“We did our best, but our best was not enough.” These were the words of an Eastern regional executive member of the outgoing National Democratic Congress (NDC) who could not believe what has befallen his party.
Again, the agenda 50–50 was limited to radio stations and instead of using the opportunity to highlight the achievements of the government, the NDC communicators rather poured invectives, used propaganda and insults on the personality of the President–elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo–Addo.
Some of the key radio stations in the region had most of their regular hosts stepping aside (as a result of directives from their respective management) for the NDC communicators, including the “Montie Three”, who threw away the canon of good journalistic practice of fairness, objectivity and honesty to take over.
Some executive members of the NDC in the region who were begging media personnel to give them coverage prior to their election at their party’s primaries grew wings overnight and did not respect the very people whom they were kowtowing to by disrespecting them.
Hence, some media personnel also deliberately refused to give “proper” and adequate coverage to the NDC.” Worst of all, some of the regional executives employed divide and rule tactics among media personnel to pursue their agenda.
Being the stronghold of the NPP, one would have expected that the NDC would have been tactful and diplomatic in conveying its message to convince the people of the region but some of their communicators were more belligerent on the airwaves, which rather worsened their case.
The last minute asphalting of major roads in Koforidua and some other towns angered the electorate who kept asking questions.
The results of the election gave the NDC 35.1 per cent as against 63.9 per cent for the NPP, with 28 parliamentary seats as against five for the NDC.
The NPP improved from 26 to 28 constituencies and won the following seats:
They are Aburi North, Aburi South, Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Fanteakwa North, Fanteakwa South, Asene-Manso-Akroso, Akim Oda, Atiwa East, Atiwa West and Akyem Achiase.
Others are Kade, Akropong, New Juaben North, New Juaben South, Abetifi, Mpraeso, Ofoase-Ayirebi, Abirem, Lower West Akim and Upper West Akim.
The rest are Suhum, Akwatia, Upper Manya Krobo, Okere, Akyem Swedru, Ayensuano and Nkawkaw.
The NDC won in the Afram Plains North, Afram Plains South, Lower Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo and Asuogyaman where the District Chief Executive nd the parliamentary candidate, Mr Thomas Ampem-Darko, was elected.
Upper Manya Krobo
This is the first time the NPP has won in this constituency since the introduction of multi–party democracy in 1992. This predominantly NDC constituency for the first time voted “skirt and blouse”, with President John Mahama winning the presidential with 13,180 votes while Nana Akufo–Addo had 10,881, representing 52.60 per cent and 43.50 per cent, respectively.
In the parliamentary election, the NPP’s candidate, Joseph Tetteh, polled 13,920 votes as against Jeff Tetteh Kavianu of the NDC who polled 10,544, representing 55.54 and 42.07 per cent respectively.
The main reason for this was that during the NDC primaries, supporters of one of the challengers of Mr Kavianu, identified as one Bismark, felt he won but was short-changed and the youth in the constituency decided out of anger to vote against Kavianu despite the fact that efforts were made to heal the post-primaries wounds. The regional executive was also accused of taking sides in the dispute.
The incumbent Member of Parliament for Akwatia, Mr Baba Jamal, was defeated by the NPP’s Madam Ama Sey by 21,433 votes as against 15,905. One message that did not go down well with the electorate in the constituency was a disparaging remark said to have been made by Mr Jamal that he, being a lawyer, should be voted for and not a “mere” hairdresser who had no formal higher education.
This seems to have angered a lot of people in the constituency who decided to punish him and end his parliamentary career, at least for now.
He was also accused of not coming home regularly and not attending social events.
Other female candidates who made mince meat of their male counterparts include Mrs Gifty Twum–Ampofo who defeated the NDC Parliamentary Candidate and Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Victor Smith, with 18,098 votes as against 11,740 votes for the Abuakwa North Seat.
Nana Ama Dokua of the NPP also became the new Member of Parliament-elect for the Akropong Constituency.