All eyes will be on the chairmanship position on Friday, May 27, 2022, as the Northern Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) goes to the polls to elect new regional executives.
The incumbent Regional Chairman, Mohammed Adam Bantima Samba, is slugging it out with Amadu Inusah and Ibrahim Mahama.
The contest appears to be a two-horse race as Mr Samba’s bid for re-election is being threatened by Alhaji Inusah, popularly known as Alhaji Dagomba Boy.
Mr Mahama appears to be out of the contest as little is known or heard about him.
The political space of the NPP in the region is very charged with the camps of the two key contenders criss-crossing each other to campaign and to meet delegates individually or in groups.
Currently, social media, traditional media spaces and the entire atmosphere are awash with series of engagements and campaigns to win the hearts of the delegates.
Giant billboards and posters of the two main contenders have also been hoisted around every nook and cranny of the metropolis.
Before the Savannah and the North East Regions were carved out of the Northern Region in 2019, the Northern Region was considered a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
But, going by the figures that came out of the 2016 elections, the governing NPP made significant inroads in the region by increasing its parliamentary seats from eight in the 2012 elections to 13 in 2016, with the NDC holding on to 18 seats.
The NPP was also able to increase its presidential votes in the 2016 general election by over 70,000, which contributed immensely to its victory in that election.
With the creation of the Savannah and the North East regions, constituencies in the Northern Region have now been reduced from 31 to 18, with Savannah taking seven and North East six.
As it stands now, the two dominant parties in the region share the 18 constituencies equally — nine for the NPP and nine for the NDC.
In 2012, the NPP obtained 255,454 votes, and increased to 286,868 votes in 2016.
In 2020, it recorded an increase in votes of 399, 071 representing a 5. 1 percentage rise as against the votes recorded in 2016.
With these developments, the NPP would need a Regional Chairman who can hold onto the momentum and marshal all the political arsenal to improve on the fortunes of the party in the region as it envisaged to emerge victorious, not only in the presidential poll but also capture more parliamentary seats in the 2024 general election.
Mr Samba, who is popularly called "Chairman Do All", believes he has performed well since he became the regional chairman four years ago.
“I also promised to make the Northern Region a stronghold of the NPP and I delivered because now the NDC cannot claim the Northern Region as its stronghold, and gradually we will overtake the NDC,” he stated.
To him, a re-election would consolidate the gains made during his regime to help break the eight-year election cycle in 2024 as envisaged by the NPP.
Dagomba Boy's message
Alhaji Inusah, who is a former Yendi Constituency Chairman of the NPP, has pledged to provide a permanent party office in the region.
In what he calls the "Rescue Mission" Manifesto, Alhaji Inusah said when given the nod he would put measures in place to ensure there was unity among party members before 2024 general election.
He also promised to resource the Regional Research department of the party to enable it undertake cutting-edge research on the strength and weakness to help the party make informed decisions.
For Alhaji Mahama, his ultimate mission is to unify the rank and file of the party when given the nod.
"I am an old member of the party, I have been contributing to the party since 1992 and I believe I have all that it takes to lead the NPP in the region to break the eight-year cycle in 2024.
He claimed that some people had taken over the party for their selfish interests but said “I am coming to rescue and unify the party".
The regional election promises to be one of the fierce contests in the history of the NPP in the region as opinions are divided on who should be given the mandate to lead the party in the region.
While some supporters believe the incumbent has performed creditably and deserves another term, others believe a change in leadership is ideal hence, Alhaji Inusah should be given the chance.
According to some party faithful, Mr Samba has been tried and tested and proven to be reliable, results-oriented and the best candidate to lead the party again to victory in the next election.
However, a section of them was of the view that at this crucial moment the NPP needed Alhaji Dagomba Boy whom, they said, was a grassroots person to use his rich political experience to help boost the party’s fortunes.
Though three persons are in the race, the contest appears to be a two-horse race between the Incumbent and Alhaji Dagomba Boy.
The other contender, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, appears to be announcing his presence in the political space. However, the Daily Graphic gathered that he is one of the party’s financiers in the region.