The opposition National Democratic Congress has slated its parliamentary primaries on May 13, 2023. Many new entrants are lacing their boots to contest for slots in the various constituencies to enter parliament in 2025 on the ticket of the party.
While some are targeting seats in orphan constituencies with no sitting MPs, others are seeking to dislodge incumbents. There are however some sitting MPs who are hanging their boots after years of performing legislative duties. Parliamentary Correspondent for EIB Network, Ibrahim Alhassan takes a look at ten relatively young aspirants to look out for in the run up to the NDC primaries in no particular order.
1.Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah
Real Estate mogul Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah is eyeing the Keta seat. The seat is currently occupied by Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey. Mr. Gakpey took over from Richard Quashiga who opted out after serving in the 7th parliament. The resourceful of the business mogul whose wedding took Ghana by storm is expected to ease his path into the legislative house. Even before the contest, the aspirant has started embarking on some developmental projects such as construction of bridges in the constituency.
Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah is one of the young millionaires in Ghana who is making the business environment of the Ghanaian market very competitive.
With over a decade of experience in construction, design, and global real estate development, he has established himself as a business mogul.
He gained a lot of experience working with a few construction and real estate companies in the UK.
After working and gaining so much education, experience and exposure from the UK, Kojo returned to Ghana in 2015 to establish a new business alongside his family.
He now runs and owns multiple businesses.
He is the CEO and Founder of the Empire Conglomerate, which comprises various businesses in various sectors: Empire Concrete Ltd, Empire Domus Ltd, Dominion International Petroleum Ltd, KJM Trading Ltd and Kingscrown Media.
His innate ability lies in identifying, maximizing, and facilitating business development opportunities for creating living experiences that are seen as beyond expectations.
A young African entrepreneur, Mr. Jones-Mensah is committed to creating job opportunities for his people, maximizing opportunity to create and manage wealth for the future.
After successfully acquiring a Bachelor of Laws in Business Law in 2011, he further pursued a Master of Business Administration in 2012 at Coventry University in the UK where he specialized in Oil and Gas Management.
- Kwame Obeng Adjinah
Another young serial entrepreneur Kwame Obeng Adjinah also known as ROYAL, a native of Basengele, a suburb of Bibiani in the Western North Region is lacing his boots for the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai seat. The seat is currently in the hands of the New Patriotic Party’s Alfred Obeng. The former boss of BOST who exited under controversial circumstances won the seat in 2020 with over 60% of valid votes cast. Should Mr. Adjinah emerged victorious after the NDC internal process, there will be much work to be done to snatch the seat from the governing NPP. He is however counting on the love he has shown the constituency and his vision to bring real development to his people to give him an urge.
Kwame Obeng Adjinah is the Managing Director of Wood Acres Limited, a real estate consulting and development company he owns. He is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Omri Projekts Ltd, a real estate construction company he Co-owns. Kwame is a Housing Consultant for Centre for Affordable Housing Finance (South Africa) for Seychelles Island. He is currently serving on the 13-member Technical Working Group of the Ministry of Works and Housing on the Disposal and Completion of the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project. He completed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Land Economy and afterward worked for Ghana Home loans as a Junior Collateral Management Analyst. He holds a Professional Executive Master in ADR from University of Virgin Islands and Pulse of Africa (GGA). He was famously known as a member of “The Big Six”; a group of young men who worked so hard and diligently that they became the cornerstone of a company that has existed and thrived for years. With determination and an exceptional work ethic, he eventually became the Lead Property Valuer of the continental banking giants, First National Bank GH until he resigned to found his own real estate company. Kwame is an old student of the famous Ghana National College, Cape Coast. He had his basic school education at Bibiani Presby Primary, Brightest and Best Preparatory School and Otoo Preparatory School. He’s a Chartered Valuation and an Estate Surveyor certified by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, and a Professional Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioner with specialty in real estate dispute resolution and management.
