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Politics Tue, 16 Jul 2019

Battle for Damongo seat heats up for NPP, NDC

One of the parliamentary seats in the newly created Savannah Region that will be hotly contested for in the 2020 general election is the Damongo Constituency, which is also the administrative capital of the Savannah Region.

The contest for that parliamentary seat will be between the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The Damongo parliamentary seat is currently being held by the NDC Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Adam Mutawakilu, with the nickname “Galus” but the NPP has vowed to snatch that seat from the NDC in the 2020 elections, which it has described as one of the ‘orphan’ constituencies.

Apart from the Salaga South Constituency that the NPP won in the 2016 elections, the remaining six parliamentary seats out of the seven in the Savannah Region are being held by the NDC.

They are the Yapei-Kasawgu, Daboya-Makragu, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Bole and the Salaga North constituencies.

Determination/visibility

Although the NPP has slated September 28, 2019, to hold primaries in constituencies where the party has no sitting MPs, one of the personalities whose name has come out prominently to be the party’s choice for the Damongo Constituency is the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor.

Sources close to the NPP in the Savannah Region and the Damongo Constituency have indicated that Mr Abu Jinapor is likely to go unopposed.

Mr Abu Jinapor, who is said to be determined to snatch the seat from the two time NDC MP for Damongo, Mr Mutawakilu, is said to have started making serious inroads in the Damongo Constituency even before the creation of the Savannah Region and the subsequent naming of the regional capital as Damongo, sending signals that he was ready to slug it out with the incumbent NDC MP.

Among some of the philanthropic gestures undertaken by Mr Jinapor to establish his visibility in the constituency to unseat the NDC MP was the drilling of boreholes and extension of electricity to some deprived communities, the construction of a footbridge leading to the Damongo cemetery, the donation of a digging equipment to the Muslim community at Damongo to enable them easily dig graves for their departed ones, among others, with the recent being the donation of 100 vials of anti-snake venom to the Damongo hospital.

All these gestures are said to be aimed at winning the hearts of the people of the constituency and to prepare the ground for a fierce contest between him and the sitting NDC MP.

Mr Jinapor, in a recent address at the Savannah Regional Special Delegates’ conference of the NPP held at Damongo, said the Damongo Constituency used to be a solid ground for the NPP which had the party's candidate winning twice from 2000 to 2008 to represent the constituency in Ghana's Parliament.

He , therefore, called on the party delegates and members to work hard to enable the party to win the Damongo parliamentary seat in the 2020 general elections.

NDC’s resolve

However, the Savannah regional executive members of the NDC have vowed to retain the seat for their party in the 2020 elections with a wider margin to confirm that the region, which was carved out of the Northern Region, remained their stronghold.

“We are not perturbed by the incursions being made by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor to snatch the seat from the NDC. The NDC is firmly on the ground and we will retain the Damongo parliamentary seat and win with a wider margin in 2020”, the Savannah Regional Communications Director of the NDC, Malik Basintale has said.

Profile of sitting MP

Mr Mutawakilu, the sitting NDC MP for Damongo before entering Parliament on January 7, 2013 after winning the 2012 elections was the District Chief Executive (DCE) for West Gonja (Damongo), now the capital of the Savannah Region.

In the 2016 general elections, Mr Adam Mutawakilu won the elections with 10,263 votes, representing 55.22 per cent to retain the seat he won in 2012, while his closest contender, Albert Kassim Diwura of the NPP obtained 8,139 votes, representing 43.79 per cent.

If this result is anything to go by, then the 2020 parliamentary elections in the Damomgo Constituency will be hotly contested between the NPP and the NDC.

Source: Graphic.com.gh