The deputy Minister of Interior and Member of Parliament for Builsa North, James Agalga, has hit out at the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, saying he is intolerant of dissenting opinions and, therefore, cannot be trusted with Ghana’s highest office.Mr. Agalga cited the indefinite suspension of the NPP’s National Chairman, Paul Afoko, and some other executives of the party to buttress his claims that the leader of the country’s biggest opposition political party, if voted president, may crush free speech.
He was addressing supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the launch of his re-election campaign at Sandema, Paul Afoko’s hometown, held Saturday ahead of the 2016 polls.
“When Paul Afoko was made the National Chairman of the NPP, we in the Builsa area were all very happy that one of our own had become the leader, the chairman, of the opposition New Patriotic Party. But our joy was short-lived. It was short-lived as a result of the dictatorial tendencies of Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo is intolerant and his intolerance came to the peak when he decided that he could not stand dissenting views from Paul Afoko, and decided to show him the exit.
“Other leading members of the NPP- like Kwabena Agyapong, Sammy Crabbe- were all shown the exit. That is the party that is [much] disunited and, therefore, we cannot trust Akufo-Addo to lead a united Ghana. The level of disunity is so deep to the extent that they have resorted to throwing acid against one another. That is the reason why we implore everybody here to vote massively for John Mahama and his parliamentary candidates,” Mr. Agalga told the cheering crowd of supporters clad in party colours.
NPP’s “dog meat factory” promise is an insult- NDC
The Deputy Interior Minister also took the “one district, one factory” campaign promise of the NPP to the shredder, strongly describing a proposed share of that promise for the Upper East Region as “an insult” to the region.
“Akufo-Addo’s party stated that, for the Upper East region, the type of factory they would construct for us is dog meat factory. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to say that pledge is nothing but an insult to the sensibilities of the people of the Upper East Region. Yes, it is true that some people enjoy the dog meat in the Upper East Region- but we are not the only ones!
“Elsewhere in the country, people equally enjoy dog meat as a delicacy. Why did they not promise those people that they would also build dog meat factory for them? That is why I am saying that that promise, which is targeted at the Upper East Region, is an insult. It demeans the people of the Upper East Region and for which reason the people of the Upper East Region will sincerely punish Akufo-Addo come December 7,” Mr. Agalga vehemently stated.
NDC claims support for needy students with Gh¢70,000
The campaign launch at Sandema, capital of the Builsa North District, also saw the NDC tout some of its achievements as well as the declaration of five main areas within the constituency as campaign zones for the party’s reelection bid.
The party claimed it had spent “a lot of money” to support students in second-cycle and tertiary institutions, reportedly devoting Gh¢100,000 in 2015 and over Gh¢70,000 in 2016 to the education of “vulnerable” students in the constituency.
“We have helped a lot of them to pay their school fees. Last year alone, we committed Gh¢100,000 in support of those who are vulnerable. This year alone, we have already committed over Gh¢70,000 to support the vulnerable to pay their school fees. We have also worked very hard to ensure that our women, our mothers, in this constituency get their fair share of the national cake by way of the MASLOC loan support scheme,” the MP disclosed as the crowd applauded and cheered wildly.
The NDC’s campaign zones in the constituency, as announced by the Deputy Interior Minister, include Sandema, Wiaga, Chuchuliga, Siniensi and Kadema. Dignitaries including a number of parliamentary candidates in the region joined the crowd. They are: former Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Daniel Syme; parliamentary candidate for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak; candidate for Nabdam, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane; candidate for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo; candidate for Chiana-Paga, Lawyer Rudolf Amenga-Etego and the parliamentary candidate for Bongo, Edward Bawa, among other key players of the upcoming polls.
Electoral results in Builsa North in 2008
The 2008 elections saw the NDC’s Timothy Awotiirim Ataboadey capture 8,259 (43.1%) votes to unseat incumbent MP, Agnes Asangalisa Chigabatia of the NPP, who got 6,988 (36.5%) votes. Thomas Akum-Youg of the People’s National Convention finished third with 3,361 (17.5%) votes ahead of Dominic Davinus Atibil of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) who obtained 557 (2.9%) votes.
Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC, at the first round of the 2008 polls, attracted 11, 352 (59.03%) votes; the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo garnered 6,080 (31.62%) votes; Dr. Edward Mahama of the PNC, 1,130 (5.88%); Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi, representing the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), took home 89 (0.46%) votes; Thomas Nuako Ward-Brew of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), 42 (0.22%) votes; Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, representing the CPP, got 417 (2.17%) votes; Kwabena Adjei of the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), 30 (0.16%) votes and Kwesi Amofa-Yeboah, an independent candidate, polled 90 (0.47%) ballots.
The runoff of the 2008 polls gave Professor Mills 12, 808 (68.60%) votes and handed Nana Akufo-Addo 5, 863 (31.40%) votes.
Electoral results in Builsa North in 2012
In 2012, James Agalga, standing for the NDC, won the seat with 10, 792 (50.41%) votes. The NPP’s Agnes Asangalisa Chigabatia obtained 5,690 (26.58%) votes and Francis Agilinko of the PNC polled 4,925 (23.01%) votes.
The NDC led the presidential election in the constituency with 14,824 (66.81%) votes for John Dramani Mahama. Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP attracted 5,005 (22.56%) votes; Hassan Ayariga, standing for the PNC, got 562 (2.53%) votes and Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom captured 68 (0.31%) for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
The CPP’s Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster polled 57 (0.26%) votes; Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent presidential candidate, garnered 218 (0.98%) votes; Akwasi Addai Odike of the United Front Party (UFP) got 42 (0.19%) votes and Henry Herbert Lartey, representing the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), captured 146 (0.66%) votes in that constituency.