On May 13, 2023, when the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) holds its Presidential and Parliamentary primaries, one of the places to keep an eye on, will be the Wa Central Constituency, where the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) Rashid Pelpuo, is being challenged by Alhaji Hudu Mogtari, onetime Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
For now, it remains a tight race between the two individuals, with no clear indication as to who will emerge the winner.
While, Rashid Pelpuo, might have incumbency advantage working for him, he could also suffer voter-fatigue, having been on the seat in the last twenty years, Hudu Mogtari, the husband of President John Mahama’s Spokesperson, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, is a new entrant with political stagecraft to his credit and equally has no known weakness to attack and the electorates would want to try him.
Reports from Wa Central Constituency, suggest that Rashid Pelpuo, is having a tough time as there is nothing to show in the constituency as far as the projections of the constituents and the interventions, works and achievements of the affable MP are concerned.
One Anbanbeu Illyasu, described as a Contributor by online news portal Ghanaweb, has written that “for our Member of Parliament to want to have another bite of the cherry in 2024, his campaign should be as effortless as a hot knife cut cutting through butter. Unfortunately, the MP is having a torrid and difficult time convincing the discerning delegates of the Wa Central Constituency as he has not been able to point to his achievements in the past two decades that would warrant his return to parliament in 2025”.
The writer launched a blistering attack on Rashid Pelpuo, while suggesting that Hudu Mogtari, is striking the right chords in the Constituency.
He was emphatic that “the constituency deserves a Member of Parliament who has a vision anchored on popular participation and involvement which feeds into the agenda of Alhaji Hudu Mogtari”, adding “to elect Hudu Mogtari as the next NDC parliamentary Candidate and Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency is non-negotiable”.
according to him, “throughout his campaign and engagements with delegates and all other relevant stakeholders of the great NDC party, our MP is focused on being returned to Parliament as the longest-serving member of the Upper West Caucus which puts him in a pole position to grab a Cabinet Ministerial Appointment under the next NDC government.
“Our MP posits that his inability to catch some attention for appointment in the previous regime of the NDC was because of the presence of senior party members in parliament such as the Bagbins, Chirehs, and Sulemanas. This position though tenable to some extent is mediocre and doesn’t wash. Have we not seen first-time MPs and even non-MPs grab ministerial appointments in Ghana? The examples are too many to be cataloged here.
“The crux of the matter is that whenever our MP got an opportunity to lead he was unable to leverage on the position to help the constituents, party and the government. This lame performance would not convince any president to appoint him a Minister as there is always a scramble for the limited appointments available.
“As Minister of Youth and Sports, our MP was unable to use his position to effect any intervention in the area of Sports in the Constituency. If there is any, let his surrogates and supporters bring it up for us to know. When he
was appointed Minister for the Ministry of Public-Private Partnerships, he lost focus of the core mandate of the Ministry and rather resorted to incessant complaints of being dumped at an empty Ministry which had nothing to offer.
According to Anbanbeu Illyasu “if anyone ever believed this rhetoric by our MP, a quick comparison of his tenure at the Ministry with that of his successor, Dr. Mohammed Awal, would tell any such person that our MP simply didn’t have a clue of what it means to lead a strategic ministry like that. Heading a Ministry of Public-Private Partnership in this era is like being given a blank cheque.
“It takes your vision, foresight and ingenuity to run the ministry to pay dividends to yourself, the government and the party. Unfortunately, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo was obsessed with being given a different Ministry with a huge budgetary allocation. Through the PPP Ministry, our MP had a huge opportunity to at least connect our artisans and entrepreneurs to established companies and multinationals to broaden their base and make them more competitive, productive and profitable.
Anbanbeu Illyasu, charged “it is no secret anymore that our MP has underperformed throughout his tenure in office and as a Minister of State and deserves no opportunity to go near the office of Member of Parliament at all. There is palpable evidence to show that the Wa Central Constituency needs a change and paradigm shift.
“The Constituency needs a Member of Parliament who shall campaign on a program and a vision with a demonstrable commitment and dedication to that vision. This is exactly what Alhaji Hudu Mogtari has been doing in his campaign so far.
“In his engagements with the delegates who are the representatives of the party and by extension, the Constituency clearly outlines what he intends to do for the Constituency as the next Member of Parliament. Unlike our incumbent Member of Parliament whose fixation is on a possible Cabinet Ministerial Appointment as the only way by which he can discharge his mandate to the Constituents, Alhaji Hudu Mogtari has positioned his vision for the constituency in the realm of his parliamentary mandate.
“In fact, a Ministerial Appointment would come to feed into that vision and further expand the frontiers for him to deliver.
“From all indications, there has been certain unquestionable voter fatigue in the Constituency with the NDC gradually losing its grip on the seat. It is not possible anymore for anyone to tout the seat as a safe seat comparable to other seats across the country.
“The results from the past two elections bear testimony to this. Engagements with the average voters in the Constituency elicit this fact as they are not impressed or enthused anymore by the prospects of the NDC in the Wa Central Constituency.
“Constituents feel strongly that the constituency has not been fairly and adequately represented in Parliament and there is the need for a change of candidate. Failure to wake up to this reality has the tendency to cost the party dearly in 2024.
“To heed the call of the constituents, there is every need for the delegates to choose Alhaji Hudu Mogtari as the next NDC parliamentary candidate who has an unblemished public service record and an unquestionable character. This is a man whom many describe as the submarine because of his commitment to human capital development and entrepreneurship even before the assumption of political office.
“He has declined to broadcast the numerous interventions he has made in supporting students and entrepreneurs. Thankfully, testimonies from beneficiaries and their families abound across the constituency.
“It can never be in doubt that, the NDC in the Wa Central Constituency deserves a new response to the clarion call of the entire constituency. The Party cannot play any gamble going into 2024. After twenty good years, our MP’s refrain from winning peace accolades and awards as well as positions in parliament which have no correlation or impact on the lives of the constituents cannot be a justifiable ground to give him another shot at the parliamentary seat.
“Constituents expect their Member of Parliament to engage with them on what he has done for them and how he has intervened to make their lives better. Is it not insulting to look them in the face and tell them what awards he has won and what positions he has been given when they are compelled to look elsewhere where relief whenever they are confronted with basic challenges instead of going to him as their MP? How do you expect these same constituents to entrust the Constituency to the hands of the same Man?
“The NDC in Wa Central Constituency must wake up to reality and tell Dr. Rashid Pelpuo to take a bow and allow for fresh ideas and a fresh aura to sweep across the constituency. The constituency deserves accountable service that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of the people.
The constituency deserves a Member of Parliament who has a vision anchored on popular participation and involvement which feeds into the agenda of Alhaji Hudu Mogtari.
To elect Hudu Mogtari as the next NDC parliamentary Candidate and Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency is non-negotiable.