Following the inability of the Huudu Yahaya-led conflict resolution committee of the National Democratic Congress to effectively deal with grievances arising out of last year’s parliamentary primaries, the governing party risk losing some parliamentary seats it won or lost to independent candidates in the 2012 elections, investigations by The aL-hAJJ have uncovered.
The intransigence of some elected parliamentary aspirants and their inability to make peace with those who challenged them but lost, and their supporters, this paper gathered, is also contributing to the indifference among supporters of the party.
Whereas some NDC members in constituencies ‘boiling’ since the primaries are in court challenging their outcome, others are said to have decided not to take any action but will remain noncommittal or possibly, vote against the party’s elected parliamentary candidates in the November 7 elections.
One of such constituencies where some supporters of the party are threatening to ditch their Member of Parliament is the Nanton constituency in the Northern region.
Reports The aL-hAJJ has picked are that even though the incumbent MP; Hon Murtala Mohammed Ibrahim annexed a lion share of votes to beat his contender, Dr. Salifu Yakubu, he is yet to rope in his contender and supporters in order to retain the seat for the ruling party.
There are fears that if the incumbent does not emulate his colleague NDC parliamentary candidates to “tie the knot” with his contender and his supporters, he is likely to hand over the seat to the New Patriotic Party candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Hardi Tuferu.
Also in the Northern region, the NDC quest to snatch Tamale North from the present occupant, an independent, appears to be smelting gradually as there are reports of lack of cooperation among the constituency executives, defeated parliamentary candidate aspirants and the duly elected candidate, Alhassan Suhuyini and his supporters.
Even though political watchers say the NDC’s chances of winning back the seat was very bright, bickering among the leadership of the party in the constituency is likely to give the incumbent independent MP, Dahamani Alhassan leverage should he decide to seek reelection.
The Greater Accra, however, tops the list of regions where the NDC is likely to give away some of its seats to the NPP as a result of infighting and self-seeking interests.
Headlining the list of constituencies in the national capital likely to slip to the biggest opposition party is the Ningo-Prampram seat where there is stiff competing interests between the Ningos and the people of Prampram.
The incumbent MP, Enoch Teye Mensah and his kinsmen from Prampram are said to be bitter over the defeat he suffered at the hands of his former protégé, Sam George Nartey, who incidentally is from Ningo.
The two major towns in the constituency have been engaged in long-running battles, with the Ningos accusing E.T Mensah and his Prampram kinsmen of denying them development.
This became topical in the last parliamentary election to the extent that the NPP candidate, Sylvester Tetteh, a Ningo, swept almost all the votes in the Ningo area, leaving ET Mensah with votes from Prampram, Dawhenya, Afienya and the settler communities to struggle to retain the seat.
Incidentally, Sam George and NPP candidate, Sylvester Tetteh, are both from Ningo, and there are indications that if the NPP candidate should amass the votes he garnered in the last election, and ET Mensah and his Prampram folks decide to carry through their threats, the NDC is most likely to lose the seat for the first time to the NPP.
Already, some branch executives have issued a stern warning to the National Executives of the party to deal with a petition they addressed to them over Sam George’s candidature, failure of which they have threatened to proceed to court.
In the Ablekuma Central Constituency, there are fears that the NDC will lose the seat it has won in two fiercely contested elections to the NPP over disgruntlement and complains of marginalization of supporters of two of the parliamentary aspirants who lost to Alhaji Halidu Haruna.
Though Alhaji Halidu Haruna reached out to his two contenders, Peter Boamah Otokunor and Basha Harsey soon after the primaries, supporters of the two aspirants are claiming that the elected parliamentary candidate has so far sidelined them.
A former constituency executive of who spoke to The aL-hAJJ on condition of anonymity said “Halidu started on a good note when he invited all the aspirants and their campaign teams to come together in order to retain the seat, but things have since changed. For some time we only see him and his supporters do things without involving us. For some of us we will still vote for him even if he doesn’t involve us in his campaign, but same cannot be said of others. We won this seat narrowly in the last election so nobody must be left behind else we will lose it to the NPP.”
Similarly, the Bortianor/Ngleshie Amanfrom constituency which the NDC won with a little over 300 votes is also under threat.
Supporters of some of the defeated parliamentary candidate aspirants, particularly those living along the coastal belt like Kokrobite and others have vowed to vote against the incumbent, Bright Edward Kodzo Demordzi.
