Why Hon. Dr. Mustapha Ahmed Failed To Consolidate His Mugabeship In Ayawaso North
The Ayawaso North Constituency has a long history in Ghana’s politics. The Constituency, which used to be called Ward 25, has witnessed the administration of members of parliament from all the major political parties in Ghana. The first counselor of the community, whose work included that of a legislator, was Mr. Baro. Mr. Baro represented the Convention People’s Party, the party that led Ghana to independence.
Followed by Mr. Baro was Mr. I.C. Quaye, who was an MP on the ticket of the Progress Party (the Danquah-Busia/Dombo tradition). After I.C. Quaye, we had Bala Fal of the People’s National Party, now People’s National Convention. Later we had Yahya Seidu and Farouk Braimah both of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Until the splitting of the Ayawaso East Constituency into Ayawaso North and Ayawaso East in 2012, Mustapha Ahmed, a dentist, had served as the Member of Parliament for the Constituency since 2000. In 2000, there were some individuals who were interested in contesting the position of MP on the ticket of the NDC, but disagreement among them and internal party wrangling gave Mustapha Ahmed the lead in winning the bid to contest on the ticket of the NDC, and considering the fact that the Ayawaso Constituency since Ghana bounced back to democratic governance has been the stronghold of the NDC, Mustapha Ahmed had no challenge winning to (mis)represent the constituency.
Thus for so many years, Mustapha Ahmed, who also held ministerial positions, did very little to advance the interest of the constituency.
The Ayawaso North constituency is one of the poorest constituencies in Accra. The constituency is besieged with challenges, some of which appear to be insoluble, especially under the inept and incompetent leadership of Dr. Mustapha Ahmed. The intractable challenges facing the constituency include theft/armed robbery, poor sanitation and squalid living conditions, high level of illiteracy, and the wanton abuse of marijuana among most of the youth.
Since the constituency is home to some of the oldest slums in Accra, the constituency has over the years suffered from the manipulations of some opportunist politicians. Since Ghana retraced her steps to democratic governance, some politicians have taken advantage of the despondency of the youth to engage them (the youth) in causing political tension in the constituency and some other constituencies across the country.
For example, in the 2008 elections, some of the youth from the constituency were taken to some parts of the Volta Region and the Ashanti Region to defend the parochial interest of some politicians.
The youth in the constituency, like the youth in Ghana in general, have lost faith in politicians. The few of the youth who have progressed through the education ladder to the tertiary level have become very disillusioned about the prospects of western education.
This is particularly because the increasing rate of graduate unemployment has blurred the prospects of most of the youth in the constituency. Again, considering the deep-seated challenge of graduate unemployment, western education is gradually losing its appeal to some parents in the constituency. This is evidenced by the fact that on an enrolment drive embarked on by some teachers of the Kanda Cluster of schools, some parents expressed the unwillingness to take their children to school. Indeed, graduate unemployment has imperiled the attractiveness of western education.
For close to sixteen (16) years that Mustapha Ahmed has (mis)represented the constituency, he has practically done nothing to improve the lot of the electorate of the constituency. He has always taken advantage of the fact that the constituency is the stronghold of the ruling NDC government to throw dust into the eyes of the electorate.
Thus, since Ghana bounced back to democratic rule, the only person who came close to snatching power from the NDC was Kofi Wayo, who is alleged to have won the 2000 elections to represent the constituency on the ticket of the NPP, but due to his American sense of liberalism, and ignorant of the thuggish nature of Zongo politics, he was swindled as the votes were recounted and redoubled for Dr. Mustahpa Ahmed. Since then, no other person has proven capable of breaking the dominance of Dr. Mustapha Ahmed in the politics of the constituency.
Following his ineptitude and incompetence (apologies to John Dramani Mahama), Dr. Mustapha Ahmed has often employed capitalist inferior tactics of cajoling NDC delegates and sympathisers to vote for him. He has always depended on, what some electorate of the constituency consider to be his primitively acquired wealth to buy his way into the august house of Ghana.
During the NDC primaries of 2011, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed is believed to have distributed computers to some selected schools at the Kanda Cluster of schools, and laptops and set of clothes to some NDC delegates. It is also a widespread allegation hat Mustapha doles land to some mollified delegates of the NDC. There are also a few of his supporters, whom he had sponsored their journey to Mecca, the holy land of Islam. From the above background, it is obvious that Dr. Mustapha Ahmed is an unmistaken case of a neo-patrimonial politician. Instead of initiating development in the constituency, he dispenses rewards and gifts to some gullible NDC delegates.
While parental poverty is very endemic in the constituency, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed literally did nothing to contribute to alleviating poverty in the constituency. In 2008, a distressed student of the University of Cape Coast, who needed GH 300.00 to pay his school fees, was directed to Dr. Mustapha Ahmed to seek assistance. While the student in question was a potential first student, and in fact graduated with first class, the hide and seek played by Dr. Mustapha Ahmed denied the student the opportunity of benefiting from the MP’s Common Fund.
Eventually, the student had to fall on a few friends to pay his school fees. A few years ago, AVERT, a non-governmental student union in the constituency, organized a fundraising programme to generate money to assist students in the constituency. Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, for political expediency, accepted invitation to participate in the programme. But when it was time for the fundraising, Mustapha Ahmed, knowing he would be a candidate to contribute to the programme, took of his hat, and went round collecting money from some of the invited guests.
To the ire and chagrin of some residents of Ayawaso constituency, Mustapha Ahmed could not positively use his ministerial office and influence to bring development to the constituency. Though he is currently the minster for Youth and Sports, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed has not organized a gala to unearth and groom sports talent for Ghana. This is against the backdrop that the constituency has historically and contemporarily produced fine sports men and women for Ghana.
For years, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed has secured a place in parliament by luring some gullible and self-conceited delegates of the NDC. Unfortunately, this time, his way of palliating the delegates did not work.
His promise of heaven-on-earth for the NDC delegates did not energise the magic wand he has corruptibly used to delude NDC delegates for close to 16 years. A relatively neophyte in politics, Yussif Jajah, did not only give Dr. Mustapha Ahmed a run for his money, but mightily stopped him for consolidating his political Mugabeship in the constituency. He was shown the exit, while the door of the august house was closed behind him amidst jubilation and pomp and pageantry.
Several factors contributed to the failure of Dr. Mustapha Ahmed. The primary one was his failure to woo the government to construct the storm drain linking Maamobi and Circle, which has become a gapping threat to life. We hope that Yussuf Jajah, the young man who wields the potential of representing the constituency would learn from the shortfalls of Dr. Mustapha Ahmed to work to improve the lives of residents of the constituency. I know that Dr. Mustapha Ahmed will never forget the event of November 21, 2015, concerning the primaries that stopped him from consolidating his Mugabeship in Ayawaso North constituency.
Charles Prempeh ( [email protected] ), Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, Uganda
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