We have barely some eleven months to the 2016 elections. In this 2015 alone, we have so far witnessed three different parliamentary primaries and two presidential endorsements.
Since I cannot comb all the parliamentary primaries throughout the country, I’ll attempt to concentrate on the lessons learnt from the three parliamentary primaries so far learnt in my constituency, the Sissala East constituency. The first will be the June 2015 NPP parliamentary primaries.
The race was between a well-known NPP figure in the constituency, Amidu Chinnia, and a relatively unknown NPP activist, Abass Ridwan. Not only Amidu Chinnia was well-known he was also the NPP 2012 parliamentary candidate, performed creditably against an incumbent overspending NDC and for the first time since 1992, the NPP parliamentary candidate beating the PNC to second position in that same election. Political watchers and analyst in the constituency all predicted an easy walkover for Amidu Chinnia. To the surprise of all, the relatively unknown Abass Ridwan won the primaries. How come? What happened? Were the questions on the lips of many but the answers were quite evident, COMPLACENCY. This was the first lesson I learnt this year.
Then came the PNC primaries. It was also contested between Nuhu Bayorbor and Kanton Kingsley. Among the rural folks, Nuhu was well-known and more popular. However, he was beaten handsomely by Kingsley because to a lot of people he campaigned against the PNC’s legend, Moses Dani Baah, in the 2012 elections. Nuhu’s supporters however deny this allegation.
After this came the extravagant, much publicized and populist NDC primaries. It was contested by five persons with three of them all capable of winning. The incumbent, Madam Sulemana Alijata eventually won despite losing so many strategically big communities. With the NDC primaries, certain smaller communities have more votes than some of the established bigger communities and as such, a very unpopular candidate can still go ahead and win the parliamentary slot. How the NDC will retain the seat is now the bigger challenge with the NPP united after their candidate and a very resurgent PNC? The youthful Mohammed Bataglia had the popular support, won majority of communities but lost the primaries because he was not very active during the registration of the NDC voters and this affected him dearly.
These are some few lessons I’ve learnt this year. Moving into the elections, aspirants and political parties can try as much as possible to avoid some of these mistakes.
I shall In sha Allah be back…
Fuseini Abdul-Fatawu (First publi