The Jirapa constituency today appears to be one of the political hotspots in Ghana. With intense political activities gearing up towards the November 7, 2016 polls.
Since the return of constitutional rule, the Jirapa seat has been dominated by the ruling National Democratic Congress with Hon. Francis Korbieh of the NDC winning in 1996, the late Hon. Edward Salia took over from him in the year 2000 as the Member of Parliament till his demise in 2009 which called for a by-election.
Honorable Francis Bawaana Dakurah showed up to the feast won the NDC primaries and went ahead to win the by-election amidst competition from opponents from the NPP and the DPP. Dr Bawaana won the 2009 bye-election getting 76.9% of the votes casted with Mr. Justine Dakurah of the NPP getting only 20% of the votes.
However, the tempo of the whole game changed in 2012 when Hon. Paul Derigubaa who has fallen out from the NDC primaries decided to contest as an independent candidate. The campaigning sessions were rigorous and it became difficult for one to tell who was actually going to emerge victorious despite the fact the Jirapa seat was a well known NDC seat.
Hon. Derigubaa won the sympathy of majority of the youth who were dissatisfied with Dr Bawaana three years in parliament. His campaign sessions were massively attended. It was therefore not surprising when he emerged victorious as the first independent candidate to have won a parliamentary seat in the Upper West Region.
Four years down the lane after Hon. Paul Derigubaa was massively endorsed by the youth, do these youth still have the same love and support for him as they did in 2012? This is a big question which can only be answered after November 7, 2016.
It is a mixed feeling with the youth heavily divided some to the side of Bawaana and some to the Derigubaa’s gate. But what issues are going to inform the choices of candidates in the November polls. Are people going to vote based on issues, are they voting based on political affiliations or they are voting based on family relations. We only live to see, both Candidates are busily moving from one end of the constituency to the other trying to canvas votes. The accusations and counter accusation are nothing to write home about.
Aside these two candidates is the NPP candidate Mr. Jesse Sung Kpieta who appears to be a new face and a first timer in the game. But hey, you cannot write him off because he is a young man determined to make a mark in the political history of the constituency. It has always been hard for the NPP in the constituency but let’s wait and see what Mr. Sung has to bring on board. Candidates from parties like the CPP, PNC and PPP are yet to show up. But the latest addition is another independent candidate by name Nicholas Saddari aka Man Sada. Well, it might sound like a joke but Man Sada is actually in for business. I wish him well.
To conclude, politics is a game which should be played devoid of all forms of violence. Let the various political parties and their candidates conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner so that this election will come to pass without people losing their lives or getting injured due to clashes from various factions. Let’s debate issues and not personalities and may the best candidate win.
Jirapa is the only home we have let us protect and make it safe for our habitation. Let no youth allow him or herself to be fooled by any politician into doing anything awkward. Politicians are always the same they will come to you when they need your vote but after winning they vanish into the thin air and you barely get to see or hear from them. Let’s be wise.