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07.08.2005 Politics

Race for Odododiodio – Who is Alex Wiseman?


THERE is confusion in the NDC camp, with Walid Laryea threatening to slice a chunk of Jonathan Tackie Commey's support base. The struggle is on to get the NPP supporters in the constituency to warm-up to Mankatah, the imposed candidate.

But, while all is not well within the two main camps, a local hero is hoping to exploit the intra-party discontent and become the first ever Independent candidate for the vital seat in the heart of Accra.

His name is Alex Nii Ayitey Wiseman. He is a royal of Korle We, who, since returning to Ghana from Europe five years ago, has carved for himself a reputation in the eyes of the locals as a most effective advocate for social change.

The flamboyant man of 37, speaks six languages. He is fluent in Ga, English, Swedish and French. He even understands Japanese and Greek. He is young, hungry, pragmatic and passionate about his area. While he may not have enough votes to take a seat in Parliament, there is growing unease within the two main camps as to which party has more to lose by Mr Wiseman's candidacy. His strongholds are Korle Workon (including Agbogbloshie, Kokompe, Sodom and Gomorrah), and Kinka (Bukom, Okaishie, Cow Lane, Zongo Lane, Atukpai, Gbese, Tafo, Owuman).

For the floating voter, Mr Wiseman comes across as the most eloquent of the six candidates, with, perhaps, the most progressive programme for the area. His slogan is simple: Moko sane, Moko sane ni – your issue is my issue, or your problem is my problem. His message is simple: the people are blessed with location, rich land, rich sea, and an abundance of human resource yet since Independence the locals have stayed poor whilst economic activity booms all around them. He wants to change that and he is willing to work, with support from his people, to change that.

He told The Statesman in last Friday's edition, “I've fought in Europe for my people, the blacks; I am fighting here in Ghana for my people and the real fight is about getting what is due us and defeating the cancer called poverty. I do not understand why there should be poverty in the centre of Accra when the land is rich and there is economic activity all around us. Some of the wealth must stay with the locals even when the shops, offices are closed and their tenants gone home.

“I am prepared to work with any government that is prepared to help my people. I also want to get my people to wash themselves clean of the old socialist mentality which has made us dependent on help that never come from Government. We need to build up the community energy and spirit and create wealth that will stay in the community. We must be careful of politicians, who claim to speak our language, get us to fight for them, promise us plenty and leave us with nothing.”

Mr Wiseman is one of six persons who filed their papers with the Electoral Commission last Thursday. The others are Lenox Sydney Kojo Asafoatse Mankattah, 36, for the New Patriotic Party, Christian Shanku Bruce, 63, for the Convention People's Party, Jonathan Tackie Commey for the National Democratic Congress, Collins Nii Amah Issakah, 26 for the Democratic People's Party, and Walid Laryea, 37, Independent.

Shortly after the candidates had filed their nominations at the Ashiedu Keteke District Office of the EC at James Town in Accra, they were asked to ballot for their positions on the ballot paper.

The NDC candidate picked the first spot on the ballot paper, followed by the CPP, DPP, NPP, Wiseman and Walid.