Have Navrongo Central and Kasena-Nankana Municipal fallen for JM and the NDC?
The party is currently undergoing a reorganisation exercise in strict adherence to the party's rigorous regime of a transparent elections for vacant elective positions at different levels of the party structure, and much later elect a flagbearer.
Even before the NDC compiles a new membership data to trigger a series of political activities for the commencement of yet another four-year life-cycle of the party, the real McCoy of the reorganisation exercise has already emerged. Conducted interviews of both the general public and party faithfuls within the Navrongo Central Constituency, revealed the favourite as HE John Dramani Mahama, JM for short. His name dropped effortlessly from the lips of those interviewed in the constituency.
The same people interviewed, also endorsed the NDC, and promised their votes for candidate Mahama, if he finally accepts nomination to contest in the forthcoming internal and national elections. HE John Dramani Mahama was the NDC presidential candidate for 2020 elections, which results were marred with electoral irregularities and declared six different times by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. HE John Dramani Mahama contested the results at the Supreme Court, where, after a frustrating legal tussle with counsels of the petitioner, Akufo-Addo was declared winner of the said elections.
According to provisions of the Constitution of the NDC, compilation of membership data is the first leg of due processes required to conduct branch elections to elect delegates for constituency executive elections, who also have additional responsibilities to elect the parliamentary candidate and a flagbearer of the party, much as constitute delegates of the National Congress, the highest decision body of the party. The party is currently undergoing a reorganisation exercise in strict adherence to the party’s rigorous regime of a transparent elections for vacant elective positions at different levels of the party structure, and much later elect a flagbearer.
HE John Dramani Mahama hasn’t officially come out to express interest to contest for the flagbearership of the NDC. But public opinion, including voices from some leading members of the NPP, put his name ahead of his likely contestants, if he finally accepts nomination from party faithfuls who rout for his candidature.
Thus far, Kojo Bonsu, the former mayor of Kumasi, in reports, has expressed interest to contest when nominations open. Another leading member of the party, Dr Kwabena Duffour, owner of the collapsed indigenous bank, UniBank, also the onetime Governor of Bank of Ghana and former Minister of Finance, is seen on the fringes making skirmishes to enter the fray, when official assent by the party is granted to file nominations to contest the NDC flagbearership race.
Meanwhile, the intense rivalry in the Navrongo Central Constituency between the NDC and the NPP continually traded in the past, seems headed to its wits end with significant defections tilted in favour of the NDC. Two recent major events in the constituency have set the tone for a significant split in the NPP as the party heads to elect polling executives to represent the party, with a corresponding devastating effect in elections 2024.
The first major event affecting the NPP in the constituency took shape recently, when stalwart of the NPP in the constituency, Joseph Kofi Addah, died. His staunch supporters have accused her bitterest rival, Paulina Tangoba Abayage, as ŕsponsible for his death. To add salt to injury, President Akufo-Addo did not attend the burial and funeral service of a former cabinet minister of his government, which natives in the community deem as an insult on Kasena people.
The late Joseph Kofi Addah first became a Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central Constituency and served from March 2003 to January 7, 2013. He staged a comeback and won the Navrongo Central Constituency seat, again, as an MP on December 7, 2016. Under HE John Agyekum Kuffour, he was first appointed the Minister of Manpower Development and Empowerment in 2005. He was later made the Minister of Energy on April 28, 2006 to 2008. Under President Akufo-Addo, Joseph Kofi Addah was initially appointed the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources. In a reshuffle, he was moved to the Ministry of Aviation to become its substantive Minister.
Before his death, he contested the NPP parliamentary primaries with Paulina Tangoba Abayage, and lost to her. Paulina Tangoba Abayage, on the other hand, was made Ghana’s Ambassador to Italy from July 2017 to August 2018. She was subsequently appointed the Upper East Regional Minister, after her return from Italy in August 2018. After her successful election as the NPP parliamentary candidate for Navrongo Central Constituency in Elections 2020, she was paradoxically heavily beaten by the NDC parliamentary candidate, Sampson Tangombu Chiragia. The NDC parliamentary candidate won by 26,947 votes, representing 62.27% of total valid cast votes. His closest rival, Paulina Tangoba Abayage, who represented the NPP, came next with 15,821 votes, representing 36.56% of total votes cast. In the third position came Kubirizegah Susana Agoriba wth 503 votes representing 1.16% of total valid cast votes.
