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Opinions Wed, 4 Nov 2020

NDC confident of victory for Ablekuma West Parliamentary seat

The Ablekuma West constituency since its creation in 2012, has become a comfortable abode of the New Patriotic Party in the Greater Accra Region.

The incumbent legislator, Ursula Owusu who is the Minister for Communications will for the third time be seeking to retain the seat for the NPP.

In the 2016 general elections, Ursula Owusu garnered 34,376 against the National Democratic Congress parliamentary candidate Diana Obenewaa Twum who managed 20,976 votes.

Not only did Ursula have to fight off a challenge from Madam Diana Twum, but there was also Theophilus Nii Ayerkwe who broke away from the NPP to contest as an Independent Candidate, he had 4,484 votes.

With a few days to the general election on December 7th, I spoke to the NDC constituency organiser Isaac Amartey to assess their chances in the upcoming elections. We discuss campaign strategy, visibility of candidate, personal achievement and prediction.

First, Mr. Amartey gives a brief background of the NDC candidate Rev. Kwaku Addo, who defeated former deputy national coordinator at the National Youth Authority Prince Derrick Adjei during the Party's primaries.

"Rev. Kwaku Addo is a pastor of Hour of Restoration church and owner of Odareen Christian school. Rev Addo is a nurse by profession and also own farms. He is a personable person, who has united the rank and file of the party in the constituency. His affable persona has engendered good relationship with people in all ten electoral. He is very well known by the people in the constituency."

In the midst of Convid 19, political parties have adopted new strategies to carry their messages across to electorates at the constituency level. He talks about the kind of plans the NDC has developed to sell their candidates to secure victory on December 7th.

"After government lifted the restrictions, we started Church to church campaigning, At the church, you have more than 100 people, and that is more than 10 houses. On Fridays, we go to the various mosques to speak to our Muslim neighbours. In addition to that, we visit house to house in the evening to sell our message. So far the reception has been great," he added.

The results in the last election show it's going be a mountain task for the NDC to change the narrative in December. Because this time round, Hon Ursula Owusu went unopposed during the NPP primaries.

Meaning, voters that she may have lost to the then independent candidate in the previous election will back to her camp. But the Mr. Amartey of the NDC sees it otherwise.

"In 2016, the independent candidate managed to pull votes from some of our areas, it wouldn't be the case come December 7th. To win the parliamentary seat, we've put measures in place to lure voters from Theophilus camp back to the NDC. People want change. They want people want Ursula to go. The signs are written on the wall."

Talking about the chances of the Presidential candidate John Dramani Mahama, Amartey concedes that it will be difficult to win the presidential votes in the constituency. In that, while Ursula secured 56.96% of the votes, candidate Nana Akufo Addo had 61. 85% of total ballots cast. This underscores the strength of president Nana Akufo Addo in the constituency.

"Traditionally the Ablekuma West constituency is a stronghold of the NPP. We expect them to win the presidential votes. We are however working hard to increase the votes of Mahama in the constituency."

The NDC candidate, Rev Kwaku Addo is quite visible with a number of huge billboards and posters in every corner of the constituency. Butit doesn't come close to the loud colors of the NPP.

Almost every weekend, you find scores of people in party t-shirts jogging early in the morning and moving from one house to another afternoon. You see branded cars of Ursula and the President move about playing party songs. It's almost as if the NPP are the party in opposition. They are in every street and corner campaigning.

But Mr. Amartey is not perturbed.

"Its difficult to be more visible in a when in opposition because financially you may not have enough resources. Initially, we were having problems hanging our flags and posters because there were calculated attempts by the municipal assembly to frustrate our efforts but we've managed to scale that. We believe reaching out to the people is the most important thing."

Mr. Amartey believes the Rev. Addo can point to some personal initiatives he's taken within the constituency that can win him the seat.

" He's been giving scholarships to young students while encouraging adult education. There were some areas within the estate that no water running through their taps. Rev funded the drilling of a borehole to provide water for people living in that area."

"We are very confident of a victory for Rev Kwaku Addo. We're going to win with a slight vote difference, not more than thousand".

Note: Attempts were made to NPP to have similar discussions but to no avail.
Columnist: Richard Gyasi
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