Two people, including the Member of Parliament, Frederick Opare Ansah, have picked nomination forms to contest the governing New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries in the Suhum constituency, scheduled to take place on April 25.
Kwadjo Oboafo Asante, a private businessman, who is challenging the MP, filed his nomination last week, with the incumbent expected to file his this week.
Reports picked from the area indicate that the two are likely to be the only candidates contesting for the slot as no other candidate has picked forms yet.
Mr Opare-Ansah, popularly known in the area as Suhum Mugabe, is a four-term MP, who is seeking re-election for a fifth term. He is currently the chairman of Parliament’s communications committee. He has also been a member of the finance committee since 2017.
The former student leader, during his university days at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), became MP in January 2005. In 2008, he was appointed a deputy Minister of Communications in the erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor administration. He has served in several roles in Parliament and is regarded as one of the institutional memories of the legislative body.
He served as Minority Chief Whip from 2009 to 2013; ranking member for communications from 2013 to 2017; and member, subsidiary legislation committee from 2013 to 2017.
Additionally, he has also been a member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2011 till date.
Kwadjo Asante, on the other hand, is an international businessman with over 10 years’ experience in risk assessment, strategic planning and solution management.
Skilled in the field of transport operations, human relations, conflict resolution, entrepreneurial initiatives and youth empowerment, he is currently the managing director of Kay & Moby Co. Ltd.
Between 2009 and 2011, he worked with the Ghana Education Service as a statistician. The educationist also taught Chemistry at Wesley Grammar School from 2005 to 2006 and at Margaret Mary Secondary School, Dansoman, from 2006 to 2008.
He had earlier, between 1999 and 2002, worked as a teacher in the Suhum-Kraboa Coaltar district.
He describes himself as a focused manager with demonstrated ability to organise work, establish priorities and delegate tasks to meet service delivery requirements
The Suhum constituency is considered a flashpoint due to the tension that characterises elections in the area, regardless of whether it is inter or intra party.
The constituency is noted for its infamous “51-51” when an attempt to get a candidate for the NPP in 2008 resulted in five rounds of voting without a winner. Both candidates, now Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior, Bryan Acheampong, and the incumbent MP, Frederick Opare Ansah, polled 51 votes each at all the five times that the party organised the primaries in the area.
Each of the five elections was characterised by series of tension and some level of violence. This forced the party’s leadership at the time to convince Mr Acheampong to step aside for Mr Opare-Ansah.
Ahead of the 2016 general election, the constituency was so tensed that people were assaulted for campaigning for their respective parties in the area.
Members of the NPP’s Loyal Ladies, during a house-to-house campaign, were attacked by irate youth suspected to be members of the NDC.
The ladies had to seek refuge at the Suhum chief’s palace, but that could not stop the thugs who chased them up to the palace.
Already, tension has started building up in the constituency ahead of the NPP’s primaries.
Three persons, believed to be supporters of Kwadjo Asante, have already been picked by the Suhum municipal police command for allegedly attacking one Rev James Aboagye, a party sympathiser and a supporter of the MP.