A society, as I was so diligently taught by Mr. Asante (so fond memories of him), when I was then a student at Agyare Memorial International School, a private basic school located in Konongo, is a group of people having common traditions, institutions and collective activities and interests. They move, with one purpose and aim to achieve their ideologies with a collective interest. They have aspirations, goals, capable of change and growth.
The definition of a society like the one supra has interesting facets to it and presents an interesting subject that piques one’s interest. The subject of change tastes sour, usually, in the mouths of most people because of the chaos it presents sometimes and the ostensibly discomfort it might present to those that are affected by it. A society that resents change is a society that will eventually grow stale for change is inevitable.
A story was once told in the Bible about a King called Saul who had, for the most part of his life reigned as a king in Israel but fiercely resisted the change that God had prepared as his replacement to pick up from where he will leave things off. The songs of the women, singing praises of him, were overshadowed by the songs sung of his replacement and swore to impede this transition, going to all lengths to make this happen. It is interesting how this Bible story plays out right before our eyes in the contest of who gets chosen to represent the beautiful party of NPP in Asante Akyem Central.
A BRIEF POLITICAL HISTORY
Asante Akyem Central, according to Wikipedia, is one of the forty three districts in Ashanti Region. It was originally created as an ordinary district assembly in 1988 as Asante Akyem North District, which was created from the former Asante Akyem District Council. Later it was elevated to municipal assembly status to become Asante Akyem North Municipal in November 2007 under the then President Kuffour government which took effect from 29th February 2008. However, in July 2012, the northern part of the municipality was split off to create a new Asante Akyem North District, thus the remaining part has been renamed to become Asante Akyem Central Municipal with Konongo as its capital.
Asante Akyem Central has had quite a number of individuals who have served as Member of Parliaments through the transition period to its current state. The constituency has enjoyed the services of Mr. Collins Agyarko Nti who served as the first MP for the constituency under President Jerry John Rawlings, from 7th January 1993 to 6th January 1997. He was succeeded by Hon Kwadwo Baah Wiredu who occupied the position from 7th January 1997 to 24th September 2008 during the tenure of President John Agyekum Kuffour. The current MP of the constituency Hon Kwame Anyimadu Antwi succeeded Hon Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, has served from 7th January 2009 to date, through the presidency of President John Evans Atta Mills, President John Mahama and President Nana Akuffo Addo.
WHERE WE ARE
Currently, the party is in the process of electing various contestants to lead the party in various constituencies going into the 2024 elections. It has been an interesting one thus far with some incumbents having the epiphany of defeat dawning on them as the realization of their apparent absence of their impact is obvious to the masses and delegates so to speak. Others are also presented with an uphill task of ‘overthrowing’ incumbents who have had a lasting impact on their constituents and people tabling the prediction of interesting times.
Asante Akyem Central, just like other constituencies, the delegates of the party will be going to the ballot on Saturday, 27th January 2024 to elect one who will champion the cause of development in the next four years of governance for the constituency. There are three people; Hon Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, Hon Kofi Ofosu Nkansah and Nana Agyeman currently displaying before the delegates their wares of substance and vision which if appears appealing to their eyes and ears, and their wits, might be convinced to confer on them the power of their thumb on the appointed day.
The real contest lies between Hon Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, the current MP and Hon Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, CEO of NEIP. I will try to, in this article to pitch the two and do a run-down of various factors that might influence this election and who stands a better chance to lead the party in the constituency.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
I. THE LOOMING CATASTROPHE. In 2020, the incumbent was challenged for the seat by an independent candidate; Lawyer Richard Adu Darko who, with all the elements and variables not tilting in his favour garnered close to a whopping 13,000 votes for first timer. The independent candidate is an indigene of the constituency but one who was hardly known by the masses. He had limited funds in his coffers to fund his campaign and the propaganda of him being an NDC in a predominantly NPP favoured constituency, as against the incumbent who had limitless funds, had the influence of his position in parliament and various portfolios he held, the NPP factor and also the message that that contest was going to be his last was readily bought by the people and that worked for him.