They cite Hon Bright Demordzi’s lack of respect and arrogance. According to them, it is his alleged bad attitude that compelled them to support other candidates with the hope of unseating him.
Aside this, they have also accused the young MP of not attending to their developmental needs, but unfortunately, they lost as their votes were split.
According to the aggrieved supporters, they are knocking on the doors of the defeated candidates to select one amongst them to contest as an independent candidate in order to prevent the incumbent from retaining the seat.
The case of Ledzokuku, Krowor, Klottey Korle Domeabra-Obom, Madina and Ayawaso North constituencies are not too different from what is happening in other “conflict infested” constituencies.
In the Domeabra-Obom and Klottey Korle constituencies, for instance, two veteran MPs, Daoud Anum Yemoh and Nii Armah Ashitey have vowed not to let go the seat they have controlled over the years.
After failing to use his surrogates to block Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, daughter of NDC founder, from leading the constituency, Nii Armah Ashitey, after losing to Dr. Zanetor, officially showed how battle ready he was when he filed a case in court, challenging the selection of the medical trained daughter of former President Rawlings.
There are allegations in the constituency that the incumbent MP and his supporters would not mind working against Dr. Zanetor to lose the seat in the event the court turns down a request for her to be declared ineligible to contest the November elections.
As if by design, Nii Armah Ashitey’s close pal, Daoud Anum Yemoh of Domeabra-Obom is also alleged to be behind a court case intended to deny the NDC 2016 parliamentary candidate for the area, Sophia Karen Ackuku, the opportunity to contest the election.
The MP’s present action is said to be linked to the decision by the NDC vetting committee to disqualify his protégé and preferred choice for the parliamentary seat, Isaac Yibor, who contested the 2012 election as an independent candidate.
The Domeabra-Obom constituency, The aL-hAJJ gathered, is presently torn apart with the incumbent MP, the constituency Chairman, Secretary and Organizer, vowing to ditch the elected parliamentary candidate while the Women Organizer, Youth Organizer and other executives also swearing to crush those seeking to sabotage the party.
The NDC’s control over the Ayawaso North constituency is also reported to be under threat as the outgoing MP, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed is said to have turned down a request by the elected parliamentary candidate, Yussif Jaja, to meet him.
Presently, the constituency is said to have been sharply divided between constituency executives aligned to Dr. Ahmed and those supporting the youthful Yussif Jajah.
In the Ledzokuku, Krowor and Madina constituencies, the outcome of the primaries is said to have created deep-seated cracks such that if nothing is done before the election, the NDC risk losing the seats.
What is even signaling a possible defeat of NDC candidates in these constituencies is that, except Madina Constituency, Ledzokuku and Krowor are swing seats, and any party with a united front is likely to carry the day.
In the Madina Constituency, the NDC’s Amadu Sorogho has an uphill task beating the NPP’s Boniface Abubakar Sadiq, who is said to have made inroads into areas believed to be NDC strongholds; as a result of the division in the party at the constituency. In the Akwatia constituency in the Eastern region, the reports are that the fierce contest between the incumbent, Baba Jamal and his contender which has created sharp division in the party could thwart the party’s chances of retaining the seat.
Supporters of his sole contender, Basil Ahiable are said not be happy with their preferred candidate’s defeat and are threatening to teach Baba Jamal a lesson at the November polls unless something drastic is done by the party leadership.
A similar problem is brewing in the Lower Manya Krobo and Bunkrugu Yunyoo constituencies where aggrieved supporters of defeated aspirants have threatened to vote “skirt and blouse” in the upcoming November elections.
Reports from the Western region indicates that if the party's leadership does nothing, the NDC will for the first time lose the Sefwi Akontombra seat to the NPP. Even though the incumbent MP is said to have accepted defeat at the primaries, his supporters are yet to accept the outcome of the election.
The party’s World Bank, Volta region, is also brewing with its own troubles. In the Ketu South Constituency, which has consistently been contributing NDC’s highest votes, there is discontent among supporters of one of the candidates who was disqualified from contesting the primaries.
Even though the incumbent MP, Fiifi Kwetey, who doubles as Minister of Transport, won the primaries with overwhelming votes, indicating he will retain the seat, there are fears that the dissatisfaction in the area is likely to affect his votes and that of the president.