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Journalist eyes Asawase seat for NPP

Issah Alhassan, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle
31 August 2009 | NPP News

THERE ARE early indications that the Asawase constituency parliamentary seat, the only parliamentary seat in the Kumasi Metropolis to have eluded the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its stronghold, is going to be a keenly contested one, when the opposition party begins its primaries next year.

After watching the seat slip through their hands on two consecutive times, the opposition party is reportedly embracing itself for what is expected to be a close contest in the only “orphan” constituency, in its bid to snatch the seat from the NDC and achieve hundred percent parliamentary dominance in the Ashanti Regional capital.

Already, there are reports of intense searching and lobbying for the parliamentary candidature of the Asawase constituency which was contested by the former KMA boss, Mad. Patricia Appiagyei and Dr. Mohammed Kadiri, an Optometric lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in both the 2004 and 2008 general elections respectively.

The Chronicle can authoritatively state that among the various personalities who have declared their intentions to contest parliamentary seat on the ticket of the opposition NPP, include a popular sports journalist in the Garden City, Mr. Awal Mohammed of Kessben 93.3FM.

The vociferous sports presenter, who has made a name in the Kumasi Metropolis for his dexterity in football history and analysis, has told the paper in an interview that he would be putting in a bid to contest in the party's primary, when nominations open next year for the parliamentary slot of the opposition NPP. Mr. Awal is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has also worked for five years as an accountant at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Kumasi.

Born and bred in the Asawase constituency, Mr. Awal says his decision to contest the seat is in response to several calls by party supporters and opinion leaders in the constituency, who have made several appeals for me to contest the seat. The ace sports presenter says he has rejected the calls on a number of occasions and believes the time is now rife for him to accede to the request.

“I have been pressured on two occasions to contest in the primary, but in each instance, I turned down the request, but I am now of the conviction that the time is due,” he noted.

As a devout Muslim, he has done a lot of consultations with the elders and opinion leaders in the constituency, and has come to the realization that “my chances are brighter if I decide to contest this time.”

According to him, he has all the qualities and the appeal to wrestle the seat from the ruling NDC party, adding that even though he would be contesting on the ticket of the NPP, the popularity he has gained through several years in the media, and as a sports journalist, makes him an ideal candidate who cuts across the political divide.

Riding on the wings of what he described as a dip in popularity of Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka, the incumbent Member of Parliamentary for the area, Mr. Awal said the grounds are very fertile for an ideal personality like him to break-through and also capture the seat for the opposition NPP.

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