Politics of Saturday, 12 January 2019
The question as to which party is more organised at present between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Nabdam Constituency towards next year’s general elections is generating more public attention by the day.
The NDC and the MP for the area, Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane, have constructed and commissioned a new office block where the umbrella party henceforth will, among other functions, hatch plots for electoral victories over its rivals, particularly the elephant party— the NPP.
The commissioning comes two weeks after the NPP, led by former Constituency Women Organiser and now District Chief Executive (DCE) of Nabdam, Agnes Anamoo, had held an eat-as-you-wish party where supporters openly drew plans for NDC’s downfall at next year’s polls.
Positioned in the Nabdam District capital, Nangodi, the NDC-branded multipurpose office building is also where the MP will now be attending to constituents who hitherto were congregating at his Kongo residence to see him.
“When I come home, this (the new party office) is where I would like to operate from. I wouldn’t like people to just pile up in my house. This is my office and I must make it operational. Very soon, people will start seeing that the MP, yes, is working because people will not come to my house again. When you are coming to my house, I would just tell you to come and wait over here; I would come to the office and we would sort out everything.
“And proper records will also be kept. You know, at the moment, everything is random. Most of the MPs, we assist a lot of people but we don’t keep records. But now, when you come and there is somebody to put the records down before you come and see the MP, gradually, gradually, we should be able to tell our story better. We should be able to tell people what as an MP, you know, we’ve been able to do,” remarked the NDC MP in an interview with journalists at the commissioning grounds.
No Party can Undo NDC’s Dominance in Nabdam — Lawmaker
Asked how bothered he might be about the NPP’s serious plans to topple and sink the NDC next year, Dr Nawaane sounded undismayed as he retrospectively said the NDC could only fall in Nabdam through self-affliction.
“NPP can never unseat Dr Nawaane. If they want to unseat Dr Nawaane, I would say that they should probably look for NDC people to unseat me because as an NDC member I treat everybody equally and I don’t know what is in people’s heads. But for the NPP people, I know them. I know them in and out. And I know that they can never by themselves unseat me because I know their game. I know their game and I know how to handle their game.
“Remember that they have opened a gap of about 520 votes and I have come to open about 3,000 (votes) just within one campaign period. I know how to get them. I know how to get them and I don’t want to give the details. When we start campaigning, I just know the message that I’m going to go with and, me and Mahama, we expect that this time we should open up the gap of about 5,000 or more. The only way they can [unseat] me is [through] my NDC people,” the MP said.
NDC has the Best Party Office in Nabdam — Former DCE
Construction of the party office block, according to the MP, began before the NDC was overwhelmingly ditched into opposition in 2016.
He said he initiated the process with a donation of 120 bags of cement after the party, through its leadership in the constituency, acquired the land for the project.
“I roofed it before the elections. And after the elections, we went into opposition. But I said no— I shouldn’t abandon this building because we are in opposition. It is more difficult and the reason is simple: when you are in opposition, you live on your salary. It’s not so easy.
“Thanks to God. Thanks to all the NDC members. We’ve been able to get it into a presentable stage. We still have some work to do here. We need to wall it. We need to get a water source. And when we get a water source, we can now put [up] a modern toilet facility and it will be complete,” Dr Nawaane added.
Among the dignitaries present was the first-ever DCE of Nabdam, Vivian Anafo, who touted the structure as the best party office in the constituency.
Speaking with a confident tone of voice, she told reporters at Nangodi: “I’m not perturbed [about the NPP’s defeat party]. We are all politicians. I’m not asking them (NDC supporters) to go and sleep. They should work. We are also working. I know NDC will make it because of what you have even seen with your own eyes. This is the best office of any party in Nabdam.”
Electoral Results of NDC, NPP in Nabdam since 2008
The 2008 general elections saw the NDC’s parliamentary candidate, Moses Asaga, obtain 5,369 (47.8%) votes to beat the NPP’s Boniface Gambila who polled 5,097 (45.4%) votes in the Nabdam Constituency.
The presidential elections held the same year passed with the NDC’s Professor John Evan Atta Mills getting 5,501 (49.84%) votes in the first round and 6,541 (61.44%) votes in the runoff whilst the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo secured 4,655 (42.18%) votes in the first round and 4,105 (38.56%) votes in the runoff.
In 2012, the NPP’s Boniface Gambila removed the NDC’s long-serving Moses Asaga from the seat. Boniface, former Upper East Regional Minister in the Kufuor Administration, captured 7,097 (50.81%) votes as against 6,545 (46.86%) votes garnered by Asaga, a former Deputy Minister of Finance in the Rawlings Government. John Dramani Mahama gained 7,533 (58.21%) votes for the NDC at the 2012 presidential polls in the constituency and Akufo-Addo 4,719 (36.47%) votes for the NPP.
The NDC’s Dr Nawaane ‘evicted’ the NPP’s Boniface from Parliament in 2016 with the former gathering 9,373 (58.95%) votes and the latter 6,528 (41.05%) votes. Mahama, representing the NDC the same year in the area, got 9,317 (58.15%) votes and Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s presidential candidate, gained 6,152 (39.98%) votes.