- BABA SADIQ ABDULAI ABU
Another aspirant to look out for in the impending parliamentary primaries of the opposition NDC is entrepreneur and founder of 3 Media Networks Limited Baba Sadiq Abdulai Abu. Popularly known in the entertainment circle as Baba Sadiq, the young business man is eyeing the Okaikoi Central seat. The seat which has been occupied by Patrick Yaw Boamah of the governing New Patriotic Party for a while now has remained with the party since the constituency was created. Baba Sadiq is however counting on his experience, youthfulness and plans for the constituency to annex the seat should he get the nod to carry the flag of his party. The constituency has a large number of Zango population mostly youthful and this political pundits believe could play to the advantage of Baba Sadiq.
Baba Sadiq Abdulai Abu is a trained media, communications and sustainability specialist and entrepreneur having worked his way up in the Ghanaian & African media, creative and sustainability industries within the last 17 years working variously as a media and communications executive, channel manager, sustainability specialist and an entrepreneur. Sadiq is the Founder and former (CEO) of 3 Media Networks Limited, operators of music media brand, 3Music TV as well as the former executive producer of the annual 3Music Awards, the 3Music Awards Womens Brunch, the 3Music Fan Festival. Sadiq is also founder and Executive director of the WILDALAND Foundation, an ESG organisation famed for the WILDALAND festival. Prior to this role, Sadiq was the founding Country Director of Africa’s number one digital streaming service Boomplay in Ghana leading the setting up of the streaming service’s office in Ghana, building a team and helping it acquire nearly 10 million users in Ghana as well content from every relevant Ghanaian and African content creators. Sadiq also previously worked for Modern Times Group (MTG) AFRICA as Viasat1 Ghana’s head of Programmes & own productions/executive producer, where he led the team to win 18 various awards within a year and a half period. At MTG AFRICA, Sadiq was also responsible for the pan-African TV channel, Trace TV’s operations in Ghana and led the launch of Airtel Trace Music Star reality show in Ghana. Sadiq is also the co-founder of Muse Africa, a millennial targeted music, lifestyle & Entertainment brand where he served as the founding CEO of the brand from 2015 to 2018. Sadiq is also a politician, a member of the NDC in Okaikoi Central Constituency where he has been voting since 2004 and served as the party’s elections 2020 campaign spokesperson on tourism, arts and culture. With a degree in marketing communications studies from the African University College of Communications (AUCC), Sadiq is currently pursuing a post-graduate LLB education in Ghana.
- Eric Edem Agbana
Edem Agbana has not hidden his intention of succeeding current MP for Ketu North and immediate past deputy minority leader James Klutse Avedzi who is hanging his boots in 2024. Mr. Agbana who is also the immediate past deputy National Youth Organizer for the NDC was actively involved in students politics which saw him serve as SRC President for the University of Ghana, Legon. It is unclear the weight of the opposition Agbana will face in his bid to represent the people of Ketu North in Parliament. Reports dean of school of business of the University of Cape Coast Prof. John Gatsi is in the race is yet to be confirmed. The late Prof. Awoonor’s son, Afetsi Awoonor is reportedly also lacing the boots for the contest.
Eric Edem Agbana is a Management Consultant, Social Entrepreneur, Sports Administrator and Politician, with over a decade experience in youth development, Volunteerism and youth leadership. He is a Fellow of the prestigious African Young Leaders Fellowship of the European University Institute, a Doctoral Student in Leadership and Governance and hold two Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Management, and Development Finance respectively, and host of other post graduate certificates. Currently, he is the Project Manager for the African Centre for Development Finance and also, the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Young Apostles FC, a football club in Ghana. As a former Deputy National Youth Organizer of the NDC, he holds the record as one of youngest ever elected national executive of any political party in Ghana. He is also a former SRC president of Ghana’s biggest university, the University of Ghana. Among other relevant political experiences, He was the party’s spokesperson on youth policies, and also the spokesperson of Johnson Asiedu Nketia’s campaign team. Edem Agbana is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic political figures in Ghana today, with mass support among the youth. However, his Edem has many awards and recognitions to his credit, notable among them are Most Influential Young Politician 2020 (Spotlight Africa Awards), Listed twice among 50 Most Influential Young Ghanaians (2018, 2020), Listed among 100 Most Influential Young African Leaders (2018), Coca-Cola awards for 60 young Achievers in Ghana (2017), Best Student Leader in Africa 2014 (by the All Africa Students Union).