Even against all these odds, the IC fought a good fight and had the numbers. The votes of the president outshined that of the MP by about 5000 votes, and this speaks of only one thing; that the MP has become unpopular in the constituency. There is no façade to this that the party needs a new face to redeem it from the gory shadow that it has cast on the constituency.
The obvious disunity in the party may be quelled by the presentation of a new face. The history that we have, will mar our paths with even murkier waters if the party elects the incumbent again, as definitely, the party will suffer dire consequences for this act. There have been studies and research conducted by various institutions that has shown the dwindled popularity of the incumbent and the apparent effect his reelection might have on the party
II. THE SONG OF THE MASSES
When Cicero said, “The voice of the people is the voice of God”, he meant that the opinions of the people and the sense of discernment and judgment that created public opinion was of great importance and thus flowed from the divine voice of heightened places and therefore should be hallowed. The people of AAC have been calling for one name only and that is the name of Kofi Ofosu Nkansah. In some few years he has had a tremendous impact on the people of Asante Akyem Central shooting his popularity and causing his name to be sung in the mouth of all and sundry and indeed he has killed his ten thousand.
III. LOBBYING SKILLS. It is said that one hallmark of a leader is the ability to fish for the good of his followers. The act of lobbying is greatly abodes in how connected one is, to pull things down from wherever it is caught up and deliver it to his people. As a CEO, Kofi Ofosu Nkansah has depicted the quality of getting things done irrespective of how difficult it may be; he will always try. The networking he has built over the years allows him to connect to people in areas ordinarily will not be possible. Through his networking he has facilitated the acquisition of a number of scholarships for students of AAC both in Ghana and abroad and a plethora of aid he has granted.
IV. HUMAN RELATIONS. Another factor that might play a relevant role is the human relation of the two. Delegates and constituents want to have a leader that is approachable and receptive enough to welcome and address any grievances they may have. The MP is the representative of the people in the parliament and in order to properly channel their grievances, he must have a listening ear and a willing and open mind to hear them out. The zeal and passion to hear them out and resolve their problems cannot go unnoticed and will be very fundamental. How quick one reacts in a situation of dire need is paramount and Hon Kofi Ofosu Nkansah excels in this.
V. THE BENEFIT OF YOUTH AND STRENGTH
Asante Akyem Central is a huge municipality with a quantum of issues plaguing the constituents. These issues, coupled with the representation in parliament and performance of parliamentary duties may take a toll on a person and thus it will be more preferable for a younger person and who is more innovative to do that. The world is waking up to the era where young people are given the opportunity to serve. The youthful exuberance and strength that lies with the youth grants the youth an advantage over those advanced in years. Hon Kofi Ofosu Nkansah is a much younger version of the incumbent MP and possesses the energy to do better than the incumbent.
VI. THE FOUR YEAR PLAN. People are gradually moving from the period of being convinced by eloquence and persuasive words without any proper plan. Hon Kofi Ofosu Nkansah has presented ten (10) action plans which include the creation of constituency innovation hubs, infrastructure development through lobbying, vocational and skills training among others. This he has presented to the delegates and the constituents and hopefully they will buy into it and make the right choice.
Change may be gradual, but it will definitely come. The winds of change have been blowing for some time now and currently the sails are unable to withstand the strength of these winds. The question then is; WILL IT SHIFT? Hopefully it will, or at least we hope it does. For we have heard news of the arrival of Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Hon Joe Wise, Hon Dan Botwe and others in AAC bearing solidarity for the incumbent MP, which signifies the tight loop their faction is treading on and how desperate they are. We witnessed the similitude of same some years back and now they are here again. Hopefully, their presence will do little or nothing to assuage the hearts and minds of the delegates and that, for once in a long time, they will listen to the masses and do right by them.
I believe that it is time to make a change and that is all that the people of AAC are clamoring for and that change is Kofi Ofosu Nkansah. Failure to do so will have severe consequences on the party going forward. We thus urge the delegates to overlook their parochial interest and not sink the constituency and the party any further into the distress it already is in and vote circumspectly, which if done, shall rapture streams of joy across the length and breadth of the constituency. Long live KON, long live NPP, long live Ghana.
Source: Andrews Ohene Gyan Jericho Esq