The country’s political lenses, will tomorrow be glued to Assin North Constituency in the Central Region, where one of the nation’s hottest by-election is being fought between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
While, the NPP is obviously hunting for a seat to correct the imbalance created by the 2020 Parliamentary election results using every tactic and tricks in and outside the books of political trickery, the NDC says it is unperturbed and confident of recapturing the seat it lost through a widely condemned Supreme Court decision.
Although, both parties are sure of their chances, Ghanaians are keenly watching the people of Assin North who hold the final say as to whether they have fallen for the new projects the Akufo-Addo government had initiated to sway them or will stand their ground and keep faith with the NDC by retaining its candidate, James Gyarkye Quarson, their ousted Member of Parliament (MP).
Whoever wins tomorrow’s polls, would be boosting the morale of its members with some bragging rights into next year’s general elections, which promises to be one of the toughest contests in the history of the country’s democracy.
Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, senior members of the NDC and the NPP, who have abandoned every activity of theirs and pitched camp in the Constituency are talking about their chance.
The NDC’s Deputy General Secretary, Mustapha Gbande, has been speaking for his party acknowledging that the government’s efforts in constructing new roads in Assin North, but believes that these projects alone are insufficient to secure victory for the NPP and its candidate, Charles Opoku.
The NPP and its Communication team led by Richard Ahiagbah, have been spending time refuting claims upon claims against them, including abusing incumbency ahead of the by-election.
“I don’t know how they come to that conclusion but to be honest with you, I think the NDC is struggling. They don’t have a message in Assin North so they are looking for a message, their strategy is lies and they major on minor issues. And when there are no issues they create one,” Richard Ahiagbah said.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, recently commissioned the Assin Fosu to Assin Praso stretch, which spans 31.2 kilometres and connects Ahwian Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region to Yamoransa in the Central Region.
However, the NDC has accused the government of undertaking these projects solely to gain votes in the upcoming by-election on June 27.
In an interview with Selorm Adonoo on the Eyewitness News, Mustapha Gbande, welcomed the construction works in the area, but argued that they would not significantly improve the livelihoods of the constituents.
Mr Gbande, pointed out that the roads leading to the villages within Assin North, have not been tarred, making it challenging for farmers to transport their produce.
“It’s good news for the people of Ghana, that this non-performing government has at least commissioned the road. I have plied the road and it’s a beautiful road. What does this road mean to the people? The people cannot move their cocoa produce to the main city of Assin North.
“The roads leading to the villages have not been tarred. One will question if what the government has done will put food on the table for the people of Assin North. We want to see Ghanaians being disburdened, and see the standard of living in the lives of the people of Assin North improved.
He further asserted, “We are talking about the majority of Assin North who this road does not mean anything to them. 80% of the people there are farmers, they cannot boast of farm inputs, fertilizers, high yields, nor buy medicine. As far as I’m concerned, this is a very useless government, and so if they have done this road, they deserve some commendation for completing the road. How that this translates into the people’s lives?”
Earlier, Mr Ahiagbah had in an interview on Citi FM in Accra on Friday, said that the Akufo-Addo government was interested in the development of the country and that included the construction of roads.
“We are interested in developing all of this country so let’s move on and agree that what has to be done has been done.”
“The least they can do is to acknowledge and commend the government and move on. They should also look for what they want to do for the people and move on,” he said.