Kojokrom rail station in the constituency
Kojokrom rail station in the constituency

Essikado-Ketan Constituency: Dr Danquah dares Bissue for seat

If the last parliamentary elections in 2020 in the Essikado-Ketan Constituency is anything to go by, then this year's polls is expected to see a fiercer contest between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the area.


Hitherto, the NPP had made mince meat of its opponents in elections in the constituency. In the 2020 parliamentary elections, however, the NDC put up a formidable candidate in Dr Grace Ayensu Danquah, a medical practitioner, who stretched the NPP’s candidate and incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Joe Ghartey, to the elastic limit before succumbing to defeat, amidst allegations of electoral fraud.

Mr Ghartey, a lawyer, polled 26,701, representing 51.49 per cent of the votes cast, while Dr Danquah had 24,527, representing 47.30 per cent of the votes as the NPP lost 7.8 percentage points on its previous showing in the 2016 polls, while the NDC gained 11.7 percentage points.

Perhaps, it was out of this that supporters of the NDC in the constituency feel Mr Ghartey, who has been the MP since 2004, has chickened out of this year's elections in order not to experience defeat.

With Mr Ghartey declining to seek re-election, the NPP will be represented in this year's elections by Charles Bissue, a former presidential staffer, following his victory in the party’s primary, while Dr Danquah represents the NDC for a second successive time.

The optimism within the NDC camp appears to find expression in the steady movement of the fortunes of the two major political parties in opposite directions in the constituency.

Indeed, from the wide gap of a 71 per cent vote share for the NPP in 2004 as against the NDC’s share of 26.6 per cent, a 60.8 per cent share for the NPP and 34.4 per cent for the NDC in 2008, to 58.2 per cent for the NPP and 39.9 per cent for the NDC in 2012, the NDC clawed its way in the share of voters in the constituency while the NPP’s share dwindled.

In 2016, the NPP improved by a single percentage point, moving to 59.3 per cent of the vote share, while the NDC dropped to 35.6 per cent of the vote share. 

Brief profiles

Dr Danquah is a renowned surgeon and academician who trained at the Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Since 2013 when she returned home, she has channeled her energy into medical philanthropy by organising regular health screening exercises for the people of the constituency, with the last one held on May 18, 2024.

Mr Bissue, on the other hand, had part of his education at the University of Bristol and the Coventry University in the UK where he obtained his Master of Law degree. His standing in NPP circles was epitomised by his appointment as a presidential staffer during the first term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.


The Essikado-Ketan Constituency is located in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Area in the Western Region, sharing boundaries with Sekondi and Effia constituencies. Notable communities within the constituency include Botumagyabu, Ketan, Kojokrom and Essikado, otherwise known as British Sekondi.

A road in the constituency being reshaped by Dr Grace Ayensu Danquah

A road in the constituency being reshaped by Dr Grace Ayensu Danquah

The constituency once had a vibrant railway system, with Ketan, popularly called Location, hosting the workshop where faulty trains were repaired. In terms of educational facilities, the constituency boasts the Takoradi Technical University and a satellite campus of the University of Mines and Technology, Ahantaman Senior High School and a host of both private and public pre-tertiary schools.

The constituency hosts the palace of the Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsiah IV. It is the only paramountcy in the constituency. 

Population, occupations

The generally urban constituency has a population of 140,546, with a mix of formal and informal employment bases. The thriving fishing industry, particularly in Essikado, involve activities in nearby Albert Bosomtwi Sam Fishing Harbour and the Sekondi Landing Beach.

Just like the nearby constituencies, Essikado-Ketan is bedevilled with the issue of unemployment. The lack of opportunities in the constituency has driven many youth, particularly the males, to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean sea to Europe to look for greener pastures.

The collapse of the railway system has adversely affected the people of Kojokrom, largely considered the nerve centre of trading activities in the area.

Views of constituents

A trader at the Kojokrom Railway Market, Hajia Adisa Yusif, told the Daily Graphic she would vote for a candidate who would improve her living conditions. She said for sometime now, most traders at the market relied on shylock money lenders for loans with high interest rate.

"I will vote for someone who can help us to secure soft loans to grow our business. I am a single parent with three children, and need support to educate them to the highest level," she said.

She urged parliamentary candidates to come out with genuine policies and not to deceive the electorate. Graham Essuman, a taxi driver who shuttles between Sekondi and Kojokrom, said he wished a parliamentary candidate would introduce a work-and-pay policy for taxi drivers in the constituency.


Mr Essuman said any incoming MP must show commitment to the welfare of the people, adding that "I will vote for such a person who has shown commitment to the welfare of the electorate".

"I have blindly over the years voted in a particular pattern, but this time around, I will listen and look at policies that would be to my benefit," he said. Josiah Fynn who works with a private security firm, said he would vote for a candidate who would improve the security situation in Kojokrom.

"Security is my main concern, and I will look for a candidate who is committed to fighting crime," he said. A fisherman, Agya Esoun, expects the next MP to lobby for more pre-mix fuel for fisherfolk around the Essikado enclave.

"The erratic supply of pre-mix has been our headache, and the best candidate who can genuinely convince us will get our votes," he said. A potential voter who had just registered, Ali Tome, said he would vote for any candidate who would bring good news to the electorate instead of insults and propaganda. 



The Constituency Vice-Chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Ibrahim Anyass Zakaria, lamented what he called a neglect of the area. He said Dr Danquah, though in opposition, had used her personal resources to provide water and re-shaped roads in semi-rural areas in the constituency.

A polytank and water facility provided by Dr Danquah as part of her social responsibility

A polytank and water facility provided by Dr Danquah as part of her social responsibility

He said the NPP, for the past 20 years, had failed to raise the standard of living of the people, and that the constituency would find its rightful place among developed constituencies should Dr Danquah receive the nod this year.

He urged voters in the constituency to vote massively for Dr Danquah. However, the NPP Constituency Communication Officer, Collins Saah, was of the view that based on the solid foundation laid by Mr Ghartey, particularly in the road sector, the NPP would retain the seat.


According to him, before the creation of the constituency, the only tarred road was from Sekondi to Ketan, Sekondi to Essikadu and the Takoradi-Kojokrom-Accra Highway. He said, today, the Kojokrom-Essikado road, among a number of others, had seen vast improvement.

He said unlike the previous elections where the NPP’s fortunes declined “as a result of the MP's long stay in office, this time around, our candidate is new, experienced and energised for the battle ahead".

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