In anticipation of the NPP parliamentary election scheduled for Saturday, January 27th, youth activist Nana Poku shares his predictions. He writes
“Had we but world enough and time. We would sit down to jaw jaw, dissect, and analyze the analysis, prognosis, and the dynamics of the potential outcomes of this parliamentary contest in Afigya Kwabre North Constituency. Alas, Time’s winged chariot, hurrying near, will not permit us, for yonder before us, in less than 24 hours, lies January 27th, the decision day. After keenly monitoring events, consistent interactions with delegates, and down-to-earth intelligence gathering from key stakeholders, the fog has cleared, and I can finally unveil in this perilous beauty of silence my predictions for one of the fiercely contested internal parliamentary battles in AKNC.
I foresee a total vote of 306 representing 67% of total votes cast in favor of incumbent MP Hon. Collins Adomako-Mensah as against 147 votes representing 32% of total votes cast. Five (5) dominating factors led to my projections.
THE VISIBILITY FACTOR: Many delegates commended Hon. Collins for his ability to honor their invitations to attend a series of events and ceremonies (weddings, funerals, church harvest, etc.) of delegates and some party members in the constituency. Attending the events mostly in person, as compared to his opponent Lawyer Dweteh, who mostly resorts to delegation, has won the hearts of many. Those who understand the priorities of delegates in our vicinity would know the impact.
THE FENCED DELEGATE STRATEGY: From the days of the polling station elections, a new strategy was implemented by the Hon. Collins team where they succeeded in getting most loyalists of the MP elected as polling station executives. Although my checks revealed some of these loyalists have switched camps, I also understand the core majority of these loyalists remain intact and seriously fenced. The Hon. MP may harvest from their loyalty if everything is to go according to plan.
IMPACT ON CONSTITUENTS: This is one area where both camps believe they have worked well, and lots of their campaign messages hover around. Lawyer Dweteh is understood to have given employments to people. Over 91 people have received employment, mostly within the Ghana Education Service through his influence as a leading member of the Ministry of Education.
Also, he played a leading role in getting the government to absorb Afigya Senior High Technical School, plus getting a bus for the school. A couple of monetary donations to school building projects have also been done by him. Most of his support directly targeted delegates, making him win the hearts of some delegates.
However, many believe the achievements of Hon, Collins in this particular area override that of the Lawyer. Over 70 young people have received various employments at both security agencies and other government sectors. Over 145 students have benefited from his scholarship initiative which has cost close to Ghc 300,000 in the past 3 years and counting. His sponsorship of educational programs in AKNC, including Fish FM’s Mmofra Mmere Quiz competition, which cuts across the district, and his sole sponsorship of the historic Best Teacher Awards that cost around Ghc 100,000. His sponsorship of Districts Best Farmer Awards consistently for 3 years, his renovations of some deteriorated basic schools, the swift response in fixing the collapsed Nsuontem bridge, and many others. Many believe his contributions are monumental as a first-time MP compared to the first 4 years of his predecessor. Many believe his impact was just not delegate-focused but rather had a broader and equal distribution of resources. For instance, the over 35 security employments he gave to the constituency were distributed across the 25 communities in AKNC. Many delegates seem to have directly or indirectly benefited from his contribution either by themselves or through their wards. A lot of delegates appear to be content with this, and there’s a higher probability of it affecting their voting patterns.
EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN TACTICS: The usage of well-rehearsed campaign strategies will decide this battle. Keeping a close eye on the grounds, we believe the incumbent’s style of campaign is resonating well with the delegates. He employed a last-minute reconciliation approach where he had the opportunity to engage more of the peeved delegates directly in person. Per our checks, this has helped in mending most of his broken relationships with the kingmakers.
My information from a very reliable source has confirmed to me most of the unhappy delegates who earlier on were seen to be Lawyer’s sympathizers have secretly visited the MP in his residence to resolve their grievances with him, even to the extent of some swearing their allegiance to the Hon. MP. The usage of influential party executives, electoral area coordinators, and other respected delegates to lead his campaign too is paying off. It is believed that most of the spearheads of lawyer’s campaign are non-delegates. Many have also raised doubts about the weight some of his chosen team members who are delegates carry so far as AKNC is concerned. Per our information from deep throat sources, 9 constituency executives and a convincing majority (9) out of the 15 electoral area coordinators have been anchoring the MP’s campaign boat. The impact and the influence of these key figures cannot be undermined in this serious game of numbers. Expectations are that if all things are to go according to plan, the fitly fanned foliage of Team Collins’s underground campaign tactics will overshadow the murmuring faint voices of the wind of change.
THE POWER OF INCUMBENCY AND LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS: The power of the incumbent can never be omitted from any form of a political battle since incumbents most at times have all the political arsenals in their advantage. In the case of Afigya Kwabre North where the MP is lucky to have all the major government machinery within the district throwing their wit behind him.
However, speaking to most delegates, we discovered despite few reservations the MP’s relationship with the majority of delegates in recent times has been an improved one. I understand the MP has succeeded in using his longstanding relationship with most of these delegates to build a certain cabal of whips among delegates. I’m told the whip system was strategically piloted during the Bawumia vrs Kennedy national contest where the MP used it to amass over 300 votes for Dr. Bawumia. Although the lawyer also has built a longstanding relationship with people over the years, voices on the grounds are amplifying the non-delegate factor besides there’s also a deep feeling that the MP’s whips strategy will override any attempt of penetration.
All said and done, these projections are from my personal findings after following keenly, monitoring the campaign from both camps, constant interactions with kingmakers, series of interviews with stakeholders, careful study of statistics and historical antecedents, consistently analyzing trends and dynamics of these types of elections in our jurisdiction and elections of other similar vicinities devoid of EMOTIONS, favoritism, factoids, and bias. Although these do not represent the ORIGINAL decision of delegates, I strongly believe”