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Politics of Thursday, 20 October 2016


Campaign in Volta Region heats up as NDC, NPP flaunt development plans

The campaign strategy in the Volta Region has entered a high gear as the two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), have resorted to accusations and counter-accusations to attract the attention of voters.

For about a week now, the two parties have been at each other’s throat over which of them has the best development plan for the region and why voters should not consider their opponents in choosing a government for the next four years.

Message of two parties

While the NPP is saying the NDC only considers the region as a ‘voters region’ and continuously declaring it as ‘their World Bank’ without offering the people the best of development, the NDC is also claiming that the NPP has turned its focus on the region with frequent visits by its flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to throw dust into the eyes of the people that they had better initiatives for the region.

It is very interesting to witness the force with which officials of the two parties spoke at their various press conferences and radio programmes, painting the picture that the party that marshalled enough votes from the region would be the automatic winner in this year’s contest.

Analysis of NDC, NPP

The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Koku Anyidoho, made analyses that giving Nana Addo a one million vote gap would overshadow the little over 900,000 it got from its stronghold (Ashanti Region) and widen the gap between the two parties as they battled to get more votes from the other regions.

The NPP, on the other hand, is also targeting three seats and 30 per cent of the valid votes cast to get to the Flagstaff House. Per their analyses, the NPP lost the 2012 election with a little over 300,000 votes and, therefore, if they work harder and get more votes in the region, they could turn their fortune around.

Various press conferences

The aggression to increase votes has pushed the two parties to rubbish development achievements from their opponents in the region.

The regional executive of the NPP were the first to hold the press conference claiming that the government was playing political gimmicks with the people by offering them inferior roads, sabotaging business initiatives of individual Voltarians, including Togbe Afede, who of late had been critical of the government. They asserted the few industries in the region had collapsed due to the bad policies and lack of development in the region by the NDC government.

Bribery allegation

They claimed that the NDC’s fear of losing significant votes had caused it to concoct stories that the NPP was bribing the chiefs and elders in the region to malign the NDC.

Denying the bribery allegation, the Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Peter Amewu, pointed out that the shifting of love by the people of the region towards the NPP was because the NDC had failed them.

‘‘If paramount chiefs at Kpenoe, Takla and Hodzo within the Ho Municipality have come out condemning government for failing to construct an 18-kilometre road, despite the numerous promises to them, then it was because they had realised the political gimmicks government was playing with them,’’ he said.

Also, the high unemployment among the teeming youth, coupled with lack of development projects in their areas, which had escalated the poverty rate, was a factor causing the apathy the NDC was witnessing in the region, he said.

NPP Brags

“We all know the NDC government has lost touch with the people of the Volta Region and has a very terrible development record in the region,” he said at the conference.

Bragging that the NPP was gaining good grounds in the region, Mr Amewu said the party was optimistic that its agenda would be achieved and called on the people to reject the Mahama-led administration.

He said Nana Addo’s promise to construct a mini-harbour at Keta, ban pair trawling to achieve maximum yield for the fishermen and also establish Ketu North and Ketu South constituencies as industrial zones to facilitate the export of industrial products to neighbouring countries to cure the unemployment problem was ‘yea and true’.

NDC counters response

However, the NDC has countered strongly with a press conference too, calling on Voltarians to ignore NPP manifesto promises to the region because it was an ‘empty Kalyppo manifesto’.

The NDC said its opponent had ‘no proper plan for the development of the Volta Region as the manifesto did not target projects dear to the people of the region.