An aspiring parliamentary candidate for the National Democratic Congress in Lower Manya, says building a formidable party in the constituency remains one of his core visions for the party as he seeks the consent of party delegates to represent the constituency.
Dr. Joseph Teye Nuettey who is worried about the dwindling fortunes of the party in the constituency over the last few years blames the mishap on the current Member of Parliament for the area, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi and maintains that political observers will not agree to his return to parliament to represent the people Of Lower Manya Krobo.
“Political observers in Lower Manya will agree that we don’t stand a chance if the same person (Okletey Terlabi) is presented again,” said the doctor.
Dr. Nuettey said this when he picked up a form on Friday July, 12, 2019 to contest the NDC’s parliamentary elections.
The former eastern regional Director of Health, one of six candidate to pick a form to seek delegates consent to lead the party’s parliamentary bid in the 2020 polls was accompanied by scores of party supporters and well-wishers.
Dr Nuettey who promised to build a constituency party office for the NDC should he be given the nod observed that the political dominance enjoyed by the party in the constituency since 1992 was gradually being neutralized under the leadership of the incumbent MP as amply portrayed in the last parliamentary polls in 2016.
The NDC with Micheal Teye Nyaunu as parliamentary candidate in 1996 polled 24,763 represetning some 59.50% with Kodjiku Lawrence Kpabitey of the NPP placing a distant second with some 5,718 votes representing 13.70% and Robert Kwesi Nartey of the PNC garnering 482 or 1.20%.
But the New Patriotic Party appears to have bridged the gap over the years as the party, led by its parliamentary candidate, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey in the 2016 parliamentary polls lost out to the NDC with just 327 votes.
Mr. Ayertey garnered 19,383 votes representing 48.91% with incumbent MP, Terlabi then seeking a second term on the ticket of the NDC, securing 19,710 which represented 49.74% and Foster Emmanuel Okley of the CPP polling 536 or 1.35%.
The development, according to the parliamentary aspirant is worrying, arguing that presenting the incumbent lawmaker again is tantamount to giving the party’s opponents, the NPP the seat on a silver platter.
“The difference between us and our political opponents has closed, especially with him (Terlabi) as candidate as his win [in 2016] was very marginal”, said Dr. Joseph Teye Nuettey who lost out on the party’s parliamentary primaries in 2015 to Okletey Terlabi. “Presenting the same candidate therefore means handing our opponents the seat on a silver platter”.
The astute medical practitioner who calls himself an agent of development, believes empowering people, especially the youth, rather than they soliciting for assistance from political leaders is the best way to go.
Political leadership is not about waking up in the morning to see a long queue of people at your doorstep to seek financial assistance from you, that is not what we want, said the doctor.
Asked how he intends to address the seeming cracks, divisions and factionalism in the party, he believes a succession plan put in place by the political leadership in the constituency will greatly help address this problem.
He maintains that the party needs to groom other potential parliamentary representatives to take over from the outgoing MP. “As a good leader, you must prepare somebody to take over from you and this is absent,” he bemoaned.
Dr. Nuettey initiated the construction of the midwifery and nursing training college at Odumase-Krobo.
He first contested the parliamentary elections of the NDC in 2015, coming second to the incumbent, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi.
My chances are very bright, said a confident Dr Nuettey when asked about his chances of winning the candidature, saying the era of trial and error was over.
Meanwhile, party secretary in the constituency, Atenas Frederick Okoro who spoke with the media said reports of certain branch executives frustrating the endorsement of particular candidates was worrying. He cautioned them to desist from this practice and warned that executives found culpable will be sanctioned accordingly.
Six persons by close of day, Friday, July 12, 2019 had picked forms to contest the party's parliamentary primaries.
They are Benedicta Lasi Koryo, Lawyer and Vice President of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), Addo Brown Michael, David Tettey Kwame, former MP, Michael Teye Nyaunu, incumbent MP, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi and Joseph Teye Nuettey.