Since the inception of the 1992 constitutional and parliamentary order, the Upper West Region has largely been considered a safe haven and the stronghold of the National Democratic Congress. This has always manifested at the Presidential and Parliamentary elections cycle after cycle. Indeed, the NDC had always managed to shrug off its closest competitor, the New Patriotic Party by winning all or majority of the available Parliamentary seats and garnering majority of the Presidential votes. In the 2012 elections for instance, the NDC won ten parliamentary seats safe the Jirapa seat won by an independent candidate who had split from the NDC to contest as an independent candidate.

The story has however been chequered since then with the NDC winning six (6) seats out of eleven seats in 2016 elections with a dip in the presidential votes in the region. In the latest general election of 2020, the party added two more seats and managed a slight increment in the presidential votes in the region. It thus appear that the NDC’s stranglehold on the Upper West Region has been shaky and its electoral fortunes are no more guaranteed with the political dynamics changing season after season attributable to several factors both internally and externally.

It is obvious that the party may not have the power to deal with the external factors that have a part to play in the outcome of any general election both at the parliamentary and presidential polls. However, the party has every power within itself to control and deal with its own internal mechanisms that determine its electoral fortunes as a political party.

Among the several factors that every party needs to achieve its electoral objective is a strategic blueprint relative to every specific electoral unit, constituency or region. Over the years, the one-size fits all approach usually been deployed by the party turns out to impact the party’s performance. This has been witnessed in the Upper West Region.

As the party gears up for the crunch 2024 elections which the governing NPP is doing everything practically possible to win in spite of its monumental and abysmal performance in office, the NDC needs to set in motion a robust election-winning strategy that can restore the party to its glory days in the region.

In times past, the region benefitted tremendously from the knowledge, experience and wise counsel of the celebrated Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu who occupied various potfolios both in government and in opposition and currently serving as the Chairman of the revered Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress. The unblemished Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu has been the pillar and the rallying point for the NDC in the Upper West Region keeping the party united, strong, focused and providing the needed direction whenever the need be. At his current age, it is only natural that he is unable to avail himself anymore as he used to do and to give the kind of energy and enthusiasm he used to offer no matter how much he is willing to.

By providence, the NDC in the Upper West Region is blessed to have the presence, experience, enthusiasm and commitment of Rt Hon Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana.  As a seasoned politician and largely successful Member of Parliament in good standing for twenty-eight years, the NDC cannot afford to miss out on what he has to offer in the Upper West Region as far as supporting and directing the party is concerned. With the manifest exhibition and show of his unalloyed commitment to the umbrella family at all times, the party leadership must look up to tapping from his rich repertoire of knowledge and experience to brighten and improve the fortunes of the NDC especially in the Upper West Region considering the dynamics that lie ahead of the 2024 elections.

Having succeeded in winning seven parliamentary elections from 1992 all the way to 2016 sometimes under very difficult and strenuous circumstances, the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament knows how to plan and execute a successful and victorious parliamentary election.  That has been the extent of his experience that he had to practically abandon his own campaign in his constituency to move into other constituencies to help campaign for NDC parliamentary candidates who were considered to be having a difficult and torrid times in their constituencies.

With such a man willing at all times and available to offer himself in service to his beloved NDC, the party cannot afford to lose grip of the Upper West Region in the crunch elections s of 2024. The persistent calls and desire by the failed New Patriotic Party government to break the eight and the repeated wish of President Akufo-Addo to hand over to an NPP president is ample testimony that there is something under their sleeves. This requires of the NDC in the Upper West Region to apply some pragmatism to protect their interest in 2024 in contributing to the overarching objective of the NDC assuming the reigns of government in 2025, 7th January.

To this end, it is only appropriate for the party having been blessed with a son as the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana to fashion out a campaign that will revolve around his experience, enthusiasm, sacrifice, commitment and resourcefulness to outwit the New Patriotic Party in the Upper West Region. In previous elections even before assuming the enviable position of Speaker, Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has demonstrated the capacity to rally support and garner the needed votes for the National Democratic Congress across the country. As Minority and later Majority Leader, the Rt Hon Alban Bagbin traversed the length and breadth of the country crisscrossing constituencies and regions to support the parliamentary and presidential campaigns of the NDC whether in opposition or in government. This hardwork always paid off in the supreme interest of the Party. No wonder he forged an inseparable bond with the famous General Mosquito, the General Secretary of the party who has been credited with an enviable track-record as far as the performance and achievements of the NDC are concerned.

It is opportune and compelling that the NDC fashions out a campaign strategy that places the Rt Hon Alban Bagbin at the center as he commands the needed capacity, competence and the gravitas to roll out a campaign that would inure to the benefit of the party in terms of parliamentary seats and majority presidential votes. Irrespective of the different shades of opinion in the region about how the party should be run, the party must not lose sight of the overarching objective of winning the 2024 elections. And to win the 2024 elections, the party must make use of its most potent arsenal and undoubtedly, the Rt Hon Alban Bagbin is an integral part of the NDC’s war chest in 2024 as always.

This venerable man who defied the odds to win the position of Speaker for the NDC in opposition is ample testimony to his likeability and popularity. Fortunately, his love for the NDC is unquestionable and he never blinks an eye whenever he is called upon to serve and work for the party. At all times, he places the interest of the party above every other interest and would stop at nothing to protect and project the interest of the party.

Let the NDC acknowledge the fact that when the party avails itself to tap from the experience, enthusiasm, sacrifice and enthusiasm of  the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament, the party would churn out an improved overall performance in the Upper West Region and take a giant step in winning the 2024 elections and stopping the NPP from achieving their sinister agenda of breaking the eight.

By: Asonne Richard
Political Activist

Source: Ghana/