From Mohammed Gadafi, Northern Region
Prior to the creation of the North East and Savannah regions from the present Northern Region, the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, used to boast of the region as their power house after every election.
This is because the party always wins more popular votes for its presidential candidate as well as parliamentary seats than the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
However, a careful study of the past electoral results show the NPP lose but always increases their popular votes and seats in parliament.
In the 2016 general election, the NDC won 18 constituencies which was 2 seats short from the 20 seats the party had in 2012 out of 31 constituencies. Accordingly, the NPP had 13 seats in 2016, appreciating by 3 more constituencies compared to the 10 constituencies they won in 2012.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mahama had 389,132 representing 56.08 percent against Nana Akufo-Addo’s 286,868 representing 41.34 percent in the northern region in 2016.
Following the creation of the new regions, the NDC lost Yagaba/Kubori, Yunyoo and Chereponi to the North East region.
Similarly, the NPP also lost Walewale, Gambaga/Nalerigu, Bunkprugu constituencies to the same region.
Again, the NDC lost the Bole Bamboi, Damongo, Sawla, Daboya Mankarigu, Yapei Kusawgu and Salaga North constituencies to the newly created Savannah region.
Similarly, the NPP lost the Salaga South seat they won in the Gonja enclave in the now Savannah region.
Consequently, both political divides are left with nine seats apiece in the northern region making it impossible for either of them to claim supremacy in the region despite the fact that former President John Mahama had more votes than President Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2016 elections.
Who wins Northern Region?
Undoubtedly, both two major political parties have repeated their 2016 presidential candidates for the 2020 polls. The bone of contention now rest with which of the two parties wins more seats to claim supremacy in the northern region.
The NPP Regional Chairman, Mohammed Baantima Samba in 2018 after his election declared “Operation capture 15 seats” in northern region.
He has since been working assiduously and giving assurance to the party that he will achieve the target.
For the NDC, they are targeting to recapture some safe seats they lost i.e Savelugu, Nanton and Gushegu and also win more seats in their once dominated region in the north.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has released names of the various parliamentary aspirants vying to capture the 18 constituencies in the northern region. In the list, it is only the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress that have filled candidates for all 18 constituencies.
Other minority political parties that have filled in candidates to contest in the region includes the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), National Democratic Party (NDP), People’s National Convention (PNC), All People’s Congress (APC) and Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).
Four Independent Candidates would also wrestle for the seats in the Savelugu, Mion, Kumbungu and Saboba constituencies. This makes the total number of 57 candidates contesting in the northern region.
Both NPP and NDC in their bid to claim supremacy in the upcoming polls elected some big names to represent the parties in the parliamentary polls on 7th December.
Monitoring the campaign thus far, THE CUSTODIAN can report that these individuals are resourceful and appealing to sympathisers of their parties.
Bigwigs of the NPP who have appeared on the EC ballot for 7 December includes, Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam for Karaga; CEO for National Petroleum Authority, Lawyer Hassan Tampuli for Gushegu; Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul for Bimbila; Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindam for Kpandai; Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama of Cocoa Board for Yendi; CEO of NABCo, Dr Ibrahim Anyars for Tamale Central; Hon Yakubu Yussif, Programmes Manager at Business Development Ministry for Tamale South; Hon Alhassan Dahamani, former Tamale North MP; Alhaji Habib Iddrisu of the Free Zones Board for Tolon and Hon Jabaah John Bennam, Deputy Northern Regional Minister for Zabzugu.
The NDC on the other hand have also presented personalities such as the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu for Tamale South, Dr Hamza Adam; Senior Lecturer at UDS for Kumbungu; Hon Abdul Aziz Mohammed, incumbent MP for Mion; former Deputy Minister of Trade, Hon Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed for Tamale Central; Hon Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini incumbent MP for Tamale North, Lawyer Alhassan Abdul Fatawu; a Legal Practitioner working with Gomdah and Associates Law firm for Yendi and Dr Salifu Yakubu for the Nanton constituencies.
Will the Dagbon Chieftaincy stalemate play a card in this election as the NPP always bemoan it was one major factor that disadvantaged the party in the last decade?
And will the Dagbon peace roadmap successfully implemented by President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2018 influence the voting pattern this time round especially within the Dagbon communities?
The Northern Region will be an interesting area to watch with lots of surprises in December.
Insha Allah, the battle to claim supremacy remains the Lord’s as President Akufo Addo always prays