FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER, MAJORITY LEADER FACE STIFF OPPOSITION
Ghana’s First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Joseph Osei-Owusu and the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Hon. Lawrence Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu might be overworking themselves in an attempt to protect their seats as Members of Parliament.
While Joe Osei-Owusu has represented the constituents of Bekwai constituency in Parliament since 2009, the Majority Leader has since 1996 been at the National Assembly as a rep of Suame constituents.
But following attempts by the party hierarchy to protect them as sitting MPs in the face of their role, they have incurred the wrath and displeasure of some constituents who are craving for a change in leadership for non-performance.
This position is threatening the proposed NPP’s Agenda 47/47 in a bid to protect its sitting MPs.
As a result, voters are threatening to vote skirt and blouse pattern in some of the constituencies particularly Bekwai, Suame and Subin in Ashanti region. And to facility this voting pattern, independent candidates have emerged.
A failed New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary hopeful for Bekwai has announced his bid to contest the upcoming December elections as an independent candidate.
Kwasi Amofa-Agyemang, a private legal practitioner who was disqualified from contesting the June primaries of the ruling NPP and thus paved way for incumbent MP, Joseph Osei-Owusu, to go unopposed has declared his intention to go independent in order to address the issue of apathy and convince voters who have vowed not to vote in the elections to rescind their decision in the interest of the party.
According to him, some electorates have vowed not to register for the ongoing voter registration exercise, hence his decision to go solo.
The incumbent MP, then former DVLA boss breached provisions of the NPP Constitution by going independent after losing the primary to the then MP, and Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Kofi Opoku Adusei in May 2008 by 69 votes to 70 votes.
Lawyer Kwasi Amofa-Agyemang, is currently working hard to ensure that the constituency records one of the highest votes for President Akufo-Addo in the upcoming December polls.
He is seeking to poll over 50, 000 votes from the 173 polling stations to annex the Bekwai seat in a landslide victory since the Zongo communities in the area which are perceived to be predominantly sympathizers of the opposition NDC are gradually identifying with his vision and have promised to vote for him.
He said he is campaigning in all the116 communities constituting the constituency with 173 polling stations to ensure a real change in leadership at the constituency.
Outlining his vision for the people of Bekwai Constituency Lawyer Amofa-Agyemang promised to create a seedling center in the constituency for nursing hybrid mango, coconut, palm-nut and cocoa seedlings to begin cash crop cultivation as a way of supporting the youth and peasant farmers in the area to become self-sufficient as well as championing the government’s planting for food and jobs agenda.
According to the aspiring independent candidate, the incumbent MP, Lawyer Joseph Osei-Owusu is only pursuing his own personal interests and only trying to develop himself instead of helping the vulnerable in the constituency rather.
The constituents, according to the aspirant, complain that the incumbent MP does not appear in the constituency after every general election since he got into parliament some twelve years ago while the constituency lacked lots of basic things like toilet facilities which can be provided at a reduced cost when the people are ready to support with communal labour.
The story at Suame is no different as an independent candidate has also emerged to contest the Majority Leader’s seat.
The situation is more intense especially when market traders are rooting for one George Prempeh alias Bashaka for change.
The aspirant is said to have embarked on a developmental agenda for the Suame magazine industrial hub even when he is not an MP.
Market traders at Kronum have denounced the Suame MP and are chanting “Bashaka all the way” saying Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu must go.
According to some of the traders, they have an option in “Skirt and Blouse” now that the NPP gurus would not listen to advice and want to protect sitting MPs.
Akosua Anokyewaa of Abusuakuruwaa complained of no street lights in her area all these years the Majority Leader has served as an MP. Akuba of Kronum market holds similar opinion for change as roads at Bronkum, the MPs hometown, are bad.
Abbas, a butcher at the Kronum market, is on record to have said the MP is always making unfulfilled promises while Bashaka has proven he can champion and deliver the aspirations of voters.
Meanwhile, the Kumasi Metropolitan Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation, Mr. Frank Kwadwo Duodu is buckling his shoes to join the Subin parliamentary elections as an independent candidate.
His bid to contest the Subin parliamentary seat is explained in his disqualification in the NPP primaries without any tangible reason.
Duodu’s unexplained disqualification came at a time he had been vetted and cleared by the Party’s Vetting Committee.
The 51 applicants are seeking a declaration that the June 20 NPP polls by which the sitting MP claims to have been re-elected by 485 votes, is illegal, unlawful and wrongful and should be declared null and void.