, per article 112 (4), parliamentary elections must be held ‘within thirty days before the expiration of a Session of Parliament.
So per the law, Ghana's Presidential and Parliamentary Elections shall lead-off in December. But for the agonizing minds, who become the next legislator of my mother precinct; Damongo Constituency is but for God's cosmic power.
My infinite regards to all for a fierce but triumph voter's registration exercise. The exercise was but a 'gbirge n? n-gbirge' affair. And by the Lord's grace, everything went successfully and smoothly though there were some brotherly hitches.
Damongo Constituency, formally Damongo-Daboaya Constituency shall be having a very fierce battle for power between individuals of high profile come next 13 weeks. An un-halsen combat that has never happen in the Constituency's history. The likes of the incumbent MP on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress; Hon. Adam Mutawakilu, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the New Patriotic Party; Lawyer Abu Jinapor and a former U.N Security Advisor; David Tiki Dange, who are fervent and are already in the portals and courtyards, spending to get the node of the electorates. All these three candidates are already making serious inroads even before the 'campaign doors'.
Hon. Adam Mutawakilu is the incumbent member of Parliament for Damongo Constituency; who in the last general elections garnered 10263 votes of 18769 valid votes cast. He fetched 55.22% and the remaining shared among Mr Albert Kassim Diwura (NPP) 8,139 = 43.79%, Mr Abdul-Rashid Lawal (PPP) 112 = 0.60% and Mr Sulemana Hamdal (CPP) 72 = 0.39%
Below are compiled perceptive bulletin of what people behold and see in the already three Parliamentary aspirants of my dear Constituency.
ADAM MUTAWAKILU OF THE NDC
Hon. Mutawakilu, who is an accountant and Financial Officer is the most famous gentleman of the Constituency in the past decade; serving the people as a District Chief Executive of the then West Gonja District from May 2009 - January 2013. And in January 7 2013, he was voted into Parliament to serve his first term as the Constituency's legislator. He is currently the M. P and Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament.
The lawmakers have chalked a lot for his constituents. Ranging from health, utility, infrastructure, education employment etc hence his adage "Y?-nawura" (Acts when he speaks). Anywhere he steps, this colloquial becomes the song of the habitants due to his commitment to whatever he halsened. This naturally blessed son of Langbonto is the silent type, who doesn't move in un-invited. He is more of a jewel possession. He loves all, irrespective of party affiliation.
As generous as he is, Garlus duly manifests what the Holy Bible in Mathew 6:3-4 entails "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly".
He is the best bet for any electoral competition and a thorn in the flesh of his political opponents.
However, there are flaws; as human as he is in his dealings which may thwart his chances of winning the seat the third time; and if not checked may lead to his first annihilation.
1. Paragraph 6 of my revered letter to him(MP) gave an explicit descry and perception of electorates on why he has to 'leave them' after he won more than half of the total votes cast in the 2016 General Election. Most were them who thought he would not contest again in this years election until the NDC primaries. "After the 2016 general elections, the member of Parliament seemed to be running away from the hands that crowned him" an electorate declared.
2. Hon Mutawakilu has been chastised severally by his constituents especially NPP Communicators in Damongo Constituency for adopting Former President Dramani Mahama's projects as his. This has been a motion for debate on media outlets which mostly create a clamour for floating voters to perceive so. As to whether this claim is false or true, it will apparently manifest come December 7.
3. Neglect of the grassroots is also a factor that seems to de-virgate the chances of the once industrious lawmaker. Once upon a time in those days of H.E John Mahama, Garlus was occasionally seen in naming ceremonies, funeral rites, wedding ceremonies, susu grounds etc. One could hear the little one's singing and praising him (Y?-nawura) from a distance. But hmmm......
4. Another critical menace that must be checked before the next four months is the disunited NDC Executives in the Constituency.
It is clinically clear that all is not well in the NDCs hierarchy of the constituency down to the branch level. During the June 2018 Executive elections of the party, contenders resolutely pitched camps in their confederacy struggle for power. Bitter words were shared during this period resulting to perpetual anger and enrages. Since then, all is but 'nyina fuufuu'
LAWYER SAMUEL A. JINAPOR OF THE NPP
Lawyer Samuel Abu Jinapor is a Lawyer by profession and the Parliamentary Candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party of Damongo Constituency. He was called to the Ghana Bar in 2012 as a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He also holds a Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Faculty of Law. His intellectual thirst and political aspirations led him to enrol to be trained as a lawyer, that naturally infuse his successful accomplishment.
