AS the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to conduct its parliamentary primaries in constituencies with sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) across the country on April 25, 2020, one of the constituencies where the contest will be hot and interesting is the Walewale Constituency.
Six popular persons will be seeking to unseat the incumbent MP, Dr Sagre Bambangi, to vie for the NPP in the December 7, 2020 parliamentary elections.
From the calibre of the six aspirants who have already picked nomination forms, the incumbent MP, who is also the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in charge of Crops, who is seeking to retain the seat for the third time, will not have it on a silver platter.
The seven persons who have picked the forms are Hajia Lariba Zuwera Abudu, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority, Dr Susana Alo Aga, a development communications specialist and Board Member of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Mr Seth Panwum, a presidential staffer and two-term Presiding Officer for the West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly and Mr Issahaku Ibrahim, a UK-based legal practitioner. The rest are: Mr Yidana Zakaria, an assistant registrar at the University for Development Studies ( UDS), Dr Sagre Bambangi, the incumbent MP and Mr King James Azortibah, the 2012 Parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who defected to the NPP. Checks in the constituency by the Daily Graphic revealed that Dr Tiah Abdul-Kabiru Mahama, a presidential staffer who had earlier expressed interest to contest the primaries, had since withdrawn from the race. Checks in the constituency by the Daily Graphic revealed that Dr Tiah Abdul-Kabiru Mahama, a presidential staffer who had earlier expressed interest to contest the primaries, had since withdrawn from the race.
With the upcoming primaries, the Vice-President is said to be in a fix since he cannot openly back any of the contestants including the incumbent MP because they are all close to him, making the contest a free-for-all fight.
Some political watchers believe the primaries will be one of the crucial contest in the history of the constituency considering the calibre of persons gearing up for the race.
Already, the six persons have hit the grounds criss-crossing the constituency ahead of the primaries.
The Daily Graphic has gathered that while some have undertaken series of activities such as health screening exercises and donations, others are covertly meeting the delegates in their houses to win their hearts.
As the oldest constituency in the North East Region, it is a focal point for the NDC and NPP, with the NDC winning the seat four times -1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008.
However, the People’s National Convention (PNC) won the seat once, in 2000 while the NPP snatched the seat in 2012 and retained it in 2016.
Until the Vice-President put some steam into the political terrain, the seat was considered as a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress as the party has held the seat four times.