The return of two former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) to contest in the party’s parliamentary primaries in the Upper East Region has shocked many constituents and some members of the party in the two constituencies.
The two, Hon. Akolbire Opam Brown, a former Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central constituency and Hon. Cletus Apule Avoka have both picked forms to try another shot in next month’s Parliamentary Primaries of the party.
For some constituents in the two constituencies, the decision of the two is surprising and shameful.
A resident who identified himself as Joseph Ayinpanga in an interaction with MyNewsGh.com said he least expected Hon. Opam Brown to consider staging a return after serving two terms in Parliament.
“Honestly am shocked. I don’t know what else to say but I think that his decision to contest again is just not fine. It is within his right to contest but sometimes it’s best to take an honorable rest especially when the people say it’s ok. In his case, his own party rejected him because he lost in the primaries. That should have been enough for him to move on with his life. Two terms is ok,” he said.
Abu Suleman, a smock weaver at the Bolgatanga market could not hide his anger when asked what his verdict was on the decision of the former legislator to seek another term in office.
“It is a disgrace. In fact it is a shame. What else does he want? What is it that he wanted to do and could not do and so thinks that he can do it this time round. I don’t know who has advised him but this would be a big disgrace to him if he should lose” the visibly livid weaver said.
A constituency executive of the party who spoke to MyNewsGh.com on condition of anonymity following a directive of the party to them not to openly support aspirants revealed that Opam Brown’s return though not out of place, but a decision that he finds rather strange saying “I have actually told him he should not go again if not he would be seen as being selfish and from the look of things his chances are not good enough. But well, he has decided and so we will see how it goes”.
In the Bawku West Constituency, the responses from a few voters to the return of Hon. Cletus Avoka was simply unkind.
Hon. Cletus Avoka earned the name ‘Zebilla Mugabe’ as a result of his long stay in office as Member of Parliament who occupied several ministerial and high profile positions.
Hon Avoka, has been the Member of Parliament (MP) since 1992, except from 2004-2008 when he lost to Hon John Akparibo Ndebugre of the People’s National Congress (PNC). He made a comeback in 2008 and won massively in parliamentary elections and continued to manage a narrow win in the 2012 elections.
Though there were reports suggesting he promised not to contest again after the 2012 elections, Mr. Avoka proceeded to contest in the party’s primaries in 2015 and won but lost to the New Patriotic Party’s(NPP’s) Frank Fuseini Adongo in the last elections.
For some party members in the constituency, Cletus Avoka was a factor that contributed to the abysmal performance of the party in the area in the 2016 elections.
Rashad Ndago, a resident and one of the several voters who spoke to this news portal said “the position of MP is not the sole preserve of just one person. Don’t always think it must be you and no one else. So apart from you no one can be there. Allow other people to also work and serve. 20 years in Parliament is enough”.
In all 54 aspirants are contesting in all the 15 constituencies in the Upper East Region and are expected to go through vetting before the primaries which is slated for next month.