Jinapor became active in politics at an early age; where he became a member of the Tertiary Education Network of the university(KNUST) wing of the NPP and begun actively campaigning for the party(NPP). He is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mr Frema Opare.
The NPP candidate, a Prince and a former student leader is divinely ordained to be a leader, hence his elevation to the Deputy Chief of Staff position in 2017 (one of the highest offices in government ) that received mixed reactions from the populace due to his tender age and the intricating nature of that office. He is very simple, decorous, sociable, altruistic, slow to anger and down to earth.
Since his appointment as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mrs Naada Jinapor's cute husband have been pushing at all angles to raise high the standard of living of people in Damongo constituency.
The 2020 general election being his first political battle, the Lawyer is habitually working his socks off to snatch power from the three-time NDC MP.
Like the incumbent, Jinapor equally has some unconcealed defects, that if not checked may make his political career, a pie in the sky and his name filed in the 'dairy of defeated Sisyphean' in Damongo constituency.
1. Most Polling Station Executives of the party (NPP) feel neglected and repudiated whenever the NPPs PC goes in his usual routine of 'touching' the electorates. Others feel discriminated and are with a flummox view that some leaders are more powerful in the Party than the less privileged.
2. Samuel A. Jinapor has his parents and siblings currently residing and voting in a different constituency; people are thus astounded for his inability to contest his brother (John Jinapor) of the NDC in Yapei-Kasawgu Constituency, but suddenly leaped to cause a disorder in another constituency. (see Nkilgi FM Facebook page, dated 26th May 2019)
3. Constituents are taking a dekko of the many happenings in the country since power was handed over to the NPP government in January 7 2017.
A corruption allegation on the NPP aspirant and his partner Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye by Kwame A. Plus in the third quarter of 2017 is still fresh in the minds of Damongo Constituents. Most of the people are still with the notion that some of Lawyer Abu's generous gestures are sourced from dubious and unlawful lootings.
4. Damongo Constituency in the past decade is the home of the NDC; due to the emergence of Former President John Mahama in the national political ring.
It will, therefore, take more than sweat and bone for the young lawyer to surpass his keen contender in this years election.
DAVID TIKI DANGE; AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES
David Tiki Dange, a royal native of Damongo in the Savanna Region is one of the finest, sophisticated and vastly experienced internationally esteemed Criminologist and Security Consultants in Ghana. Tiki’s integrity, intelligence, competence and diligence made him the most preferred officer working with very high-profile personalities such as Her Excellency Susan Rice of the United States, His Excellencies Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, General Abdul Selami Abubakari.
Mr Dange was endorsed and called by the populace to come help salvage the good people of Damongo constituency from their perpetual suffering. As tender as he is in the political ring, Mr Dange is already fulfilling promises made and making sure that people dearly observe the safety protocol by making available sanitizers, gloves, boots, buckets, etc. People closer to him describe him as the silent but industrious type; one who always strives for the betterment of all. The independent candidate is a unifier and he represents not a sect but all, hence his claim "My people are yearning for a competent man of unquestionable integrity who can represent their collective interest as well as unite the highly polarised constituents to animate their aspirations to reality."
On his familiarization tour a couple of months ago, the former security consultant got the attention of many; especially floating voters. He is adored by many because of his humble nature, his inert passion for the needy and his intellectual approach to solving the pressing needs of his constituents.
1. With all the positive dreams for his people, the former criminologist's inexperience in the political landscape is a possible factor that may obliterate his chances of claiming this rivalrous seat.
2. This being his first fixture in a political league, Mr Tiki as an independent candidate has no established infrastructure and support network; no constituency or branch executives.
Political parties are able to draw on resources, party offices, finances, as well as volunteers, to support a campaign, and these resources may not be available to the Independent candidate; this may thwart his chances.
3. Independent Parliamentary Candidates who contested for the Constituency's seat in the past have never chalked over 1% of total votes cast. For Mr Tiki to be crown the next legislator in the next 14 weeks, then he will need to do more than 'Napoleon'.
This is a piece put together; not to bemoan any Parliamentary candidate but to help them repackage and do their homework well as we march into the campaign times. It is also a wooden-log bench's (ajanso) conversational compilation of what people bespeak of the three sedulous and generous politicians of our dear Constituency.
Politicians, because they are generally a self-selected group driven by a desire for power may perhaps be more perilous than the general population, but I would be careful of underestimating how much evil is in every individual, as well as overstating the amount of evil that is in people who you are predisposed to disagree with. I don’t want to get too preachy here, but let he who is without sin.......(John 8:7)
They are human like us. We must beware of them; the Politician!!!!