Supporters of Paulina Tangoba Abayage accused the late Joseph Kofi Addah, long before his untimely death, as the one responsible for her poor showing in the 2020 Navrongo Central Constituency parliamentary elections, thereby deepening an existing rivalry between the two. According to them, he instigated his supporters to cast their votes in favour of the NDC parliamentary candidate, Sampson Tangombu Chiragia. As a result, in the recent NPP Polling Station Executive elections, most suspected Joseph Kofi Addah loyalists were targeted and their names dropped, or they were not served forms to apply to contest the elections. It is a matter of time for some of them to make public their resignation from the party or announce their defection to the NDC.
To catch a glimpse into the rivalry between the NDC and the NPP in Navrongo Central Constituency, this is how it all started. The late Godfrey Abulu, who stood on the ticket of the NDC in 1992, became the first MP in the Fourth Republic. The NPP boycotted those elections, making Godfrey Abulu the outright winner. However his death led to a by-elections in 1995, which was won by an independent candidate, the late John Setuni Achuliwor with 6,995 votes, representing 49.3% of total valid cast votes. His closest rival, Clement Tumfuga Bugase, who represented the NDC got 6,799 votes, representing 47.9% of total valid cast votes. Coleman E Mambisi, who stood on the ticket of the EAGLE party, came in third position with 394 votes, representing 2.8% of total valid cast votes.
In parliament, Hon Achuliwor took sides and represented the opposition NPP, together with another independent candidate from Bawku Central Constituency, the late Hawa Ogede Yakubu. But the reign of John Setuni Achuliwor in Navrongo Central Constituency as a Member of Parliament, was shortlived, when he contested as the NPP parliamentary candidate for the 1996 elections which was won, this time round, by Clement Tumfuga Bugase. He won by 16,811 votes, representing 51.9% of total valid cast votes.
He stood again in Elections 2000 as the NPP candidate, and won the seat with 11,246 votes, representing 41.5%. His closest rival, Clement Tumfuga Bugase, NDC, cane second with 11,103 votes, representing 40.9%. But he [John Setuni Achuliwor] died in a ghastly motor accident in 2003, which by-elections gave the NPP parliamentary candidate, Joseph Kofi Addah, a first time taste of national politics as winner of those elections. Hon Addah won the by-elections with 12,200 votes, representing 57.9%, placing his closest NDC rival, Clement Tumfuga Bugase, second. He got 4,929 representing 23.4%.
The following year in 2004, Hon Addah won the elections with 12,444 votes, representing 39.3 % of total valid cast votes. The NDC parliamentary candidate, Emmanuel Andema also placed third with 6,201 votes, representing 19.6% of total valid cast votes. Hon Addah repeated it in 2008, increasing his vote tally to 14,354, representing 45.2% of total valid cast votes. Mark Owen Woyongo, who stood on the ticket of the NDC, also garnered 13,224 votes, representing 41.7% of total valid cast votes.
However he [Hon Addah] lost it in the 2012 elections paving way for Mark Owen Woyongo, the NDC candidate, to make it the first time to parliament, bagging 17,907 votes, representing 53.16% of total valid cast votes.Joseph Kofi Addah got 15,443 votes, representing 45.84% of total valid cast votes. He later lost the parliamentary slot to Paulina Tangoba Abayage in the NPP parliamentary primaries, who inturn lost the seat to Sampson Tangombu Chiragia, who polled 26,947 of total valid cast votes, whilst she polled 15,821. Madam Susan Agoriba Kubirizegah polled 503 votes.
On the other hand, this is how the presidential elections in Navrongo Central Constituency look. HE John Dramani Mahama in Elections 2020 won 26,099 of total valid cast votes, representing 61.37%. His closest rival, HE Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo came second with 15,537 of total valid cast votes, representing 36.54%. The total votes of the two leading presidential candidates representing the NDC and the NPP, respectively, in percentage makes 97.91; with the rest shared among the 10 contestants.
In the 2016 elections, HE John Dramani Mahama won with 18,810 votes, representing 48.4% of total valid cast votes; and Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo came second with 18,759 votes, also representing 48.3% of total valid cast votes. Also in the 2012 elections, HE John Dramani Mahama made 59.8%, whilst Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo came next with 38 4%. In Elections 2008, Prof Mills, the NDC presidential candidate, scored 45.9%%. Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo won with 44.8%.
The trend however, didn’t show strongly for the NDC in 2004, 37.7%. The NPP made gains with 42.6%, retaining HE JA Kuffour. However, in Elections 2000, the NPP made 43.2% with JA Kuffour as president-elect, and the NDC trailed with 41.4%. In 1996, the NDC candidate, HE Flt Lt JJ Rawlings won with 53.0% as the NPP presidential candidate, JA Kuffour came second with 38.8%.
By Cadre Shmuel Ja’Mba Abm