17th May 2024

No political party can win an election with a lame horse. To secure an electoral victory, there should be a strong tide between the candidate and the grassroot. Whenever there is a disconnection between the two, then there is a possibility of recording defeat.

This is the case in Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai constituency, where the incumbent Member of Parliament has lost touch with the base. His popularity has dwindled drastically. There is a great disconnection between him and the constituents.

This was revealed in a study conducted by New Era Institute, a research organization affiliated to the New Patriotic Party. The research was purposefully carried out to examine the fortunes of the New Patriotic Party in Western North Region. Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai constituency, which happens to be the strong hold of the party in the region was examined. The research was conducted for a period of two ( 2) months i.e. January to February. The constituency was zoned into four (4) namely Bibiani, Anhwiaso, Chirano and Bekwai. In all, 2500 electorates between the ages of 18 and 60 years were interviewed with a +/- 2% of margin of error.

The study revealed that, the electorates are fed up with the incumbent MP and are not ready to renew his mandate for the third time. There would be a high voter aparthy should he be presented as the party’s candidate.

Citing reasons for this, it emerged that apart from being a conveyor belt for government, he has not actually contributed significantly towards the development of the constituency.

Touching on his contribution to the party, they lamented that, he has never contributed to the development of the party but has rather been a bane to the success of the party.

They cited for instance, how he fought Mr. Alfred Obeng-Boateng when the latter decided to build an ultra-modern office complex for the party. As we speak, the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai branch of the New Patriotic Party does not have a constituency office since the old one had been abandoned due to its dilapidated nature.

When our team visited this structure, we were met with shock. The place had been turned into a baking shop and is currently housing bread sellers. There was no office equipment in the room.

It was therefore surprising and embarrassing that the only strong hold of the NPP in the newly created Western North Region cannot boast of an office to accommodate party officers. The constituency secretary and the chairman had been operating from their vehicles and home.

The sitting Member of Parliament, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, after forcefully stoping Mr. Obeng from the construction, went ahead to destroy all the materials ( About 10 trips of Sand, Chippings, etc) purchased by the latter.

We therefore visited the site to have a first hand information. At the proposed site, we saw a virgin forest. The site was so bushy and looked abandoned.

This, particular incident has incurred the wrath of the party faithfuls who see this as an act of wickedness and demonstrate clearly that the MP does not have the party at heart.

Some of them said “If nothing at all, Aboagye Gyedu could have rented a place to be used as the party’s office since he is the face of the party”.

Others said, “Even if he cannot rent an office for the party, he could have at least rented a place to be used as the office of the Member of Parliament so that we can all go there when the need arises. As we speak, we don’t know where to go when we want to see our MP and he is actually not on top of issues.”

It was emerged that, he has no respect for the people. It seems he has taken the people for granted and has suddenly forgotten that, he was voted for by the people. He has actually lost touch with them and has surrounded himself with ‘babies with sharp teeth’ whose duty is to denigrate high profile personalities within the constituency.

Our research also looked at the relationship between the party and the traditional authorities. Here too, it emerged that, the incumbent MP who double as the Western North Regional Minister had actually incurred the wrath of the people and Nananom within the Sefwi Bekwai traditional Council by involving himself in the recent chieftancy issue. It was revealed that, he was the main architect for the disturbances by conniving with one side. His sins had been visited unto the party he represents and the people had resolved to pay him back should he be presented as the NPP’s candidate. This is not different from his recent disrespect towards the Wiawso Traditional Council where he ended up slaughtering a sheep to pacify the gods at the Okogyeabour palace at Sefwi Wiawso. Therefore, any attempt to present him for elections 2020 will be a great disaster for the party.

It was again revealed that the current MP is not sociable and this has affected his popularity. For a political party to win an election, there should be a winnable candidate who attract people to himself. Someone who can win the heart of the people. Majority of the people, up to this time, does not even know the MP neither do they appreciate his presence. He had been avoiding a lot of social gathering (Before the COVID-19 directives) which makes him depart from the people he serves. The concern of the people was that, he is not concerned about the plight of the people thereby getting all his priorities wrong.

It was revealed that the incumbent MP is too tribalistic and vindictive. This has influenced his decision to sideline majority of the people who contributed to his victory. He doesn’t accept an opposing view and has succeeded to tame the people around him especially the party chairman who is supposed to be the executive head of the party because he is not a Sefwi. He recently fought with the constituency organizer of the party because he expressed an opposing view. The constituency executives around him had all been tamed to only consume information from him and to comply with his orders. He is currently running the party from his home.

The study revealed that, the constituents are not comfortable with the incumbent Member of Parliament and the party risk loosing the only favourable seat of the party within Western North should he be presented for the next election.

*WHO AMONG THE THREE ASPIRANTS IS BEST FIT FOR THE PARTY*

The three aspirants are, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu (incumbent), Alfred Obeng-Boateng (Approachers) and Christopher Addae.

After carefully examining the aspirants, we realized that Mr. Alfred Obeng-Boateng has laid a solid foundation for the party’s campaign. When we visited the constituency, we realized that, voluntary groups for Approachers had already springed up in the constituency. There was an established group known as *’Friends of Approachers* at every Polling station. These are voluntary groups formed and run by the people. They have been meeting frequently and have a high fun base. It would therefore be easier for the party to build on this for the general campaign.

About 90% of the people interviewed indicated their preferences for Mr. Obeng. The constituents are ready to vote massively for the New Patriotic Party should Mr. Obeng be presented as the party’s candidate for elections 2020.

“…..I am ready for Approachers. Because of him, I will vote for the NPP. But if they don’t bring him, I will keep my vote to myself.”

“…….Ah! Approachers is the best man. We all love him for his benevolence and we shall all campaign and vote for him”.

“…..I have not voted for the NPP before, but if they bring Approachers, I and my family will vote for him because he has done a lot for us”.

“If the delegates bring Aboagye Gyedu again, we shall all vote for the NDC. I am a strong member of NPP but if they bring Aboagye, I will not vote for the party.”

These were the lamentation of the people during the research. It is instructive to note that, Approachers has become a household name in Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai hence he stand the chance of attracting the highest vote for the NPP if he is chosen as the party’s candidate.

*RECOMMENDATIONS*

1. Hon. Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu should not be an option for the party if the party is to win the seat and increase the fortunes of the flagbearer.

2. There should be a new face for the party who will restore hope and confidence among the people.

3. The new face should be someone who can attract the populace and heal the wounds of the party’s grassroot. He should be able to win the heart of the floating voters.

4. As a matter of urgency, the party leadership must embark on crisis resolution within the constituency to plead with all the people who have been offended by the attitude of the incumbent Mp.

Listowel Ofori Mensah
Head of Research, New Era Institute

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *