The Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Constituency parliamentary seat is one of the seats that has been occupied by both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) since the commencement of the fourth republican constitution in 1992.
Whereas the NPP has occupied the seat for almost 16 years, their main contender, the NDC, on the other hand, had held onto the seat for 12 years. Therefore, the constituency could be described as a swing constituency.
When the NPP boycotted the 1992 parliamentary election, Mr Ebenezer Kobina Fosu was elected MP for the constituency and served a four-year term.
Subsequently, in the 1996 election, Mr Fosu retained the seat for the NDC after polling 19,523 to beat Mr Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori of the NPP, who managed 13, 641 votes.
In the 2000 elections, Mr Appiah-Ofori managed to win the seat for the NPP for the first time with 16,225 votes to defeat Mr Fosu who had 13,559.
In the 2000 general election, Mr Appiah-Ofori maintained the NPP’s dominance in the constituency and retained the seat with 21, 843 votes to beat Mrs Georgina Nkrumah Aboah of the NDC who secured 15, 037 votes.
Mr Appiah-Ofori again won the seat for the NPP in the 2008 election with 18,195 votes while his main contender, Mrs Aboah had 17,724 votes to close the gap between them as compared to the 2004 results.
Mrs Aboah of the NDC by dint of hard work managed to overturn the deficit to win the seat in 2012 with 23,705 votes to beat Mr Anthony Effah of the NPP who polled 21,087.
Unfortunately, Mrs Aboah lost the NDC primary to Alhaji Alhassan Kobina Ghansah who battled it out with Mr Effah in the 2016 election. Mr Effah recaptured the seat for the NPP with a vote margin of 430. He had 23,760 votes, while Alhaji Ghansah also secured 23,330 votes.
Per the 2016 parliamentary results, the seat could tilt to either of the two political parties.
The candidates presented by both parties would largely determine who would win.
With the NDC presenting Alhaji Ghansah again for the upcoming election, who according to some electorate was very popular across the constituency, the onus now lies on the NPP to elect a parliamentary candidate who would be able to match the NDC’s candidate.
Upcoming NPP primary
Interestingly, in the upcoming NPP primary, the constituency produced the highest number of aspirants in the Central Region. Mr Effah, the incumbent MP, is being challenged by five other male party stalwarts.
The calibre of individuals who are seeking to unseat the MP makes it very difficult for one to predict the outcome of the primary as none of the aspirants can be written off.
The other contenders are Mr Samuel Ofori Ampomah, Mr Bannasco Francis Ampong-Ansah, Mr Ernest Kojo Smith, Mr Bright Essilfie Kumi and Mr Emmanuel Adjei Domson.
Samuel Ofori Ampomah (left), Bannasco Francis Ampong-Ansah (middle) and Bright Essilfie Kumi
Mr Domson, a former District Chief Executive between 2005 and 2009 is staging a comeback after he lost the party’s 2015 primary to the incumbent MP.
The management consultant and local government expert see himself as the most competent person among the aspirants to lead the party in the constituency into the December 7 election.
He claimed the district had not seen a lot of development after his exit as the DCE for the area in 2009.
“If the party believes in long service and competence, then I am the most qualified and connected among the aspirants,” he said.
According to him, as MP for the area, he would offer distinguished leadership to get the district back to its rightful place.
Mr Ampong-Ansah, 38, a teacher at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon said the constituency needed a person at the grassroots who understood the terrain of politics within the area.
According to him, empirical evidence on the ground suggested the party needed to present a new candidate to enable the party to retain the parliamentary seat in the upcoming election.
He believes it was time for a youthful candidate who was ready to work to change the fortunes of the constituency to be elected to champion his vision on education, health, youth and women empowerment.
For his part, Mr Ofori Ampomah, Chief Executive Officer of Electro Power Engineering Limited, based in Accra, has acknowledged the lack of development in the district which has been compounded by youth unemployment in the area.
Through his Ofori Ampomah Foundation, he expressed the hope to partner a number of international organisations to help transform the area for the benefit of the people as well as put the youth into apprenticeship and offer them start-up capital to enable them to set up their businesses.
He mentioned that he would come up with innovative ideas and interventions that would have direct impact on the lives of the constituents.
Mr Kumi, a former national youth organiser aspirant of the NPP and a legal consultant, said he was in the race as a strong force who could unify the divided front of the party to win the parliamentary seat and consolidate the victory in future elections.
He noted that although President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won with 5700 vote margin in the constituency in 2016, the party suffered from skirt and blouse votes in the parliamentary results where the incumbent MP won with 430 votes.
He stated that the party needed a candidate who was well connected in all the sectors of the economy and not an armchair parliamentary candidate.
A Presidential Staffer, Mr Kojo Smith, is also in the race with the primary objective of helping to address the myriad of challenges confronting the district if elected MP for the constituency.
His message is to tackle the poor state of roads in the area by lobbying for immediate government intervention to enable motorists and particularly farmers to cart their goods to market centres.
He expressed concern about the high youth unemployment in the district despite the government’s numerous job opportunities and pledged to roll out policies to address it.
According to Mr Effah, the incumbent MP, since his election in 2017, had worked to improve the lives of the people in the areas of reshaping roads, health and education, among others that had had positive impact on the lives of the people.
He believes that as a member of the finance committee in parliament, he had been active on the floor of parliament as well as contributed to debates on the economy in parliament and in the media which places him above the other contenders.
He is very optimistic that per his track record so far, the teeming delegates of the party would reward him with another term to do more to better their lives. . #Ghanavotes2020