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Politics of Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

NDC 176, NPP 128: Survey Report On Nkoranza

An interviewee at Nkoranza North has told The Chronicle that construction of roads in their area is not being taken seriously by the NPP, and that the NDC constructed most of the roads in the area.

Others among the 304 people interviewed randomly over the last three weeks by the Brong Ahafo bureau in a survey on voting intentions for the coming bye-elections in this milling electoral battleground, echoed varying concerns including the failure to construct a single road in spite of mouth-watering promises made by the NPP during the 2004 elections.

It is another election time, two months after the third bye-election in Tamale won by the opposition NDC with an improved margin, and excitement and tension is building up in this North-Southerly tip of the Brong Ahafo region, which is largely agrarian.

It is a straight fight between the two big parties and they have both mounted battle outposts here, warming up for a bust up.

On the NPP front, significant number of people, mostly women, have told The Chronicle that the NPP is currently disburing loans to them, which they cannot afford to lose, so they would prefer NPP. They also appreciate that a little more time would be needed for projects initiated by the NPP to mature for their benefit.

Still others noted that the capitation grant and promise of assistance by the NPP for their farming activities should earn them their support.

These were the highlights of a thorough survey in Nkoranza North by this paper, which also gathered that Eric Amoateng, currently cooling his heels in a New York penitentiary, left a legacy that is still appreciated by the indigenes - he personally funded school fees for school children and leveled potholes and fixed bad roads in the area at his own expense.

Still, the survey showed that if nothing dramatic were done here, the NDC would take back the seat, which has traditionally been an NDC seat until superman Amoateng showed up.

That will mean the fourth time the NDC would be clawing back a seat including one from the Ashanti region stronghold of the NPP in the last year back-to-back, plus the latest Wayo Seini seat, which has always been an NDC seat.

Probably the most effective strategy feat of national chairman Mac Manu was last week's 'peace offensive' mounted by the youthful chairman when he rolled back a policy decision taken by the party's national headquarters to dismiss anyone who stood as an independent candidate in 2004.

This is something that has alienated thousands nationwide from the NPP even when the members felt they belonged to the osono party.

Prince Adjei, who contested as an independent candidate because of disagreement over the selection of the wealthier Eric Amoateng, was finally won over by the smooth-talking Mac and he declared before opinion leaders and chiefs that he is back in the NPP fold to work for the victory of the party in the bye-election.

That sent shivers down the spine of the NDC front because of the stature and significant following that this former general manager of GOIL enjoys in the area.

"People sit in Accra and make all kinds of assumptions, which are then put out in the media, which is programmed to print or broadcast all sorts of things. It is done by both the NPP and the NDC, but it does not tell the true story on the ground," said one surprisingly articulate teacher here.

The survey shows that if the ruling party is lulled by a certain perception of strength engendered by a fawning uncritical media, the NPP may be heading for an Armageddon if they imbibe it, remain stuck in that perception and refuse to take drastic corrective measures, and work to rekindle hope for this bye-election as well as the 2008 elections.

The survey in twelve major towns and villages where the NPP emerged victorious in 2004 revealed that the NDC is in a dramatic resurgence in five out of these; Dromakuma, Baafi, Boamah, Akonkonti Odumase, Busunya the constituency capital and Bodom, which are said to be NPP strongholds and where the NDC recorded low returns at the last elections.

The results registered in the general elections by Eric Amoateng, NPP and NDC's H.F.C Amoako in these areas were - DROMAKUMA, NPP 369, NDC 229, BOAMAH - NPP 122, NDC 44, AKONKONTI ODUMASE NPP 345, NDC 121, BUSUNYA NPP 1,101, NDC 224, AKRUDWA - NPP 349, NDC 58. BODOM - NPP 172, NDC 37.

Akrudwa was the village Eric Amoateng claimed to be his hometown when the opposition challenged and countered that he came from Kintampo South and not Nkoranza North.

The Chronicle's current survey of the two parties in the two villages discounting the other parties were DROMAKUMA, NPP 20, NDC 20, BAAFI - NPP 8, NDC 32, BOAMAH - NPP 12, NDC 28, AKONKONTI -NPP 20, NDC 20, AKUDWA - NPP 8, NDC 16, BODOM - NPP 8, NDC 12.