Odododiodio constituency: a constituency to watch

All eyes will be on Ododiodio in the December election as the country wraps up its preparations towards election 2012.

The reason is not rocket science, the Odododiodio Constituency, from results of parliamentary elections since 1992, has an interesting record.  With the exception of 2004, any party that won the Ododiodio seat  sends the President into the Castle.

Undeniably, this year’s election seems to be a two horse race between Presidential Aide, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)  and a retired military officer, Captain Victor Okaikoi of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).But the growing popularity of the Progressive Peoples Party in the constituency should be a cause for concern for the two parties.

 Signs of how important the constituency is to both sides manifested during the biometric registration exercise, which was plagued with skirmishes .

Even before the 2012 race took off, the constituency came on the national political radar with concerns about violence during the biometric voter registration between members and supporters of the NPP and the NDC.

A cosmopolitan constituency by all standards, Odododiodio’s diversity makes it a difficult constituency to predict. 

In the Fourth Republican politics, the constituency is a political pendulum swinging between the two leading parties -the  NDC and the NPP.

If Odododiodio is mouthful to mention, so is the local politics. With bubbling commercial centres including Makola,  31st December, Kantamanto and Agblogloshie  markets deep in its belly, the coastal constituency has a history of heavy turnout during elections. It is also famous for its rich  boxing and football history.

The web of the constituency extends to areas including Ga Mashie, Korle Wonko, Kinka and Mudor. Ngleshie, Mudor, Kinka, Nmlitsagono, Korle Wonkon, Amamomo and Korle Dudor make up the electoral areas of the densely populated Odododiodio Constituency.

What makes Odododiodio tough to analyse is the DNA of its electorate. From traders, head porters through office workers, the constituency has it all. While the head porters (kayayei), a section of food  crop dealers and a section of the indigenes(Gas) will likely endorse Nii Lantey, the mostly traders (food crop) dealers, second hand cloth dealers and a section of the Ga community will go for Captain Okaikoi.  Interestingly, even with the diversity of its constituents, the NPP and the NDC has always elected people of Ga extraction to contest the seat since 1996.

The candidates

In the upcoming elections, the two front runners in the race--Nii Vanderpuye and Captain Okaikoi are starting on a clean slate but it appears Nii Lantey has a slight edge, given incumbency advantage and the fact that his previous attempt in 2000 was aborted.Indeed, if billboards win elections, Nii Lantey’s mega billboards is a standout, dwarfing other billboards in the constituency.
Nii Lantey is also quite appealing to the youth because of his sports background.

The former broadcast journalist  with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation although quite popular in the constituency,however, faces an uphill task in his bid to retain the seat for the NDC. While his  (Nii Lantey) opponent might have entered the race a ‘little’ unknown, the popularity of the NPP in the constituency could be the triumph card for the NPP man.

The NPP candidate, although relatively unknown because of his long exile in the abroad,  will depend heavily on the strength  of the party in the constituency to carry the day.

The ‘Old Soldier’ is endearing himself to the heart of the electorate, particularly the  the Makola and Salaga traders with a pledge to rebuild  the two trading centres to  create more avenues for many of the constituents, who were unemployed, to trade.

A third candidate in the race, whose chances appeared slim, is Mr Emmanuel Nii Ako Oddoye, who ironically carried the Convention People’s Party flag in 2008 parliamentary elections in the constituency. However, with his campaign mantra that the electorate needs to give him a chance having tested the NPP and the NDC, the race in the constituency could go down the wire.

The figures

The first person to occupy the party’s seat in the first Parliament of the Fourth Republic was Nii Okaidja Adamafio of the NDC.

In 1996, Nii Adamafio again went back to Parliament, riding on a little over 2000 votes. He had dismissed a rather tough competitor, Mr Samuel A. Odoi Sykes, who later became the NPP’s National Chairman. While Nii Adamafio bagged 29,142 (35.40%), Mr Odoi-Sykes had 27,097(32.9%).

The remaining candidates-- Samuel Agoe Lantei Lamptey of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) 1,231(1.5%); Emmanuel Nii Korley Adu Tetteh, National Convention Party, 641(0.80%) and Nii Noi Nortey of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) 528 (0.6%).

Reginald Niibi Ayibonte of NPP, riding on the message of change in 2000, pulled the seat under the NDC old horse, Nii Adamafio with 28,270 votes (51.40%). While Nii Adamafio trailed with 24,181(43.9 %); Mrs Francisca Lamptey of the National Reform Party scored 1,289(2.3 %);the PNC’s Baba Imoro had  678 (1.2 %); David Kwarteboi Quartey of the CPP  polled 461 (0.8 %) with  Nii-Armah Tagoe of the United Ghana movement  taking the bottom spot with 171 (0.3 %).

In 2004, Mr Ayibonte failed to secure the seat for the NPP. He lost the seat to Mr Samuel Nii Ayi Mankattah of the NDC 35,634 (52.4 %).Although the NPP candidate increased his vote from 28,270 in 2000 to 31,546 (46.40%), it was not enough to tilt the scale of victory in his favour. Other candidate in the race was Isaac Nii Annan M. Offei of the CPP whose share of the votes was 814 (1.20%).

Nii Mankattah died a year into his term. In a by-election held on August 25, 2005, Jonathan Nii Tackie Komey (NDC) won the seat shrugging off  the challenge from Asafoatse Sidney Mankattah of the NPP with  8,377 votes.  Nii Tackie Kommey had 26,841( 57.9%); Asafoatse  Mankattah polled 18,464 votes (39.8); Christian Shanco-Bruce of the CPP, 946 (2.%) and Nii Issaka Collison-Cofie  of the Democratic Freedom Party 98 (0.2%).

In 2008, Nii Tackie Kommey turned out the largest difference in terms of votes in the history of the constituency to retain the seat for the NDC. While Nii Tackie polled 34,182 votes representing 55.67%, the NPP’s Mohammed Adjei Sowah came second with 25,495 votes, representing 41.52 %; Emmanuel Oddoye Jnr of the CPP got 1.15 %; Isaac Adjevor managed 595 votes which is 0.97%; Edward Nii Darko Dodoo, who represented the DFP had 309 votes--0.50% with Ali Umar Kuriba placing a distant 6th in the race with 113 votes--0.18 %.

Based on the figures above, the Odododiodio Constituency is certainly for the either the NDC or the NPP as to whether the PPP candidate could spring a surprise remain to be seen. As the candidates for the December wind their preparations for the D-day, the candidate with the smartest supporters mobilising strategy will carry the day.

Comments

  1. Michael Ohene AboagyeJune 10, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Very educative and informative. Excellent write-up!

    ReplyDelete

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