- LAMTIIG ABUGRI APANGA Esq.
Another aspirant to watch is private legal practitioner Lamtiig Abugri Apanga. He has his sight on the Nabdam seat. The seat currently occupied by Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane of the NDC in recent past has been swinging between the party and the NPP. The contest promises to be an interesting one since the incumbent might not be a walkover. But Mr. Apanga is counting on his service not just to the party in the constituency but at the national level to do the trick for him.
Lamtiig Abugri Apanga is a native of Gane Zanleregu of the Nabdam District in the Upper East Region. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Accra, he holds HND Marketing from Takoradi Polytechnic (Takoradi Technical University). Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious University of Ghana and Bachelors of Law (LLB) from the same university. He holds a practicing certificate in Law (BL) from the Ghana Law School. He has been a private legal practitioner and currently the Managing Partner of Prestige Partners, a private legal firm co-founded by Lawyer Apanga. Lamtiig as he is affectionately called by the people of Nabdam is currently the Legal Co-ordinator of the NDC Upper East Regional Directorate, a position he has held since 2020. He has offered tremendous legal expertise to the NDC and officers of the party from 2017 to date. He was part of the team led by Prof. Joshua Alabi that vetted the Eastern Regional Executive NDC Elections, he also chaired the vetting committee of constituency executives in the Ashanti Region prior to the 2022 party re-organisation. He was appointed with Joshua Akamba to supervise the Upper East Regional Elections. He served on the Protocol and Accreditation Committee of the NDC during the National Delegates Conference recently held in Accra. He aspires to lead the NDC in the Nabdam Constituency to provide a more inclusive leadership in parliament and to accelerate the development of Nabdam in 1. Promoting Education and Youth Capacity Building 2. Promoting Health and Environmental Protection 3. Women and Girl Child Education 4. Protection of the Physically Challenged and Vulnerable Groups
- Francisca Mawufemor Adjei
It is going to be all women fight when Francisca Mawufemor Adjei slugs it out with Joycelyn Tetteh; the incumbent MP for North Dayi. The incumbent has been in Parliament for two terms after upsetting George Loh in the party’s primaries ahead of the 2016 elections. Francisca who has been one of the female faces for the campaigns of the opposition NDC is seeking to leverage on that and some initiatives she is implementing in the constituency.
Francisca Mawufemor Adjei served as the Branch women organizer, Ayawaso central constituency (Freeman hostel branch), from 2004 -2012
She was a Branch member in the Odododiodo Constituency from 2012 and became the deputy constituency treasurer in 2018 till 2022
She did my internship with GBC and National service with Accra Metropolitan Assembly. She also worked with the Electoral Commission as an officer during the 2012 voter registration.
She also served as the Personal Assistant to George Lawson (then Deputy General Secretary of the NDC) in 2012.
Francisca worked with the Engineers and Planners (E&P) from 2013 till 2022
She is one of the founders of #iChooseJM, a volunteer group for the NDC 2016 campaign. In 2020, he was the leader of the street campaign. She is also the CEO of Franca’s Kitchen and Francisca Mawufemor Adjei Foundation. She has a Degree and Masters in Communication from the African University College of Communications
- Felix Kwakye Ofosu
Felix Kwakye Ofosu is another aspirant to watch in the impending primaries of the opposition National Democratic Congress. The former deputy communications minister narrowly lost the Abura Asebu Kwamankese seat to Morris Donkor of the New Patriotic Party after winning the NDC primaries. Felix, as he is affectionately called fought off stiff competition from seven others to emerge as NDC’s candidate in 2019. He polled 360 votes against the main contender Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse who garnered only 327 votes. Well, 2019 would not be the last time the two go at each other. There is every indication the battle will repeat itself this time around. Now Prof. Nana Ama Browne Klutse, the senior lecturer at the University of Ghana who is currently an AIMS-Canada Research Chair in Climate Change Science is expected to give Felix a run for his money.
