With just four days to go for the Nkoranza North by election in the Brong Ahafo Region, the two leading political parties, the NPP and the NDC have upped their activities in the constituency.
Whereas regional executives of both parties have pitched camp in the constituency, national executive members have been making regular reconnaissance trips to the area with some of their members having actually relocated there.
The NPP National Chairman, Peter Mac Manu has virtually been resident in the constituency over the past two weeks at the head of the party's campaign team. He only made a short trip to Accra for the Golden Jubilee independence anniversary.
The NDC on its part had Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, a leader of the party's resident team, supported by Yaw Gyan, Deputy National Organiser. The General Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketia (aka General Mosquito) and Baba Jamal were expected to join the team yesterday with the deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah is expected to join today.
The NPP team received a booster on Wednesday when five members of the party's Regional Council of Elders led by its chairman, F.K Dwera visited it to give it moral support.
The delegation of elders which also included J.Y Manu, B/A Regional Treasurer of the Council, Fakuo Kudom, an Executive member and Richard Kyeremeh first called on the District Chief Executive for Nkoranza, who briefed them on the activities of the campaign team before the meeting the team itself.
Mr Manu disclosed to the Elders that the party had zoned the constituency into eight campaign areas headed by Regional Executive Members of the party to ensure effective campaigning.
Some of the zoned areas include Bono Manso, Karanka, Busunya, Buabeng/Fiema, Dromakese and Yefri.
At the Karanka Zone headed by NPP Regional Financial Secretary, Yaw Addae Owusu, the Elders held a mini rally to advise the youth of the party top work in concert with the campaign team to compliment the efforts of the team to ensure overwhelming victory on March 13.
The Spokesman of the Elders, G.K Awuah disclosed that the campaign team had been advised not to be complacent but should work extra hard to maintain the seat which was formerly in the hands of Eric Amoateng, an NPP MP now in jail in the United States of America following his arrest in 2005 on drug trafficking charges.
Mr Awuah later disclosed that they had advised the campaign team not to cast insinuations on any political party but rather concentrate on the business of the party there.
Mr Awuah said following their own assessment in the constituency, NPP would harvest about 80% to 85% votes of the bye election.
Earlier in a separate telephone interviews with the leaders of the two campaign teams, the two have dared each other, with both expressing optimism that the seat would be theirs.
The NP Chairman, Mr Mac Manu disclosed that all is set for the party to retain the Nkoranza North seat, which is now lying fallow after the resignation of Eric Amoateng, who was busted in the US for drug trafficking.
But the National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Mr Ofosu Ampofo has dismissed the assertion saying the Nkoranza North seat can never be won by NPP but rather his party, NDC.
According to Mr Ampofo, the victory of the NPP in the last general election was a result of money and since a credible candidate was presented by the NDC this time round, NPP would definitely miss such opportunity.
The NPP Chairman revealed that, for his two weeks stay and serious campaigning by his party in the Constituency, everything now looks very positive for them come March 13.
He said, "grounds are very fertile for the NPP, because the people of "Fiagya" (traditional name for Nkoranza North) have seen NPP as a serious party that could salvage them from their economic doldrums and also bring development to them".
"For the past years when the party took over from the NDC, a lot of developmental projects were sent to the area and these included the extension of electricity, supplies of farm inputs and equipment, educational development, which comprises of both physical infrastructural and provision of learning materials", Mac Manu emphasized.
Mr. Manu said that the Nkoranza North seat, which was won by Eric Amoateng in December 7, 2004 general elections, ended the era of NDC monopolizing the area as its stronghold.
The NPP Chairman dismissed the claim by the NDC that Nkoranza was their stronghold and for that matter, Eric Amoateng bought the seat with his money, adding "NDC won the Nkoranza seat because the NPP and other opposition parties boycotted the 1992 Parliamentary elections and in 1996, the election was again rigged by the NDC and eventually the Nkoranza seat among others, were slipped from their hands, as a result of unfriendly governance and their undemocratic nature in the country".
Mr. Manu added that NPP would continue to grow from strength to strength based on its good governance, rapid development of physical infrastructure and sound economic growth, which was realized by Ghanaians.
He said with the presence of 47-year old Major Derrick Oduro (Rtd), currently the Presiding Member of the Nkoranza District Assembly, the party was full of hope to retain the Nkoranza North Seat by a greater margin.
According to Mr. Manu, his party would increase its percentage in the impending bye-election from that of the 2004 general elections.
Mr. Ampofo on his part, maintained that the two Nkoranza seats of North and South were theirs and that the North seat was bought by the resigned MP, who is languishing in cells in the US, awaiting trial on drug charges.
Mr. Ampofo said that the NDC had presented a winnable candidate in the person of Dr. Kofi Amoako-Gyampah, a 31-year old Medical Officer at the Kintampo South District Hospital at Jema.
The NDC National Organizer said that research conducted on their candidate shows that the party would triumph over the ruling NPP by a greater margin come March 13.
He said, the candidate of the NDC was an obvious choice of the people of Fiagya and "I am sure by the close of the bye-election on March 13, Dr. Amoako-Gyampah would be the next MP for Nkoranza North."
In the last elections, the NPP candidate, Eric Amoateng won about 9,000 votes as against the NDC Candidate, H.F.C. Amoako who pulled a little over 5000 votes. An Independent Candidate, Prince Ofosu Adjei got about 4000.
Culled from The Chronicle