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Politics of Saturday, 25 June 2011

Source: The Herald

Castle Boy To Battle NDC MP In Odododiodio

By Nii Akwei Moffat

The political dust/heat pumped into the atmosphere by events in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), will take some time to clear, long after the Sunyani Congress when President John Mills and ex-First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang, would have known where they belong.

Ongoing in the NDC party is a silent joggling for parliamentary seats with its attendant acrimony.

One such constituency which has started bubbling and promising to be one of the toughest contests of the NDC in the Greater Accra Region, is the Odododiodio Constituency, described as a swing constituency.

The sitting MP, Nii Tackie Commey, who won the seat after the demise of Hon. Mankatah in 2005, is drawing his strength from the number of developmental projects he has provided his constituents, saying that he is not bothered about anybody who wants to challenge him.

He is, therefore, brushing aside claims that he may not survive the general elections even if he is able to win the party’s primaries, since the Odododiodio Constituency seat could swing from the NDC to the NPP, because he has already served two terms, hence he has to go for a new face.

“I am not bothered about whether or not I have already won twice; all I know is, there is always a first time, and this time around, I am about to make history because I will be the first MP to win for the third time. I know I have done enough to deserve a third term”.

He enumerated some of the projects he has undertaken, saying: “In the area of education I am putting up a three-storey class room blocks at the Holy Trinity Senior High School and the Sacred Heart Vocational Senior High School.

“I have also set up a computer laboratory at both schools, and provided them with 20 pieces of computer each and 15 computers to the Accra Sempe Junior High School. Also, I have sponsored a couple of needy students between Junior High School to the tertiary level, all from my Common Fund and the GET Fund”, he said.

According to him, apart from renovating the out-patients department (OPD) of the James Town Maternity and providing some facilities to the Usher Fort Clinic, he has also given the two health posts water tanks and generators to solve the perennial water shortages and frequent blackouts.

But Special Aide to President Mills, Nii Lante Vanderpujie, looks all set to spoil the party for the sitting MP as a section of the people in the area, according to The Herald’s findings, are already clamouring for him because it has gotten to his turn.

Mr. Lante has expressed interest in the seat for many years now. In 2000, he stepped down for the then NDC aspirant, Tawiah Adamafio (Shia tse, Land lord), who went and lost to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Niibi Ayibonte.

In 2004 when he again made his intention to contest the seat known, Mr. Vandergujie, a veteran journalist, was cited in a election-related dispute, forcing him to, once again, abandon his dream. He was replaced by Mr. Mankatta, who later died barely a year in the House, and was also replaced by the sitting MP, Nii Tackie Commey.

After waiting patiently, it looks like the time is apt for Mr. Vanderpujie who has served the constituency as an Assemblyman for the predominantly fishing community.

Apart from serving as an Assemblyman and providing the community with some social amenities, Mr. Verderpujie is also priding himself as someone who relates so well with the people irrespective of their educational, religious and political background.

“I eat with them, we grew up together”. I speak their language, in fact I am very free with everybody and I always sit down play and share with everybody. I really do not care who is concerned, I also make sure I contribute and support whenever the need arise”, he said.

Currently, he disclosed to this paper, he is financing the training of some girls of school going age in the area.

“I am sponsoring a couple of girls through school; I mean vocational training, some of them would graduate this month. Just last week, I presented 13 sewing machines to some grandaunts who invited me to their graduation ceremony, so my people know what I am capable of doing”, he said.