The sale of smock and poultry (guinea fowl), traditionally associated with the Northern Region, soared as supporters of the various political parties invaded Tamale, the regional capital, for the first Presidential Debate to be organised in the metropolis.
While smock, a special hand-woven, hand sewn men’s wear has become a national swear, guinea fowl, which is a healthy lean poultry has also become a delicacy across the country.
As many party executives and supporters headed from all corners of the country to Tamale to cheer the four presidential candidates billed for the debate, it seemed most of them had the wish – to buy good quality smock and taste particularly, charcoal grilled guinea fowl.
Consequently, between Sunday and Wednesday, many food joints and kebab sellers were almost mobbed by lovers of the poultry, resulting in a shortage of the delicacy at some of the places.
“I just love this meat and so anytime we are coming to Tamale, my number one wish is to have a taste of guinea fowl,” said Mr Kwaku Ohene, a party activist.
“We have sold a lot of guinea fowl kebab in the last four days and we have ordered for fresh guinea fowl meat from our suppliers,” Mr Abdullah Yahaya of Mba Yahaya Kebab Special, Tamale’s most popular joint for barbequed guinea fowl, said in a chat.
Tuo zaafi (TZ) a traditional meal has also been featuring prominently on the menu charts in the past days.
“For me, each time, a trip to the north comes up, I become obsessed with eating TZ because I just love eating this meal, especially with ayoyo soup,” said Mr Isaac Boakye.
Selling points of smock have also been attracting increasing patronage. Many visitors to the Radach Memorial Centre in particular, had the opportunity to select from an array of smock displayed by a variety of dealers.
The smocks came in various sizes, shapes and colours, but as expected party enthusiasts fancied those designed in their party colours.
Meanwhile, the IEA debate had increased the political temperature in Tamale and this had had a positive impact on other business activities in the city.
A visit to some of the famous retail and grocery stores, such as Forsmuel, Nasant Ventures, Melcom and Quality First, showed a large number of shoppers.
On the flip side, the tooting of horns combined with sounds from noisy motor bike engines and vuvuzelas have so far denied the people of Tamale any serenity, as sometimes the perpetrators of the noise pollution, continue their activities deep into the night.
The 2012 Presidential Debate is organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs as part of efforts to consolidate multiparty democracy and promote issue based elections in Ghana.
It has been designed to provide a common platform for four presidential candidates of parties with representation in parliament, to answer questions on various aspects of the nation’s development process.
The candidates who are due to speak at the forum are President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Michael Abu Sakara Forster of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Mr Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention.
Story: Nurudeen Salifu