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Politics of Thursday, 21 July 2016

Source: Class FM

Victor Smith doesn’t scare me one bit - Abuakwa North MP

The increasing likelihood of Abuakwa North Member of Parliament (MP) Gifty Twum Ampofo squaring off with Victor Smith of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in her bid to retain her seat in the 2016 parliamentary election presents no jitters to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker, she has told Accra100.5FM.

Ms Ampofo became legislator after winning the by-election of March 29, 2016 in her constituency, a poll which had been occasioned by the February 9, 2016 stabbing to death of late MP J.B. Danquah-Adu at his Shiashie residence in Accra in the dead of night.

The deceased MP had in 2012 defeated Mr Smith to win the seat, and the NDC had in 2015 elected Mr Anthony Osei Gyimah to wrest the seat from the NPP in the upcoming 2016 elections. But he dropped from the race with only four months to the elections, throwing up the possibility for Mr Smith, now Ghana’s high commissioner to the UK, to take a second shot at winning the candidature of his party to contest for parliament. He had announced on Accra100.5FM that he would be picking nomination forms towards that ambition on Tuesday July 19.

With a potential contest between Mr Smith and Ms Ampofo on the horizon, there has been talk that the tables could turn in the former’s favour this time, given the relative fame he enjoys in addition to having previously contested for the seat.

But the MP, responding to talk that her chances of re-election are slim with a nomination of the former aide to the Rawlingses by the NDC on the cards, stated: “I am not intimidated at all.”

According to her, Mr Smith’s influence as Eastern regional minister in the lead-up to the 2012 polls notwithstanding, he lost to the late J.B. Danquah-Adu, an opposition MP who was contesting for the first time.

Ms Ampofo was surprised at Mr Smith’s comments that he had carried out unprecedented development projects in the constituency during his spell in charge of the Eastern Region, which would be to his advantage if he is given the nod by his party to run on its ticket.

“From what I see and from my interactions with constituents, I cannot tell with which eyes Victor Smith is looking at issues. I would say it seems my elder brother is tickling himself to give himself a laugh,” she asserted, adding that Mr Smith, following his defeat, had hardly emerged in Abuakwa North, often keeping to his residence at Kukurantumi where he meets with friends on the rare occasions he shows up.

Ms Ampofo said despite priding himself with several development projects, the high commissioner failed to use his influence during his time as minister to improve the road network in the area, a major zone of cocoa cultivation.

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