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How NDC supporters reacted to Mahama’s victory

BY: Daily Graphic
Jubilant supporters of the NDC at the party headquarters in Accra
Jubilant supporters of the NDC at the party headquarters in Accra

Both the old and young poured onto the streets in wild jubilation across major towns and villages in the Ashanti Region last Saturday minutes after former President John Dramani Mahama was declared winner in the seven-horse race to elect a candidate to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 presidential election.

Especially in Kumasi, Daniel Kenu and Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor, reports that delegates and supporters at the various polling centres in the metropolis burst out into wild laughter, shouting 'we've made it, we've made it.'

The overwhelming endorsement by the delegates for Mr Mahama made even supporters of the other candidates to join in the cerebration.

From Kumasi through to Obuasi to New Edubiase, none of the other contestants got up to 20 votes at any of the polling centres.

The gap between former President, Mahama, and the other six contestants was huge.

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In contrast, Vincent Amenuveve reports from the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, that the municipality was quiet even after the declaration of former President Mahama as winner of the NDC presidential primaries.

Some party enthusiasts told the Daily Graphic that they were not surprised at the turn of events because they were fully aware that the former President was going to win the elections overwhelmingly.

The Deputy Youth Organiser of the Bolgatanga Central Constituency, Mr Isaac Asore, said even though the former President polled about 94 per cent of the votes, NDC party sympathisers should rally behind John Mahama for a resounding victory in 2020.

“We are happy that we have chosen one of the flag bearer aspirants to go into the 2020 election: I want to say that there is no winner nor loser in this contest because we are all aiming at one thing which is to win the 2020 election," Mr Asore intimated.

The Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, Mr Isaac Adongo, equally stated that he was not surprised at the turn of events because among all the presidential candidates, the former president stood tall.

Babgin wins at Nadwoli Kaleo

Emmanuel Modey, also reports from Wa in the Upper West Region that with the exception of the Nadowli-Kaleo Polling Centre, the home of Alban Kingsford Bagbin, where he was narrowly beaten by16 votes, former President John Dramani Mahama swept the polls in all the other centres.

While Alban Bagbin had 383 out of a total of 810 votes cast, Mr Mahama had 367. Nine rejected votes were recorded at the centre.

In the remaining 10 polling centres, Mr Mahama beat all the other contenders: Alhaji Nurideen Iddrisu, Sylvester Adinam Mensah, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Goosie Tannoh and Joshua Alabi.

The polling centres included Wa Central, Wa West, Wa East, Jirapa, Lawra, Lambussie, Daffiama Bussie Issa, Sissala East, Sissala West and Nandom.

A total of 7,967 delegates took part in the voting, constituting 98.78 per cent of the registered voters. There were 104 rejected votes in the region. The exercise proceeded calmly amid good security arrangements.

Minutes after voting had begun, Mr Bagbin made his appearance at the Wa Central Polling Centre and just after a few minutes, Mr Mahama also showed up, all in an effort to ginger the delegates.

Spio-Garbrah, Goosie’s home region

Though home region to Mr Spio-Garbrah and Mr Tannoh, Shirley Asiedu-Addo and Deborah Oluwamuyiwa, report from Cape Coast in the Central Region that the two candidates failed to get any significant numbers at the polls.

There were jubilations by members of the NDC when results of the presidential primary were announced with former President Mahama sweeping the polls convincingly.

Some voters who couldn’t hide their excitement when the results were announced took to the principal streets of Cape Coast in a float amid singing and dancing in excitement.

In other places, however, there was minimal jubilation because members said the victory was anticipated.

Security good

Seth J. Bokpe also reports from Accra in the Greater Accra Region, that security during the NDC presidential primary was generally good throughout the proceedings.

Some constituency executives of the party described it as “excellent and highly professional.” They said apart from the highly efficient officials of the Electoral Commission, the police brought their ‘A-game’ to the election and ensured that the delegates felt safe.

Constituency executives of Trobu, Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ayawaso Central, Odododiodo, Ablekuma South and Ablekuma Central were full of praise for the police who, some of them concluded, did not “create a condition of fear and panic.”

Ayawaso West Wuogon

At Ayawaso West Wuogon, the polling centre at the Dzorwulu Junior High School was swarming with police officers who positioned themselves at vantage points.

Coming on the back of a by-election in the constituency that recorded violence at La-Bawaleshie involving operatives of the National Security, now a subject of a Presidential Commission of Enquiry, the NDC Constituency Chairman, Mr Bismark Aborbi-Ayittey, told the Daily Graphic that the police were highly professional.

He said the Kotobabi Police arrived at the polling centre by 6 a.m and had a meeting with the stakeholders before polls started.

Ablekuma Central

The Town Council Line Park polling station for delegates from Ablekuma Central was one of the areas with tight security.

Two roads leading to the polling centre was blocked as the area is known to be one of the flash points in the Greater Accra Region.

Police vehicles were seen patrolling the place in addition to police officers on motorbikes.

The Mamprobi District Commander, DSP Cephas Arthur, told the Daily Graphic that the district deployed 35 police personnel who were divided into three teams.

He said while one team of eight officers were on duty at the polling centre, another group was on patrol monitoring activities in the constituency.

He said the last batch was a standby force at the police station who were ready to be deployed for reinforcement.

"We want to be pre-emptive to deal with any trouble that may arise. We don't want to be taken by surprise because this is an election involving a small group of people," he said.

Trobu

At the Tantra Hill Unity Park in the Trobu Constituency, there were four police officers on duty with a police patrol vehicle circling the area.

The Constituency Communications Officer, Mr Famous Derrick Dzisam, said the police were professional in their duties and stayed away from interfering in the process.

When the Daily Graphic got to the Wembley Park at Kotobabi in Accra, there were at least four police officers manning the entrance and exit of the centre.

Odododiodo

At Odododiodo, there was heavy police presence. The police were, particularly, active during the counting process as hundreds of people had gathered at the Wesley Methodist Church compound to witness the declaration of results.

The police ensured that the delegates and observers stayed out of the counting perimeter while engaging others in a chit chat.

Ablekuma South

At the Mamprobi 1 JHS, while some of the police officers kept watch on the process, others engaged the delegates in hearty conversation to relax them before they cast their ballots.

“The police officers conducted themselves so well and everything went well. I think it was a great team work between the delegates, EC and the security with no incident happening.

“As you can see, the police are just chatting with the delegates and the atmosphere is so calm. We are grateful to them and the EC,” the Constituency Chairman, Mr Geofrey Atakli Banini, said.