Supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Chiana-Paga Constituency have affirmed that the immediate-past Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo Central, Joseph Kofi Adda, spent his time campaigning for the party with them, contrary to claims being made that he campaigned for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Navrongo against the NPP.
The testimonial from Chiana-Paga, one of the 15 constituencies in the Upper East Region, backs a press statement the NDC leadership had issued after the 2020 polls saying that the veteran lawmaker, who has been in charge of Ghana’s Aviation Ministry for some time, never campaigned for the NDC in the Navrongo Central Constituency.
Some NPP supporters in the Navrongo Central Constituency had pointed at him as the cause of the devastating defeat suffered by the NPP’s parliamentary candidate, Tangoba Abayage, at the 2020 general elections, saying he campaigned against her for defeating him at the party’s primary election.
But addressing the press at a conference in the Chiana-Paga Constituency, the NPP supporters, who call themselves Concerned NPP Youth of Chiana-Paga Constituency, relayed how Adda reportedly spent his time away in the next-door constituency whilst he was ‘missing’ at Navrongo during the election campaign period.
“We recorded a sad mood as our attention was drawn to a press conference by a section of the polling station executives and electoral area coordinators in the Navrongo Central Constituency in which they accused Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda of campaigning for the NDC candidate in Navrongo Central. This came to us as a surprise as Hon. Adda was engaged in a dawn-to-dusk campaign in Chiana-Paga. So, we are wondering when and how he got time to campaign for the NDC in Navrongo Central. His engagement was so conspicuous so we wonder what time he would have again to campaign for the NDC in Navrongo Central.
“Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda was rejected by his own constituency party leaders but we saw his importance and approached him for his support which he gladly accepted and campaigned alongside our distinguished and determined parliamentary candidate in the person of Hon. Robert A. Aloo as well as the elders and constituency executives of Chiana-Paga. Even though we didn’t win the seat, we believe the efforts by Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda have contributed greatly to our votes appreciating significantly in both the presidential and parliamentary results. If Hon. Adda had come earlier [and worked] with the constituency executives under the leadership of Chairman Mohammed Adams Karim and many others, we would have won the seat,” the group said in a statement read out by its spokesperson, Prosper Aminzia.
Anti-NPP campaign allegations intended to malign Adda— Group
Adda, according to his supporters, was prohibited by a pro-Abayage camp from joining a general-election campaign trail in the Navrongo Central Constituency in support of Abayage to whom he had lost the NPP’s parliamentary primary election in the middle of 2020.
Abayage’s narrow win at the June primaries was capped with a colossal loss to the NDC at the December general elections. Later, some NPP members, said to be Abayage’s supporters, claimed there was video evidence in their possession showing that Adda hatched Abayage’s downfall.
But the Concerned NPP Youth of Chiana-Paga Constituency told newsmen at the conference that the allegations were microwaved in a knee-jerk attempt to give a dog a bad name and hang him.
“The group or activists could have accused Hon. Kofi Adda of not campaigning for Madam Tangoba Abayage and better associate reasons for that but not to say Hon. Adda campaigned for the NDC parliamentary candidate. We think this is an attempt to malign the hard-earned reputation of Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda and it is most unfortunate,” the group’s statement said.
The statement cited a number of ways in which Adda, according to the group, supported the NPP’s cause in the Chiana-Paga Constituency ahead of the 2020 polls. These include donation of Gh¢20,000 for the execution of a community water project at Nabango, provision of Gh¢25,000 towards the construction of a police station at Mirigu, cutting the sod for the launch of a radio station at Sirigu as well as construction of youth-base sheds and installation of streetlights in the constituency.
The NDC obtained 15,847 (46.78%) votes whilst the NPP captured 11,939 (35.24%) votes at the 2016 parliamentary election in the Chiana-Paga Constituency. But the 2020 parliamentary election saw the NDC and the NPP poll 21,954 (57.79%) votes and 15,540 (40.91%) votes respectively in the constituency.
At the 2016 presidential election, the NDC got 21,197 (63.42%) votes against 10,141 (30.34%) votes secured by the NPP in the constituency. But in 2020, the NDC got 24,804 (66.33%) presidential votes in the area whilst the NPP gained 11,983 (32.05%) votes.
By Edward Adeti, Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH