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Re: NPP primaries, retain Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Adwoa Safo, and Okyem Aboagye

Npp Supporters 4 NPP goes to the polls to elect parliamentary candidates for election 2020

Wed, 17 Jun 2020 Source: Kwaku Boateng

On Saturday, June 20th, the governing party, NPP, will be electing candidates at places where they have sitting Members of Parliament. The contest which was slated for April 24th had to be moved to this date due to the Covid_19 pandemic. Indeed, most party members want to see this day in their rare view mirror due to the acrimony and rancour the contest is generating. There are several intriguing contests, but notable among them are:

1. Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah vs Michael Okyere Baafi- New Juaben South, Eastern Region.

2. Adwoa Safo vs Mike Ocquaye Jr.-Dome Kwabenya, Greater Accra

3. Okyem Aboagye vs Asenso Boakye, Bantama, Ashanti Region

In all these races, the incumbent is being challenged by a government appointee, which the party constitution though allows. However, one has to ask why do these appointees want to jump the executive ship to that of the legislature? Is their desire informed by their own interest, the party, or the country as a whole? Are they seeking to replace non-performing incumbents whose work in parliament is below par? Are they trying to hedge themselves in the event the party does not win the general elections? These are questions that informed this short piece.

A quick research on these three incumbent MPs shows that they are among the best the party has in parliament. Deservingly, there are a number of incumbents who will be going into Saturday as unopposed candidates. These three should have been given the pass, they more than deserve to run uncontested based on their record.

Who is Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah? He is the Chairman of the powerful finance committee in parliament. Many people this writer spoke with before writing this piece were in shock as to why the party allowed this excellent lawmaker to even be challenged. Research shows he is one of the most important personalities in this government when it comes to the work of parliament. This writer has followed his work keenly even when the party was in opposition. Though he was not the ranking member then, he actually led the NPP as their spokesman on all matters finance/economics in parliament as a minority MP.

He has not relented since they came to power and as the Chairman now, his exploits, dexterity and all-round understanding of finance and economics has endeared him to many. Assibey- Yeboah is seen as a natural legislature, and his passion for what he does in defending and moving the government agenda is something NPP cannot afford to lose. The venerable Kweku Baako puts it best when he said Assibey-Yeboah is a national asset and he is fit for purpose when it comes to parliamentary work.

The person trying to unseat Assibey-Yeboah is the free zones boss, Okyere Baafi. He is seen as an up and coming politician. However, pundits believe he is nowhere near the pedigree of Assibey-Yeboah and that it will be a travesty if Assibey-Yeboah is not retained.

Adwoa Safo has distinguished herself as one of the solid women politicians the country has. Apart from her role as Deputy Majority leader, she is also the Minister of Procurement. She is in her second term, inspiring, and an integral part of this administration. So, it begs the question, why does Mike Ocquaye Jr., the son of the current speaker of parliament, Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye wants to cut short Adwoa’s endearing journey. Adwoa stands for so many things besides politics, she is a model of what can be done when you set your mind unto something.

Our young ladies aspiring to enter into politics look up to her. Even though Mike Ocquaye Jr. is seen as a fine brain and politically astute. Many think he is doing a good job as a diplomat and a solid rep for the President in India. As such, he needs to continue in that role and let Adwoa Safo be the shining star Dome Kwabenya has produced. May the discerning delegates hear this voice and duly maintain the smart political gem they have, Adwoa can’t lose, Ghana is not done with her yet.

Okyem Aboakye is an unassuming, enterprising first term incumbent of Bantama. This writer started following his work since he burst on the scene after his shocking defeat of Hon. Kokufo the then MP in the 2015 primaries. Before becoming an MP, research has it that he was operating one of the fastest-growing savings and loans scheme that even survived the 2019, BoG cleansing exercise. He is also into transportation business, and his affiliated company has given the VIP bus chain a run for their money. In parliament, he serves on the powerful finance committee and doubles as the government spokesperson on finance. His practical understanding of our market and his ability to break it down in our local dialect in his numerous media encounters is something to marvel.

His opponent is Asenso Boakye, Deputy Chief of Staff and also a political assistant to the president. Asenso has been a trusted ally to the President and this is his second time trying to win the seat to enter parliament. Many have questioned the timing of his decision because of his closeness with the President, who is bound to get a second term in office. This writer holds the same view that, the constituency is blessed with two good materials and that it will be a disservice to the party and the country to lose one because of party internal politics. Asenso should continue to help the President to win and be part of the executive. Bantama should embrace this evolving first term MP, allow him to continue and they will never regret such an inclusive decision.

This writer will conclude with the old cliché that if it’s not broken don’t fix it. These three constituencies have underlying commonalities. They have solid MPs who are doing great for the party and the country. Their opponents are also playing their part in serving the executive branch of the government. The constituents are indeed blessed to have the combo package. The incumbent MPs in these aforementioned constituencies should be retained to continue their good works and the appointees too can return to their post to serve mother Ghana. Out of the over hundred contests on Saturday, this writer believes these are the most intriguing races and that the NPP deserve to preserve their best. Posterity will not forgive the party if any of these MPs lose on Saturday.

All the best to all contestants!

Long Live NPP

Long Live Ghana

Columnist: Kwaku Boateng
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