Thu, 02 May 2024 Feature Article

Ejisu – NPP Wins, But Beware

Ejisu  NPP Wins, But Beware

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

“Politics is a dirty game. We have our rules in boxing. In politics, no rules.” - Vitali Klitschko

The Ejisu by-election is over. The results show Lawyer Kwabena Boateng wins with 27,782 votes representing 55.8% of the total votes. Garnering 21,534 representing 43.3%, independent candidate Kwabena Owusu Aduomi gave the winner a run for his money.

Beatrice Boakye (Liberal Party) had 140 votes (0.3%); Esther Osei (Convention People's Party) had 89 votes (0.2%); Joseph Agyemang had 222 (0.4%) and Atakora Joseph 23 votes (0.05%)

The turn-out was 49.1% of the over 100,000 votes. In an NPP rally at Onwe, with the support of an ECG power plant carried on a huge truck, President Nana Addo refuted allegations that the NPP intended to manipulate the by-election, and urged the electorate to disregard such allegations by the independent parliamentary candidate, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi.

The president noted, “… Although Aduomi has the right to go independent, there were reservations about the things he says against the NPP. He defeated a Cabinet Minister to become the parliamentary candidate for Ejisu in 2007 and subsequently won the seat in the 2008 election. But today, he is offended that someone else has defeated him… were the previous elections he won rigged for him? He should leave us alone and go his way – whether he is joining the butterfly or umbrella family he should let us be…

“I've heard he claims he had Ejisu roads fixed. I alone order the construction of all roads in Ghana… from today till January 7, 2025, it is the NPP government that is in power led by Akufo – Addo. We don't want any independent candidate who is likely being puppeted by some big shots to put spokes in our wheels. It won't happen today or tomorrow… I came here to beg you for your help so that I can end my tenure… anybody who wins the Ejisu seat becomes a minister in my government…”

Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia stressed the importance of party loyalty and unity, and cautioned against straying from the NPP candidate. Bawumia noted, “MPs don't sponsor projects; they lobby for projects from the government in power… And so that is why the NDC did not field a candidate for this by-election, they are sponsoring the independent candidate. Let us all come out in our numbers on Election Day and vote massively for Lawyer Kwabena Boateng to continue the late John Kumah's work.”

A week before the election, the deteriorated road from Ejisu to Onwe saw a major uplift with engineers and workers; machines and trucks in a round-the-clock rehabilitation work. The NPP candidate had to sweat out at the last-minute to clinch this victory.

On the battleground, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, MP for Kwadaso was seen dropping a white envelope to some Electoral Commission (EC) officials. The EC immediately suspended the implicated EC officials. But what did they do? A PhD holder MP decides to drop an envelope on the table where the EC officials were at work at Fumesua Pentecost Church polling centre and you point accusing fingers at the EC officials. Did anyone stretch his hand to receive this 'enchanted' envelope? No one knows what it contained – money, pens, ballot papers?

Dr. Kingsley Nyarko answers the accusation: “I know that I have not influenced anybody, I have not influenced the process. I don't feel bad because I know I have done nothing wrong, I know it is politics, people are going to spin… if the IGP is being petitioned to invite me, I am ready for him. I think when it gets there I know what I am going to talk about but no process has been undermined, nothing untoward has been done.”

Stephen Ayesu Ntim's statement at the electoral grounds was as colourful as it was reconciliatory. On Kwabena Aduomi's present position, Ntim noted: “…It is worrying because the two main competitors, Aduomi and Kwabena Boateng, belong to the same fold. We should not be looking at jubilating, I am not jubilating. My focus now is on how to bring the Aduomi factor back to the fold. So that in December when we are going to face the real political opponents we are going as a unified NPP front.”

Mr. Ntim says he would not expect Aduomi to come to him; he would rather reach out to Aduomi. That is how political leaders talk, and we thought all and sundry, including leaders would adopt such an approach.

Does anyone think December Elections are going to be easy for the NPP? This makes the DAILY GUIDE Editorial of April 24, 2024 “Herculean But It's Possible” come in handy. The editorial spills the bean: “The road to victory on December 7, 2024, demands the closing of ranks and hard work by all NPP supporters… it appears our party and government that believe in development in freedom is now following on the destructive path of John Mahama's 'yenntie obiara' and making the once popular 'kukrudu' the people's enemy…”

So, now people are comfortable in their positions, they do not think about any possible backlash. Some have suddenly grown so daft; they will not listen to the other side. Some have grown filthily rich; they look down upon the poor as nit-wits.

During the approach of the by-election, some respectable views were rejected, until the people smelled pepper, and they started working harder than before, so that the stone the builders rejected became the corner-stone.

We should not forget the Bekwai and Fomena episodes. When the “renegade” MP goes independent, he does so with his supporters; the supporters bear the brunt of the insults meant for the independent candidate. In the Bekwai case, Joe Osei Owusu, despite 'attacks' on him as an independent candidate (against NPP candidate Kofi Poku Adusei), polled 34,700 votes to unseat the incumbent NPP candidate who polled 8,560. Osei Owusu rose to become NPP Deputy Majority Leader.

In the Fomena case, Andrew Amoako Asiamah chose the path of 'independent candidate' in 2020 when he declared that there were 'machinations' to get him out and lost the primaries. The NPP had revoked his membership of the party citing Article 3(9) of the Party's Constitution , Amoako Asiamah won the Fomena election with 12,805 votes against Philip Ofori Asante who secured 10,798 votes – it was by the stroke of luck that Asiamah gave his support to the NPP to earn the party the narrowest lead as Majority. Honourable Asiamah is now the Second Deputy Speaker.

In every human interaction (not least political) petty bickering is to be expected. There are likely to be charges and counter – charges of ill-treatment, insults, invectives, jibes. Not all persons can stand such opprobrium with equanimity. It is incumbent on leaders to “manage” such situations. One does not need to say things that will exacerbate the bad feeling.

Disillusion and disengagement could lead to apathy. An all-hands-on-deck approach should involve everybody, that is, every member of the NPP. Stephen Ntim's statement should be soothing and tranquilising, if not hypnotic and lulling.

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By Africanus Owusu – Ansah