Afigya Kwabre: Home of 3 failed presidential hopefuls

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Akua Donkor, Odike and Nana KonaduAfigya Kwabre District in the Ashanti Region is the only district in the country that produced three people who made attempts to contest the 2012 December presidential election.
They are Mr Akwasi Addai Odike of the United Front Party (UFP) who comes from Adwumakase-Kese, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) who hails from Mpobi and Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) who is from Ejuratia.

In terms of constituency, all the three communities fall under the Afigya Kwabre South (formerly Kwabre West).

However, among the three, only one could have had the dream of becoming president of the Republic of Ghana fulfilled and that included Mr Akwasi Addai Odike of the UFP.

Both females – Mrs Konadu Agyemang Rawlings of the NDP and Madam Akua Donkor of the GFP had their dreams of becoming the first female President thwarted due to their inability to fulfill documentary requirements by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Though both had accused the EC of masterminding their disqualification, they enjoyed the pride of place by having their representatives in the parliamentary elections.

This left only Odike of the UFP among the other seven presidential candidates who contested the 2012 December elections.

Odike, who was fifth on the ballot paper, obtained 8, 877 votes, representing 0.08 per cent of the total valid votes cast, making him the candidate with the least votes.

Mr John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) obtained 5, 574, 761 votes, representing 50.7 per cent, Dr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) had 38, 223 votes representing 0.35 per cent whilst Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) secured 5, 248, 898 and 64, 362 votes representing 47.74 per cent and 0.59 per cent respectively.

Mr Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention (PNC) had 24, 617 votes representing 0. 22 per cent with Dr Foster Abu Sakara of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) securing 20, 323 votes representing 0.18 per cent

The only Independent Presidential Candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, secured 15, 201 votes, representing 0.14 per cent

Meanwhile, on presidential votes in the constituency where his hometown is located, Odike of UFP obtained 44 votes representing 0.08 per cent making him the fifth  candidate after the NPP, NDC, PPP and GCPP.

Interestingly, on the parliamentary election, Odike failed to have a candidate to contest in his hometown, leaving the votes to the candidates of the NPP, NDC, PPP and NDP.

Among the two females, only Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings had a candidate for the parliamentary election, Kwame Amaning Kwarteng Amoako who polled 139 votes, representing 0.24 per cent as against NPP’s William Owuraku Aidoo who secured the highest number of 45, 841 votes representing 79.95 per cent; followed by the NDC’s Kaakyire Oppong Kyekyeku who obtained 9, 911 votes, representing 17.29 per cent and PPP’s John Yaw Asubonteng who tried some 1, 446 votes representing 2.52 per cent.

Moreover, a common code that sought to run through all the presidential hopefuls was that the three suffered some public ridicule.

Odike of the UFP had internal acrimonies, especially  to whether he was the chosen presidential candidate. Mr Kwaku Owusu Antwi was at a point in time declared the flagbearer of the UFP, an uncontrolled tension that nearly torn apart the party and even landed them in court.

The party’s chairman, Nana Agyenim Boateng, had in the company of Mr Antwi gone to submit completed forms at the office of the EC but he was stunned when that of Odike was received first by the EC.

Odike, however, had a comeback when he was able to successfully complete his nomination forms and submitted it along with the due payment and consequently became the flagbearer of the UFP.

For Mrs Rawlings, she was unable to complete her forms and was asked to complete it within a specified time which she failed and rather blamed the EC for her disqualification.

Madam Akua Donkor suffered similar fate when she also failed to complete her forms and was refused by the EC to contest.

In a nutshell, only Odike could have his dream coming true to contest the presidential elections in the country but failed to become President.

Mr Odike is a Christian and the Chief Executive of Odike Ventures in the Ashanti Region. He is 49 (born on September 13, 1964).

Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings is aged 65 (born on November 17, 1948) and was First Lady from 1992 to 2001. She is also the President of 31st December Movement, a non-governmental organisation which was established in 1982. She is a Christian and an artist. She came into the political limelight when her husband, Jerry John Rawlings became the Head of State briefly in 1979 and in 1981 to 2001.

By Joseph Kyei-Boateng