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19.04.2005 Politics

Prof. Mills, Parliamentary Candidate, tour Asawase

By Palaver

The throbbing and exciting Kumasi constituency of Asawase last weekend became even more throbbing and exciting and shook to its foundations when the NDC Parliamentary Candidate (PC) for next Thursday's constituency bye-election, Alhaji Mubarak Muntanka Mohammed, in the company of the NDC 2004 Presidential candidate, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, took the constituency by storm in a two-day “blitzkrieg” type of campaign tour of the constituency.

The atmosphere was electrifying, the crowds were ecstatic, and the irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations of support left no doubt that Alhaji Mubarak was heading for certain victory on Thursday, possibly by an even bigger margin than the about 4,000 with which the late NDC MP, Alhaji Dr. Gibril, won the constituency in the last elections.

Accompanied by some leading members of the Party from both the national and regional levels, the NDC campaign team undertook visits to key strategic places and opinion leaders in the constituency.

The places included Sabon Zongo, the Sakofia School at Sawaba, and Aboabo. The opinion leaders included the Sarkyi Zongo, the Mossi chief, and leaders of the Al-Tijaniyya and the Al-Sunni Muslim sects.

Professor Mills and his team also called on Madam Akua Afriyie, a “grand old lady” of the NDC, and the widow of the late NDC MP Dr. Gibril whose death has necessitated next Thursday's bye-election.

There was a humorous incident at the Sakofia School at Sawaba, which sent the thousands of people following the NDC team rollicking with laughter.

The NPP candidate, Baba Alhaji, was addressing supposed NPP faithfuls at a rally directly opposite the School. As soon as news reached his audience that the NDC team had arrived, all hell broke loose at his rally. The few men, women and children who had gathered to hear him took to their heels, deserted the poor candidate who was left alone holding his microphone without an audience to address, and rushed to pitch their camps at the venue where the NDC team was meeting with the leaders of the Al-Sunna sect.

By the time the NDC meeting was over and the team emerged, the NPP candidate had vanished from the scene, pick-up, platform, microphone and all!

On Friday evening, Professor Mills was the Guest of Honour at a football gala organised for teams in the constituency and sponsored by the NPP candidate for the bye-election who himself did not turn up allegedly because of a very cold reception he had received during the preliminary elimination matches.

The gala itself was played at the famous “Boom Park” at Aboabo, named after the famous “Positive Defiance” speech delivered by former President J. J. Rawlings in 2002.

The common theme at all the places the NDC team visited was the need to perpetuate the memory of the late NDC MP by voting for the NDC candidate; a call for free, fair, peaceful and rigging-free elections, an appreciation of the constituency's solid vote for Professor Mills in the 2004 Presidential elections, and a promise to ensure the development of Asawase and seek the welfare of its inhabitants once Alhaji Mubarak won.

The campaign tour was climaxed with a huge constituency rally on Saturday afternoon that could easily have passed for a national rally.

Speakers at the rally included Ama “Chavez” Benyiwa-Doe, former NDC MP for Gomoa West, Haruna Iddrissu, NDC National Youth Organiser and NDC MP for Tamale South, Alhaji Gado Sulemana, the NDC Constituency Chairman, Alhaji Sanni of the regional NDC, Ofosu Ampofo, National Organiser of the NDC, the NDC candidate, Alhaji Mubarak, and Professor Atta-Mills.

All the speakers exhorted the crowd to “hwe won asetena mu” and vote for Alhaji Mubarak on Thursday.

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