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Politics of Tuesday, 13 September 2016


Complacency can make NPP lose Ashanti Region – Political Historian

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, Flagbearer NPP Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, Flagbearer NPP

Despite the Ashanti Region being its stronghold, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) may lose its grip on the region if it decides to be smug about its chances in the upcoming elections and fail to mount an effective campaign there, political historian Dr Samuel Adu-Gyamfi has expressed.

According to him, a number of factors, mainly demographic, were working against the main opposition party – which has seen its share of popular votes in Ghana’s most populous region slide from 74 per cent to just over 70 per cent since the 2008 presidential elections – to the gain of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), which continues to improve on its performance in the area.

According to Dr Adu-Gyamfi, who is also a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the “migration” of persons, mainly from the North – predominantly NDC supporters – to the Ashanti Region to access economic opportunities was leading to a rise in the voter base of the NDC.

Over time, he continued, most of such migrants had settled in the various parts of the region – settlements that have become known as Zongos – and had registered as voters. These Zongos, the lecturer explained, were expanding, translating into more votes for the NDC in a region where the party receives its smallest share of votes.

Further, the lecturer continued, there was an emerging population of “teeming” indigenous Ashanti youth who see the NDC as more embracing and would not vote for the NPP as their kith have traditionally done.

“Thus, I believe that the NPP must know that even though the Ashanti Region is their stronghold, they could become complacent even in their own strongholds and backslide on their campaign to woo more people,” Dr Adu-Gyamfi told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday September 13. “That overconfidence can even lead to voter apathy.”

He added that the NPP’s internal troubles, which culminated in the suspension of three national executives last year could cause some of the party’s supporters to stay away from voting on Election Day, given that their favourites may be among the sanctioned officers.

“Politics is about numbers – however strong you think you are in your stronghold. If you take things for granted, you could be ruined because as your figures drop and your opponent’s increase, they inch more closely to the 50% plus one vote. So that is something the NPP must be careful about,” he warned.

Owura Kwaku Sarfo,CEO MIDA