Ralph Agyapong on why he is going to unseat Asenso-Boakye from Bantama constituency seat
The Bantama Constituency, located in the heart of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and a very prominent Parliamentary seat in the affairs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is witnessing another competitive parliamentary primary ahead of the 2024 Elections.
Ralph Kwame Agyapong, a lawyer and brother of the maverick politician, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong has joined the race and expressed a determination to unseat Francis Asenso-Boakye, who is seeking re-election for a second term.
Until 2004, when Nhyiaeso and Kwadaso constituencies were carved out of Bantama, it was one of the most populous constituencies in Ghana.
Dr Richard Anane was the main man for Bantama from 1992 to 2004. Dr Anane did not contest the 1992 Parliamentary election because the NPP withdrew from that election.
But when he won in 1996, he was the main man for Bantama for two terms, 1996-2000 and 2000-2004 before switching to Nhyiaeso which had been carved out of Bantama together with Kwadaso.
And since 2004, Bantama has become a constituency where no member of Parliament has been able to serve more than two terms.
It was only Cecilia Abena Dapaah who served two terms from 2004-2008 and 2008-2012.
Apart from her and Dr Anane, all other MPs in the last 11 years since 2012 have served only one term each.
Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, currently the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) served one term, from 2012-2016.
Kokofu was unseated by Daniel Okyem Aboagye of blessed memory in 2016 and Francis Asenso-Boakye also unseated Okyem Aboagye in 2020.
Dr Richard Anane - 1996 - 2000 and 2000 - 2004
Cecilia Dapaah - 2004 - 2008 and 2008 - 2012
Henry Kokofu - 2012 - 2016
Daniel Okyem Aboagye - 2016 - 2020
Francis Asenso Boakye - 2020 - sitting MP
Asenso-Boakye is going for a second term and this is where Ralph Kwame Agyapong, another Bantama boy has emerged and hit the ground running with a competitive campaign.
In political circles, Graphic Online has gathered that this move has somewhat unsettled Francis Asenso-Boakye.
The new entrant, with the support of his senior brother Kennedy Agyapong, has been pointing out what he will do differently if given the opportunity and has been accusing Asenso-Boakye of having all the opportunities of serving as a Deputy Chief of Staff and now Housing Minister but has done very little for the betterment of Bantama constituents.
Asenso-Boakye on his part has been exhibiting what he has been doing for Bantama including a new library built for the constituents which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissioned last Wednesday.
It was not surprising that at the commissioning ceremony, President Akufo-Addo joined the Bantama campaign and urged constituents to give Asenso-Boakye a second term for his hard work.
He said looking at the level of commitment and competence showed by Mr Asenso-Boakye when he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and currently as the Minister for Works and Housing, it would hurt if the MP was not retained.
“It will hurt me so much if the people of Bantama throw him away.
Give him the opportunity to represent you again, and he will come and continue the good job he has been doing,” President Akufo-Addo said last Wednesday during the inauguration of a modern library and technology hub in the Bantama Constituency named after the President.
He stressed that he was even more happier because the project named after him was an educational one.
''Thanks for grooming Asenso-Boakye for me. He does things best,” the President added.
Watch a video interview of Ralph Agyapong on Angel FM in Kumasi, where he touted what he intends to do and pointed out what he said were some flaws in Asenso-Boakye's leadership as MP for Bantama.
Mr Agyapong even criticised the location of the new library and said it was situated in a notorious area in Bantama noted for contraband activities and a hideout where security officers always move to when they area searching for notorious suspects.
How do you expect children to move to that area to go and use the library, he questioned in the Angel FM interview.
He said it would have been better if the popular Ashanti library, and Children's Library located in the precincts of the Cultural Centre had been renovated instead, since it is also located in the Bantama constituency.