Scramble for NPP seats in Ashanti FOUR GIANTS CHALLENGE BOAFO Cocobod Chief, Patricia Appiagyei, Ayisi Boateng, Yamoah Ponkoh throw down gauntlets
INDICATIONS ARE that the primaries of the New Patriotic Party in the Subin constituency, for the mandate to represent the constituents in parliament, would be keenly contested when nominations open in April this year, ahead of the December 2008 elections.
As many as seven names have come up as those aspiring to represent the NPP in the constituency.
These are Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng, a businessman and founding member of the party, Ambassador Isaac Osei, Chief Executive officer of COCOBOD, Mr. Eugene Antwi, General Secretary of the London branch of the NPP and one Mr. Amoah, a Travel and Tour Agency operator.
The rest are the incumbent and Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, the Chief Executive (MCE) of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and Mr. Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh, a staunch member of the NPP
The aspirants are tight-lipped and would not want to comment on their aspirations, since nominations have not officially opened.
Yamoah Ponkoh had initially wished to contest the seat as an independent candidate, because though a staunch member of the party his involvement in sports had seemingly rendered him inactive in political activities, hence his decision to contest the seat as an independent candidate.
He is convinced that his chances of winning the seat are brighter than ever, and disclosed that he is the man of the people, notably the youth, who have urged him on to save them from their plight.
According to him he is the very embodiment of the youth, and therefore very sure they would vote for him.
Ms. Appiagyei has not firmed up her decision, as she is torn between as many as four constituencies in the region. These are Asawase, where she lost to the NDC in 2004, Asokwa, Manhyia and Bosomtwe.
Ambassador Osei and Eugene Antwi have already met polling station executives, and even feted them, during the Christmas festivities as a way of announcing their intentions.
The incumbent, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, has said in spite of the growing number of aspirants, he is the man to beat.
He is counting on his experience and contribution to development in the constituency he has presided over for almost 12 years.
He claims his retention all these years was an indication of the satisfaction his constituents have in the numerous policies, development projects and programmes undertaken by him in the constituency, since the year 2001, and hopes they would still want him to represent them in Parliament.
His political career started in 1977, when he was appointed Councilor of the Asante Akim District Council.
He was also the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante Akim South constituency, between 1979 and 1981 in the Third Republic. Under the Government of Dr. Hilla Limann, Boafo was the vice chairman of the Committee on Labour, Social Welfare and Co-operatives and House Committee.
In 1985, Boafo went into political exile, after a three month detention (January –March 1981), only to return in 1992 to contest for the Subin constituency in the 1996 parliamentary elections, which he won on the ticket of NPP and served as the Minority Chief Whip.
He is the founder of the NPP branch in Toronto, Canada, and a former chairman of the NPP branch in London.
A member of the National Council of the party since 1992, Boafo has served on many committees, including the finance and fund raising committee, policy advisory committee and the National Executive Council, representing the Ashanti Region and the NPP MPs group in Parliament.
In Parliament, Boafo serves on the Business Committee, House Committee, Mines and Energy Committee and the Local Government and Rural Development Committee.
While serving on the Committee of Mines and Energy, Boafo visited Nigeria, Togo and Benin, in connection with the West Africa Gas Pipeline in 1999.
On the international scene, Boafo was in Britain as an Election Observer in 1997.
He also attended the conference on Empowered Leaders at the Haggai Institute in Maui Hawaii in 1998.
He was also at the Whips Conference, in the House of Commons, in London in 1998, as well as Whips Conference in the US Congress and Senate in 1998, and the Conference of African Parliaments in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2000.
Boafo is a lawyer by profession and was trained at the University of London, where he graduated with honours in 1971, having read a Bachelor of Law and LLB degree programmes.
Boafo also attended the Council of Legal Education (Inns of Court), London, following which he was called to the English Bar Inner Temple in 1972 and to the Ghanaian Bar in 1973.
He started practicing law, by establishing the Gye Nyame Chambers in Kumasi, and a law office in Accra. One-time National Secretary of the Ghana Bar Association and member of the International Bar Association, Boafo has attended conferences in Vienna, in Austria, in 1984 and New York in 1985.
He also practiced law at Lincolns in London, and at a point was appointed chairman of the Inter Racial Committee project.
While in London, Boafo was appointed part-time Crown Prosecutor and established the Immigration Law Centre at Kingsland High Street in Dalston, London.
Boafo has an honorary doctorate degree conferred on him in the 1990's by the Canada Christian College in London.
He has received a number of honorary awards, including Honorary Citizen of Jefferson County and Louisville, USA, in 1998.