With just seven days into the opening of nominations for the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries in ‘orphan’ constituencies across the country, ‘political stakes’ are high in one of the hottest Constituencies in the Greater Accra Region, Odododiodoo.
This is because; a former parliamentary candidate, a former Member of Parliament and two new entrants are all lacing their boots to clinch the slot to represent the party in the 2020 elections.
Those who have declared their intentions to contest the primaries are the candidate for the 2016 election, Nii Lantey Banarman who is now the Executive Secretary of the Premix Fuel Committee, Lawyer Reginald Nii Bi Aryee Bontey who was once a Member of Parliament for the Constituency, Boxing Promoter and a businessman, Michael Nii Yarboi Annan and one Rev Atwere who is based in the US.
Whoever emerges the winner will face-off with the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) candidate who is also the incumbent MP for the Constituency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, who was declared unopposed to contest the seat for the third consecutive time.
The NPP occupies twenty out of the thirty-three seats in the Greater Accra Region, with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), haven thirteen seats.
The Spokesperson for the Chief Executive Officer of Dons Promotion, Michael Nii Yarboi Annan, who also double as the former Secretary of the Odododiodio Constituency, Samuel Ofosu, in an interview with Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Friday hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa on why his boss has decided to venture into politics explained that “politics is a calling”.
“He has not said so but the pressure from the youth, the people and chiefs, he has no option than to contest the seat because he has helped the youth and party in diverse ways”, he said.
Mr. Ofosu said “the pressure is not only coming from Odododiodio alone but from other constituencies to contest in that constituency and I will urge the delegates to vote for him to become the candidate for the 2020 elections and wrestle the seat from the NDC”.
“We need a candidate who the opponent will give respect to. We need a formidable candidate because the NDC approached him to contest for them and he declined”.
The Spokesperson said “we are dealing not only with the NPP alone…but the whole constituency so we need someone who all the political parties will appreciate and vote for”.
“In Odododiodio, people vote against and don’t vote for. If you offend them and they say they will vote against you, they don’t look at the other candidate, they will vote against you. He financed the 2016 campaign and we have been able to reduce the vote different to 9000”.
Mr. Ofosu revealed that most NPP people in the constituency are afraid to go to the coalition centre of Odododiodio yet Mr. Yarboi Annan was there in 2016 to ensure a successful coalition of the results for both presidential and parliamentary elections.
“Odododiodio is a fearful place in politics but he was at the coalition centre in 2016 elections so he will not adhere to the other calls to contest in other constituencies but for Odododiodio and we shall wrestle the seat in the 2020 elections”, he assured.
Nominations for NPP’s parliamentary primaries in ‘orphan’ constituencies across the country was opened on Saturday, July 20, and will end on August 3, 2019, and already, these aspirants have all picked their forms.
Orphan constituencies refer to constituencies where the NPP has no Member of Parliament (MP).
The party will, on September 28, 2019, hold its election for parliamentary candidates in constituencies where the party has no sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
Members elected in these areas, which are often referred to in political circles of the country as ‘orphan constituencies’, will represent the party in the 2020 parliamentary election.
However, parliamentary primaries in respect of constituencies where the party has sitting MPs have been deferred to a later date.
The party will also hold parliamentary primaries simultaneously for such constituencies on September 28, 2019.
According to the General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, an aspiring parliamentary candidate would pick nomination forms at a non-refundable cost of GH₵2,000 in Bankers Draft.
To successfully file a nomination form, an aspirant will be required to pay a non-refundable filing fee of GH¢20,000.
However, for purposes of encouraging more women, youth and physically challenged persons to aspire to higher political office, such prospective aspiring parliamentary candidates, the party said, will enjoy a rebate of 50 per cent on the filing fees meaning that they will be required to pay a non-refundable filing fee of GH¢10,000.