The parliamentary race for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ningo-Prampram Constituency in the Greater Accra Region is gradually taking shape with a resolve by the aspirants to do whatever it takes to end the grip of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on that seat.
Since the onset of the Fourth Republic, the NDC has remained the dominant party in that part of the country.
In 1997, the venerable Mr Enoch Teye Mensah succeeded Mr Stanley Basil Bade Carboo (both of the NDC) as Members of Parliament (MPs).
After five terms in office spanning a period of 20 years, Mr Mensah was dethroned in an acrimonious internal primary by Mr Samuel Nartey George ahead of the 2016 general election.
Having played second fiddle to the NDC for over 27 years, the NPP is lacing its boots to end the parliamentary drought in the constituency.
Two aspirants had so far picked and submitted nominations forms at the time of putting this piece together.
They are Ms Rita Akweley Addotey and Mr Alex L. Martey.
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This is the first time that a woman has stepped forward to lead the NPP in the constituency. Supporters of Ms Addotey’s bid told the Daily Graphic that she had what it took to lead the party in the constituency.
“She is a unifier and ever since she emerged, she has been able to touch base with all those who matter in the constituency with the aim of bringing everyone on board to pursue a common agenda of winning the seat for the NPP,” one of her supporters said.
Ms Addotey is campaigning on four thematic areas, namely: jobs, women empowerment, unity and service to humanity
Her contender is 44-year-old management consultant, Mr Alex Martey, a presidential staffer who currently works with the Operations Directorate at the seat of government, the Jubilee House.
Mr Martey is leading a campaign he calls ‘Rescue Mission’. Indeed, that mission is one to dethrone the NDC and he tells this reporter that he has all it takes to successfully execute that mission.
He believes he has the backing of the powers that be in the party, right from the Jubilee House to the constituency to deliver the seat for the NPP.
Contrary to the widely held view that the Ningo-Prampram seat is a no go area for the NPP going by the results from both the parliamentary and presidential elections from 1992, Mr Martey said those arguing along those lines had it wrong.
“The seat is not the preserve of the NDC,” he asserted, stressing that what had happened in the past was that the people of Ningo-Prampram put their trust in people who they believed could bring development to the area.
According to him, that trust had been broken by the very persons who were elected into office and his emergence on the ticket of the NPP was what would bring change in terms of who would lead Ningo-Prampram in Parliament.
Responding to the perception among some electorate in the constituency that he is the candidate sent by the Jubilee House, Mr Martey said he was glad to have offered himself to come and deliver the seat to support the President in fulfilling his mandate to the people.
He said the NPP in government was doing well and it was about time the people elected one of their own who was closer to the seat of government to complement the efforts of the President to accelerate development of the area.
Mr Martey holds the firm view that he towers over the aspirants for the ticket of the NPP and is capable of annexing the seat for the first time.
A new record
The Secretary of the Ningo-Prampram Constituency Elections Committee, Mr Frederick Brown Glover, expressed strong optimism that the NPP was going to set a record by winning the seat for the first time.
He said the NPP under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had demonstrated within the past two and half years that the party had what it took to bring development to the Ningo-Prampram District through improved infrastructural development in the area of health and education, provision of jobs and implementation of government’s flagship programmess and policies, among others.
“Between 2009 and 2012, where we had all the powers of state residing here in Ningo-Prampram, we didn’t see any significant development. We had the MP who doubled as a Minister of State, the Chief of Staff, the First Lady, a presidential staffer who is now the MP, but the constituency had nothing to boast in terms of development,” he said
According to him, now that the NPP was in power, the area was witnessing a number of development projects across the various communities.
He said if the NPP was given the mandate in terms of the parliamentary bid, whoever emerged as winner would complement the work of the DCE to improve on what had already started development-wise.
Mr Glover said the NPP in Ningo-Prampram was also poised to deploy all that was needed to campaign vigorously to wrest the seat from the NDC.
Whoever emerges victorious at the internal primaries may come against the NDC incumbent MP, Mr George, who is facing competition from his Constituency
Chairman, Mr Michael Kwetey Tetteh, and the Secretary of the Ningo-Prampram NPP Constituency Elections Committee says the NPP foresees an acrimonious battle for the NDC that the NPP will exploit with its unified front to unseat the NDC and win the seat for the first time.