Tamale Central Boils

Tamale is boiling as today’s parliamentary primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) zero in.

Aspirants and incumbent legislators are criss-crossing the nooks and crannies of the politically charged metropolis to solicit support from party supporters.

Arguably, this year’s primaries of the ruling party promise to be the most exciting in the political history of the area, owing to the exigencies of the moment – the broadening of the Electoral College where all registered card bearing members would be legible to vote. Hitherto, it was limited to constituency delegates to choose their respective parliamentary candidates.

The incumbent parliamentarians are sitting on tenterhooks with huge uncertainty over their chances of retaining their seats. There is pressure on them to measure up to the demands of their constituents and also face-off their equally competent challengers.

The situation has therefore compelled some sitting MPs to improve upon the frequency of their visits and interactions with their constituencies. It has also emboldened some local political ‘contractors’ to cash in on the situation to make money from the desperate sitting and aspiring parliamentarians.

However, the hotspot is the Tamale Central constituency where the incumbent and Minister for Roads, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, is bent on moving mountains to keep the seat in the face of stiff opposition by engineer Ibrahim in what is likely going to be the most keenly contested in the history of parliamentary primaries in the constituency.

He appears to be by far the candidate with the biggest campaign bankroll which is evident in his cash-driven campaign with the sharing of money chewing gum and clothes specially branded with the pictures of the minister and President Mahama.

Another fascinating perspective of the primaries which some say is legendary, is the visibility of the wife of Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who is seen openly distributing clothes, chewing gum and money to the constituents in her bid to help her husband to retain the seat.

A certain Hajia Leeila Mumuni, beneficiary of the goodies, said she was happy with the level of competition because according to her, it had forced the candidates to give away gifts which ordinarily they would not have done.

Tamale Central constituency, being the most urbanised in northern Ghana, has always been of huge interest to political players since 1992 when the country returned to civilian rule.

The NDC won the seat in 1992 when it was Gulkpegu Saabonjida constituency, but later lost it to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 1996. The NPP then lost it to the NDC in 2004.

FROM Napari Nabeel,Tamale

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