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General News of Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Source: Stephen Zoure, Cheriponi & Halifax Ansah-Addo


THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) and entire Cheriponi Constituency in the Northern Region have been thrown into a state of shock and sorrow following the death of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Doris Asibi Seidu.

Mrs Seidu, 40, died around 11:30pm last Friday at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and reports say her death was the result of a severe cardiac arrest and heart-related complications, in addition to kidney problems, which she had been battling with for sometime. Her health status had kept her away from parliamentary sittings for a while.

Doris Seidu first entered parliament in January 2005 on the ticket of the NPP and won her seat again in the December 2008 general elections.

Constituents who were grieving over the loss had expressed their sadness, saying the MP left this world at a time she was greatly needed.

A visit to Cheriponi Township revealed that the usual day-to-day activities had been brought to a halt following announcements that the MP for the area was dead.

NPP members who were particularly disturbed over her death said they found it difficult to come to terms with the reality that she had really departed from earth.

Mr. Aminu Abubakri, NPP constituency secretary, told DAILY GUIDE that it was their hope that the late Doris Seidu would complete the second phase of her development plans for the constituency which consisted of educational projects.

He was worried that her departure might draw back the educational clock of the area since she had devoted herself to the educational needs of the constituency, saying, “We regard her as the Kwame Nkrumah of the area”.

The Secretary hinted that a team of executives had been dispatched to Accra to assist in the funeral arrangements of the late MP.

Mr Abubakar disclosed that it was too early for him to comment on a bye-election but was optimistic the NPP would retain the seat based on the progress witnessed under the former NPP MP.

The death of the 40-year-old MP brings to two the number of MPs who have died this year, following the earlier demise of Mr. Edward Salia, former MP for Jirapa in the Upper West region.

Reports say the 2008 NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, visited Madam Seidu a few hours before her death.

Mrs. Seidu while in Parliament, served on the Education and Mines and Energy committees.

She retained the seat last year when she polled 9,188 out of the 17,559 valid votes, representing 52.33 percent of valid votes cast; she was trailed closely by the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Seidu Issah Abah.

Her death effectively means that a bye-election will be held to find a replacement for the deceased MP.

Mrs Seidu was a teacher and social worker by profession. She was survived by a husband and one child.

Doris Seidu had over the years maintained a rather low profile in Parliament and was a native of Saboba, the capital of the Saboba Chereponi District of the Northern Region.

She was born in Accra in 1961 and attended the Bimbilla Training College from 1986 to 1990 and then the Tamale Training College in 1995. She was a Certificate ‘A’ Teacher and a Social Worker.

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, over the weekend expressed condolences to the bereaved family and described the death of Doris Seidu as a great blow to female MPs.

He said the death was most regrettable, especially at a time when the country was at its wits end to increase the number of female legislators.

Doris Seidu in an interview with DAILY GUIDE in February this year, said her greatest priority would be to make her constituency a peaceful place where ethnicity would be a thing of the past and also to generate employment avenues for her constituents; especially women and the youth.

She was a married Muslim.