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16.03.2007 General News

NPP to apply Nkoranza strategy in 2008

By Nana Obeng-Danquah

Ever since Eric Amoateng, the former MP for Nkoranza North, was arrested in America for allegedly dealing in narcotics, a section of society, particularly supporters of the main opposition NDC Party, believed that the NPP would lose the seat whenever it was declared vacant.

Contrary to that expectation the people last Tuesday voted massively to retain the NPP seat.

Derek Oduro, NPP candidate, polled 10,179, Kofi Amoako Gyampah, NDC candidate polled 5,694, whilst Osei Bonsu of DPP got 122.

Speaking exclusively to The Statesman after the polls, Nana Obiri Boahen, Brong Ahafo NPP Regional Chairman, stated that the strategy adopted by the party to win the Nkoranza North by-election would be applied in the 2008 general elections.

He explained that during the by-election campaign period the NPP had the opportunity to reach out and interact with people in the constituency, who are mainly farmers, which gave them a sense of belonging; this strategy will be replicated across the region.

The Regional Chairman said the workable strategy, which he describes as the "magic wand”, would be implemented in most of the constituencies in the region such as Techiman, Kintampo, Sene, Atebubu etc, where the people are settler farmers.

He said there were also other factors contributing to the NPP's victory at Nkoranza and he provided assurances that details would be disclosed to the media at the appropriate time.

According to Nana Boahen, in the past the NPP appeared to have distanced itself from the people in the area admitting that, “we have realise that sometimes we were not playing our cards well. We were not getting in touch with the people and we were also not going to them. Directly or indirectly we were trying to isolate ourselves from them,” the Chairman said.

Nana Obiri Boahen, who is also a lawyer, reiterated that Mr Amoateng"s case was unfortunate but pointed out that a person is presumed innocent until a court of competent jurisdiction pronounces the contrary.

Based on this, he said, the NPP conducted its campaign with decency and civility.

The Brong NPP Chairman condemned the NDC's negative campaign message which tried, without success, to take advantage of Amoateng's case, adding that “as usual the NDC is known for that kind of propaganda.”

Nana Obiri Boahen stated that the Nkoranza electorate were not interested in the NDC's unsubstantiated allegations and unfair comments which characterised their campaign during the by-election.