It is for many – the safe seat for the National Democratic Congress in the Ashanti region. The NDC has made Asawase it’s own and since its creation in 2004, the constituency has remained loyal to the party.
Its current representative in Parliament, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak has for the past 18 years, had little to worry about in terms of internal strife.
In both 2015 and 2019, he went unopposed.
But that has changed in the last few months because a young entrepreneur, Masawudu Mubarick, is fiercely contesting him.
This is the man whose attempt to contest the MP in 2019 was thwarted by some elements in the party leadership owing to internal issues. But not this time.
The former branch Youth Organiser believes he has a great shot at toppling the 5-time parliamentary candidate, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak.
“I largely believe that it is God who determines who leads, but I am very optimistic that I am winning this race,” Masawudu said.
He knows standing in his way – is the former Minority Chief Whip who himself is not taking any chances.
“They say elections are never over until it’s over but I can assure you that we are working very hard to make sure that we win decisively. This is a minor challenge about primaries. The main contest is the 2024 elections,” the incumbent MP, Muntaka noted.
Masawudu’s decision to contest his familiar foe appears to have left the constituency executives sharply divided.
There are those who have thrown their support behind Muntaka Mubarak.
And then there are others like the Asawase NDC constituency Chairman, Faisal Dauda, who is leading the Masawudu campaign and calling for change.
“The MP is the one who has a problem with me. He campaigned against me, knowing that I won’t allow him to continue with his autocratic leadership style when I become the Chairman. For now, I support Masawudu, but in an event Muntaka wins the primaries, I’ll work with him to retain the Asawase seat and widen the vote margin,” Faisal hinted.
With youth unemployment being a major issue in the constituency, some constituents are of the view that the time to have people with fresh ideas to address their problem, is now!
“The MP has done his best but as time moves on things change. We someone who understands the youth system and can fit in to be able to create opportunities for the youth to reduce unemployment in this constituency. That is why we are calling for change”, Umar Harris, a constituent said.
And then there are those like Usman Tanko who basically want the incumbent retained.
“When it comes to youth empowerment, Muntaka is the best. He has and continues to help many in the vocational field and tertiary education. So why do we have to change him?,” Usman, a constituent, asked.
The two contestants say they would unite the party after the May 13 primaries to prepare for the main election in 2024.
For Masawudu, it’s a contest of one family and at the end of the day they need everyone on board to fight the bigger battle of their opposition in 2024.
On the other hand, Muntaka also stated ” it is not just about primaries but victory in the 2024 elections, and all of us must have that in mind.”
The former Minority Chief Whip has already lost his leadership role in Parliament.
As to whether this would affect his chances to represent the people of Asawase for a sixth time, remains for the delegates to decide.
They will speak on May 13, 2023, and loudly too.