The people of upper west region always remain loyal to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) because of the unprecedented development former president Rawlings has brought to the region, sons of the region were given key ministerial positions during his administration. The J.J. administration created the upper west region, extended electricity to the region, constructions and tarring of major roads, establishment of Wa Polytechnic, University for Development Studies and major infrastructural development. There is even the notion that, even if a goat is contesting election on the ticket of NDC, that goat will surely wins the election. So the NDC continue to win in the region due to the good works of former president J.J. Rawlings. The region since 1992 NDC continues to win the presidential and parliamentary elections and known as one of the strong holds of NDC in Ghana.
During elections, especially parliamentary elections, the focus is always on the other constituencies and not Wa central constituency because it’s always a safe seat for the parliamentary candidate, the constituency I describe as the capital town of the other constituencies in the region because it has the largest population.
Since 1992 Hon. M. A. Seidu was the MP for the Wa central constituency until 2004, when Hon. Hassan Rashid Pelpuo won the parliamentary primaries and eventually win the parliamentary seat for the NDC. He won with twenty one thousand two hundred and seventy two (21, 272) votes representing 51.30% of the total votes, Hon. Bernard Mornah of NPC also had twelve thousand two hundred and eighty (12, 280) of the valid votes representing 29.61% while Hon. Mohammed Adama Kpegla of the NPP also had seven thousand two hundred forty nine (7, 249) valid votes representing 17.50% because his contendant clement Eledi who is been contenting lost the primaries, so his loyal supporters voted skirt and blows in favour of PNC Bernard Mornah.
In 2008 Hon. Rashid Pelpuo went unopposed as NDC parliamentary candidates and won the seat with twenty five thousand four hundred and fourteen (25, 414) votes representing 58.43%, Clement Eledi return back as NPP candidates with a total votes of seventeen thousand three hundred and forty three (17, 343) votes representing 40.19%. Analytically, Rashid votes has pushed up indicating that because there was no primaries for NDC parliamentary candidates means there was no divisions in the party and no skirt and blows voting in the parliamentary elections.
In the 2012 election, Hon. Rashid did not got the opportunity to go into the polls unopposed, he was challenged by Hon. Hudu Mogtari in the primaries and he won vigorously and represent the party face in the 2012 elections with a votes of twenty eight thousand one hundred and forty nine (28, 149) representing 49.31%, Hon. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin a new face from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who won the party primaries also pull twenty two thousand three hundred and four (22,304) votes representing 39.07%, Papa Kwesi Ndoum newly created Progressive People’s Party (PPP) candidate, Hon. James Sohimwinye manage to get three thousand one hundred seventy five (3,175) votes representing 5.08%. It can however, be construe from the figures that the new patriotic party did not drop votes but rather gain more votes while the NDC drop votes to PPP parliamentary candidate.
The 2016 general elections brought new faces on the table of parliamentary primaries for NDC and NPP, Hon. Rashid Pelpuo was contested by Hon. Hudu Mogtari and Hon. Rashid won to represent NDC in the polls, whiles, Hon. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin also contested by Hon. Janet Bibii and Issahaku Tahiru Moomin also won to represent NPP in the polls. Hon. Rashid won the seat with twenty five thousand three hundred and nineteen (25, 319) votes representing 44.56% while, Hon. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin had twenty four thousand seven hundred forty eight (24, 748) votes representing 43.565.
From the 2012 and 2016 elections, you will realize that the NDC parliamentary candidate continue to win at a diminishing rate while the NPP candidate also continue to gain more votes. The NPP wisely picked a native of Wa with enviable reputation, Muslim, popular and game changer candidate, who comes with fresh dynamism and strategies on the political table, he created employment opportunity for a lot of the youth in the constituency, gives them hope and support hence gain more votes in the 2012 and 2016 elections. Hon. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin also brought young men and women on board and a very solid campaign team to canvas votes for the party.
Looking onto the forth coming 2020 general elections, Hon. Rashid Pelpuo was contested by Dr. Sharif Khalid Mahmud, Hon. Alhaji Yakubu Duogo and lawyer Wahid Bampuori and Hon Rashid apparently won the primaries, there are some who have the notion that Hon. Rashid have served the seat for long and needed to be change for a new person to represent the face of Wa central constituency in Ghana’s parliament, a good number of people also believe that he should be change but he’s continually been contested by the wrong candidates, because those who usually contested him don’t come home except during elections. ‘Cola last long in the mouths of those who value it’, Majority of the NDC supporters in the constituency also believe that, Hon. Rashid is performing extremely well hence always wins the primaries. His hard-work and competence got him deputy majority leader in parliament, youth and sport minister and minister of state at the presidency, he is known to extend electricity to almost all villages in his constituency, extend pipe born water, drill boreholes in most all communities, pay students’ school fee, create employment opportunities’ and secure scholarships to his constituents. He’s achievement speaks in volumes to those close to him, his communicators must speak louder on his achievements in the constituency. He need to strategies his campaign and communication team to be more vibrant and also resolve factions in the constituency before going into election 2020.
The constituency endorses a candidate that attends ceremonial’s, festivals, pray, play and eat with them because they believe in “Tijaabunyani” (we are all the same) hymn.
The regional chairman of NDC Mr. Sani Bunas openly declared that ‘Not in My Tenure Will NDC Lose Wa Central Seat’ (homeradionews.com)25/10/2019.
The NPP for the first time picked a female candidate as their parliamentary candidate to contest the Wa central constituency seat, Hajia Humu Awudu made history by beating three other aspirant including the current Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Wa which most people believe was the friction between him and his constituency chairman. The business woman and philanthropist said she came for the election because of the youth, brilliant but needy, poor women who have no money to make their dreams come true. The beautiful smart looking Hajia Humu created and secure jobs for a lot of youth and women in the constituency within the shortest period of time, she also secure scholarship’s, support religious bodies and set-up a foundation known as Hajia Humu Foundation (HHF). Her gargantuan achievement get her more youth support and gain her popularity in the constituency. She is recognized by a very courageous and influential Zongo youth camp known as ‘Z-town’ and other camps in the constituency. Hajia Humu Awudu has become a household name in Wa and growing very fast in the political ladder. The NPP constituency chairman, Alhaji Ali Kamara marketed her and give her all the prerequisite backing that made her win the primaries and still guiding and campaigning vigorously for her to unseat the current MP.
Most political parties has its eyes on some reputable Ghanaian women who, in their opinion should muster courage to challenge their male counterparts in elections. The upper west region has no women representation in parliament, women who qualify for top positions in Ghana should be encouraged to go for them because women have fewer “human temptations” than men and therefore, are more likely to be better leaders. Dr. Aggrey once said that when you educate a woman you educate a nation. This adage can be extended to include the fact that when you put your trust in a woman-leader, you invariably put your trust in the group she leads.
Both candidates have the fervent desire to substantially edification of the lives of their constituents’, offering them a sense of hope, development and socio-political inclusiveness, take charge of their full potentials and fulfill their various dreams.
Will the people of Wa central constituency for the first time switch to the first NPP female parliamentary candidate, Hon. Humu Awudu as their MP or will maintain the current MP, Hon. Rashid Pelpuo?
Writer: Seidu Samad