Zakaria Abdul Hakim Cisse || Sanatu Zambang
Disclaimer: the author of this article has shared his personal nonpartisan observations and thoughts about the content. In no way should it be misjudged!
This year’s General Elections in Ghana, has apparently been one of the interesting ones. With the robust increase in the use of social media, coupled with lot of first-time voters added to the electoral register, many of those who do not usually observe electoral proceedings, were glued to their smartphones and TV screens.
The elections saw lots of surprises spring out from the votes. Unlike previous years, majority of the voters changed their trend of voting.
In Tamale, for instance, many vote on the basis of the political flag. But this year was a different thing altogether. I personally witness cases of people voting for a presidential candidate and voting for a parliamentary candidate of a different political party. In some cases, the parliamentary was left blank. Incidence of this was also prevalent in the Tamale South Constituency.
In the past, voting on the basis of political symbols, had made many Parliamentary representatives lazy across the country. This year’s ‘skirt and blouse’ voting means the electorates are now understanding the purpose of elections.
While they know their incapability, they promise their constituencies so much and once voted into power, they flee from the people. Straight votes for presidential and parliamentary candidates have undermined the strength of our democracy.
This is so because, it makes political leadership aspirants lazy. Of course, it is one of the reasons why Ghana at this point should not opt for two-party system.
In the next General Elections, I am hopeful that most of the parliamentary candidates will change especially this 8thparliament of the 4th republic.
In Tamale, two parliamentary candidates; Hon. Alhaji A. B. A. Fuseini of the National Democratic Congress and Hon. Yakubu Yussif of the New Patriotic Party are not good choice for 2024 elections.
The former haven served for eight good years in Ghana’s parliament, almost lost his seat in the just ended election. He was filled with complacency and thought using his Dagbani background alone will sail him through the campaign.
As a norm in our setting where women are stereotyped to be weak, A.B.A Fuseini thought Felicia Tetteh won’t do anything, looking at her ethnicity, religion and gender.
Indeed, the camp of Mrs. Tetteh really sold out their candidate and almost pushed down A.B.A Fuseini. This, I will advise them not to relent and that, if A.B.A is not stepping down next elections, then he has to do his homework diligently in these four years.
Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini should stand his grounds properly if indeed he wants to maintain power. The era of ‘symbol voting’ is fading and very soon, our parliament will see horrible trends. Just like we almost saw this year, next coming elections might present a ruling party with minority in parliament.
In the case of the latter; Hon. Yakubu Yussif, his coming in 2016 was a great chance for him. He managed to pull impressive votes, considering the personality he was competing.
The Tamale South is a ‘not-go-there’ place. Some say is a sole right for the Majority Leader until perhaps he decides to step down. This is logical but personally, I believe if there is any serious politician in the constituency, then Haruna Iddrisu can only thrive for eight more years lest, he will fall flat.
This year, I did not even think of Yakubu Yussif making it to 15,000, but perhaps some listened to him or maybe party loyals favoured him. He had an impressive counts of over 20,000. This is good in the sight, but compared to his 2016 coming, had he maintained his stance, he would have done more than that.
Even party supporters were annoyed with him this year. Many reports had suggested how monies meant for campaign given him were rather channeled into his personal issues. From the onset, he gave up and so, did not think it was wise spending in his campaign.
Even as the NEIP Coordinator, Yakubu Yussif apparently did nothing on the side of entrepreneurship. So this presence the question of how he will perform if voted into party.
Unlike 2016, his campaign this year was directionless, coupled with weak campaign team. Yakubu Yussif himself lacked the confidence which slowed his flow. This was why some said he was sponsored by the incumbent MP, Haruna Iddrisu.
Hon. Haruna Iddrisu with his margin on the other hand, is lured to think that he cannot be overtaken. But should he not stand his ground as someone who is aspiring for greater positions like presidential running mate, his fall will mean that countless votes are diverted to the NPP.
It is in this effect, that, I personally will not vouch for Hon. A.B.A Fuseini of the Sagnerigu Constituency and Hon. Yakubu Yussif to be endorsed by delegates to lead their respective parties to the 2024 parliamentary polls.