The Political atmosphere in Tamale is charged with high expectations on the arrival of the four presidential aspirants who will appear in the second Institute of Economics Affairs (lEA) debate tomorrow.
Supporters of all the candidates are hopeful that their respective candidates would excel at the debate to help win some floating voters to their side to brighten their chances of winning the December elections.
The four main political parties with representations in parliament and their flag bearers participating in the debate are the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the People's National Convention (PNC).
As a result the metropolis, noted as a political hotbed in the country is awash with the insignia of the participating parties including the posters of the presidential candidates and their respective parliamentary hopefuls at every nook and cranny of the city.
Party supporters can also be spotted wearing colourful shirts, caps, handbands and all types of headgear of their favourite parties. Some have also decorated their vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles with their party symbols.
Indeed, Tamale has been agog with various political activities within the past months, until the infractions between the supporters of the NPP and NDC in early September and the one month period of the Muslim Fast that eventually ended in October.
Since then, the parties have all intensified their campaigns with constituency rallies. Another phenomenon is the hoisting of party flags and opening of sheds that attracts a lot of fanfare.
The metropolis is therefore ready for the IEA debate as indicated by an NPP faithful, Iddrisu Alhassan, " I am confident Nana Akufo-Addo is certainly going to show his brilliance on Wednesday and strongly disagree with those who said he did not perform well in the first debate in Accra."
Adam Humu, an ardent sympathiser of the NDC however disagreed with Alhassan and sounded confident that, "Professor Mills will as usual deal with the substance of the debate as it is clear that he understands the issues at stake more than his colleagues."
"All those who watched the first debate have agreed that Dr Nduom beat all the others so why do they think their candidates who did not impress would do better this time?" Abdul Nasir Yusif of the CPP queried.
For her part, Nafisa Sumaila of the PNC was "two sure, two direct" as the party slogan goes that, Dr Mahama would put up a spirited argument to convince the electorate that "it is only the PNC that can address the needs and aspirations of the people."
The first presidential candidate to arrive in Tamale as part of the preparations for the debate is Dr Nduom who received a tumultuous reception into the metropolis at the weekend.
The candidate who appeared excited by the enthusiasm exhibited by his large followers waved back at cheering supporters with glee. Dr Nduom was accompanied by his running mate, Dr Abu Sakara, his wife, Mrs Nduom and some national executive of the party.
In a brief speech near the Dakpema Palace, Dr Nduom expressed his appreciation to the teeming supporters for their warm support and urged Ghanaians to vote massively for the CPP.
He also entreated the people who he said have been governed by both the NDC and NPP to give the CPP the chance to change their lives for the better and stressed, " a vote for CPP is a vote for peace, jobs and prosperity."
Both the presidential candidates for the NPP and PNC and their national executives are expected to arrive for the debate today with Professor Mills touching down tomorrow in readiness for the debate that promises to be keenly contested.