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19.07.2004 NPP News

Sunyani East NPP Battle

By Chronicle
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The Senior Minister, Mr. J.H. Mensah, is expected to fall, come August 12, this year, to one Dr. Kofi Barimah whom most people, particularly, the polling station chairmen have tipped to win the Sunyani East primaries scheduled for August 12.

The Chronicle's independent research revealed that out of the 99 delegates, over 70 of them had decided to vote for Dr. Barimah who has consistently supported the Sunyani East Constituency financially.

Indeed, he appears to be the only person who has kept the local office running with modern equipment like computers, a printer and a fax machine.

Dr. Barimah, a Senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Ghana, Fiapre, in an interview with The Chronicle said he would emerge the winner, come the day of the primaries.

On rumors that the leadership of the party wanted the other aspirants to step down for the oldest Parliamentarian on the land, Dr.Barimah said he would give the incumbent MP good value for his money and match him pound to pound and boot for boot.

Five aspirants are challenging the Senior Minister and notable among them are Nana Obiri Boahen, a legal practitioner in Sunyani, Lawyer Kyeremeh, General Secretary of NALAG, and Kwame Twumasi Awuah, also a lawyer and Ghana's Ambassador to Libya, George Kumi.

The aspiring parliamentary candidate said those who may heed to the persuasions of the leadership of the NPP to step down for Mr. Mensah might be having the desire for some appointment, but he was going for something better.

According to the soft-spoken academician, he did not want to quit in the middle of such an important exercise to disappoint his fans.

The decision to step down lay with his dedicated supporters, not him.

He indicated that his name would definitely be in the ballot.

According to him, he was emerging as a good leader with more examples to move every citizen in his constituency to do something toward progressing Sunyani and the whole country, not to satisfy himself.

He stated that "looking at my background as a community psychologist, the issues bothering my people would be tackled with the care and attention it deserves."

Dr. Barimah who currently lectures at the Catholic University in Sunyani, holds various degrees from both Ghana and abroad. He has as well done a lot of research work and served as consultant to many organizations and also engaged himself in managerial roles for many other organizations like the Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centre-Toronto, where he managed research for the Ministry of Training, colleges and universities, the Jane-Finch Concerned Citizens Organization, Downsview-Ontario, also as an Acting Executive Director, directing educational, social and health promotion programs and at the Harambee Centres Canada, Child and Family Service- Toronto-Canada as clinical counseling supervisor who supervised African-Canadian youth and family counselors.

Dr. Barima was also the chairman for the Ghanaian-Canadian association, Toronto-Canada and also chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Ghanaian Unity, which made recommendations towards the formation of an umbrella organization for Ghanaians in Ontario. As a student at the University of Ghana, he was the President of the Junior Common Room, Legon Hall when the universities were closed down for nearly a year during the 1983/84 academic year.

It may interest you to know that he beat the current Minister of Information, Nana Akomea in 1982 to win the Presidency of the Hall.

The MP aspirant in his academic carreer, received handsome awards from the University of Guelph and Ontario, which was the Grothier Award for outstanding students in Rural Extension. He was, again, awarded the Young Canadian Researchers award at the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.

At Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Dr. Barimah received graduate scholarship award in academic excellence.

In Ghana, the aspirant was awarded the Sprott Award for distinction in student leadership at the University of Legon.

Dr. Barimah, in a bid to pursue academic excellence, is in the process of publishing articles on the use of Traditional Medicine among Ghanaian immigrants in Canada with his Phd Advisor, Dr. VanTeijlingen, in the use of traditional medicine among Ghanaian immigrants. Apart from this, the lecturer has other publications to his credit.

He had as well received various awards in community engagement activities.

Apart from his academic and other laurels achieved, Dr. Barima had occupied many positions in the political arena and these include the vice-chairmanship of the NPP of Toronto chapter, being a patron of the Sunyaniman Cultural association, Toronto, Canada and a North American General Secretary of the Bethel Prayer Ministry International.

He is currently the life-Patron of three youth organizations within the Sunyani East Constituency, including the Ultimate Action Group and Bethel Youth Movement.

Dr. Barimah indicated that he would like to be in parliament to champion the cause of youth employment, education, tourism and agricultural development within the Sunyani East and the municipality as a whole.

These, he said, would be achieved through the active collaboration of Ghanaians abroad who were constantly in touch with him.