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08.06.2004 NDC News

OPINION: Volta NDC in Repackage Deal

By Chronicle
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As part of its strong desire to win back a chunk of the protest votes it suffered in the 2000 general elections, maintain its hold on more constituencies, and hopefully form the next government come January next year, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is seriously injecting what can be said to be fresh blood into its body politic, 'The Chronicle' can tell.

Dependable information reaching the paper's Volta regional desks indicate, for instance, that out of the three constituencies that form the former Ho district, (east, west, central) two of the members of parliaments (MPs) will not be running again.

And unlike the days of yore when 'rusty' MPs clung to their seats with impunity, even when they had long lost the admiration of their fans, players of the political game, who still have some steam in the are asking the coach to pull them off.

In the case of Ho, the 'good news' for the party is that Honourables like Steve Senu Akorli (Ho East) and Kofi Attor (Ho Central) have voluntarily handed over the baton to the party executives to pave way for others to exhibit their potentials.

The essence of the sudden change in posture is to maximize support in order to give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) a pay back time by 'whipping' them in December this year.

For in Ho East, now known as Adaklu-Anyigbe constituency, the party is now presenting and marketing Mrs. Juliana Jocelyn Azumah-Mensah, director of health services in the Ho Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church for the race. She is running unopposed, was vetted, and may be confirmed soon, our sources tell.

The 54-year old Azumah-Mensah (she looks far younger than her age), a professional nurse, takes over from Akorli and may be facing the NPP's David D. Dzorkpe.

When The Chronicle contacted her in her office last Wednesday, the health administrator confirmed that she had her eyes on the parliamentary seat.

According to her, even though she had long been looking forward for the opportunity to serve her people, this decision to march to parliament was prompted by a call from the constituents themselves that they needed a woman to represent them in parliament.

"The people say they want a woman this time. So they called on me to represent them. I accepted the challenge, and I am confident that with their support we can go places", said the Agortime-born lady.

The nurse-turn-politician said by virtue of her job, she usually found it easy to identify with the needs of people, and was hopeful of making an impact on society with the new career she had chosen.

"Since I am a health personnel, I believe the health of the people is most paramount. Schools and roads are important, but water and sanitation are critical for the survival of every community", the soft-spoken Julie revealed.

She also pointed out that proper incineration of refuse alone goes a long way prevent water pollution, and promised to put disposable systems in place as a means of checking malaria, which has become the nation's number one killer.

Looking confident of what she was saying, Julie added that her presence in the legislative assembly would contribute in pushing further the efforts being made to address the concerns of women in the country.

"We women", she said, "are the majority, and we need to prove to the world that we are capable of running any race."

The Adaklu-Anyigbe constituency, which used to have 34,657 names in the voters' register, now recorded only 30,475 people, with a much lesser number having taken their photographs.

In the 2000 parliamentary election, Akorli polled 20,985 out of 24,644 ballots cast. But the play field is entirely different now, and to make matters worse, Julie's party is, for once going to fight from behind.

Yet this seemed not to disturb her at all. She told this reporter that she was very confident of whipping any candidate that would come her way in the general elections.