Felix Kwakye Ofosu is a product of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST. He served as deputy communications minister under the Mahama administration. He is currently works at the office of former President John Dramani Mahama.
- Prince Benson Mankotam
Prince Benson Mankotam is a young private legal practitioner who has set his eyes on the Sunyani East Seat. This seat has been occupied by the NPP since the creation of the constituency. It’s current occupant, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh is currently on his 4th term in the house of the legislature. Should Mr. Mankotam emerge as NDC’s candidate and go ahead to clinch the seat, political bookmakers will describe the feat as the biggest upset not just in the region but nationwide
Prince Benson Mankotam had his professional law education at the Ghana School of Law after obtaining his LLB at the University of Ghana, Legon.
He also had his first degree; BA. Political Science with Philosophy & Classics at the same University.He is BARRISTER & SOLICITOR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF GHANA.
Prince is a Legal Associate with experience in Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency, Labour Adoption, Debt Recovery and Intellectual Property. As a home-grown lawyer, he has conducted due diligence for and on behalf of local and international clients on the legal framework for corporate restructuring, and matters relating to inheritance and trusts. He has assisted both companies and individuals with regulatory compliance in line with transactions, and has drafted and reviewed various agreements to ensure that they are in compliance with the existing regulatory framework of Ghana. Prince is a focused and driven young lawyer and thrives in teamwork. He is very meticulous and exhibits diligence with a variety of client instructions. Prince has interest in Arbitration and Litigation, and has been involved in successful recovery of debts for clients of the Firm.
- John Dumelo
Celebrated Ghanaian actor, farmer, and politician, John Dumelo will be another candidate to watch in the impending parliamentary primaries for the opposition NDC. The actor reated a lot of buzz in the 2020 elections by contesting for the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat. He however lost to the incumbent Lydia Seyram Alhassan. Mr. Dumelo, a first timer however gave his opponent a run for her money. Ghanaians might however witness a rematch come 2024 as Mr. Dumelo has reportedly decided to have another bite at the cherry in the same constituency. This development is despite reports that Dumelo set his sights on the yet to be created Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) constituency in the OTI region. Mr. Dumelo had set camp in the area engaging in a number of projects including distribution of farming implements to constituents. But latest development has revealed Mr. Dumelo might just stick to the Ayawaso West Wuogon where he will go head to head with another actor Fred Nuamah who has already thrown his heart into the race
John Dumelo had his basic school education at Christ the King School in Accra and his secondary school education at Achimota Senior High School. He further studied Civil Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. John Dumelo has been gracing the silver screens for more than a decade now with many movies to his name. During the National Democratic Congress NDC Party’s Campaign In 2016, Dumelo was one of the most influential and outstanding celebrities who were seen campaigning for the NDC Government It is said and believed that, as an appreciation for his engagement and patriotism to the Party, he was appointed by the former president of Ghana H.E John Dramani Mahama, to serve his Party as a Director of Operations for a pro-NDC youth group for the National Democratic Congress (NDC). John Dumelo, picked up a nomination form to contest in the NDC primaries as a parliamentary candidate. On August 24th, 2019, he won the NDC parliamentary primaries to represent the NDC in Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the 2020 general elections.
- Yayra Vera Hayibor
Another female aspirant to look out for is Yayra Vera Hayibor who is in the race for the only orphan seat in the Volta Region; Hohoe. Current minister for Railways Development John Peter Amewu in 2020 shocked political watchers and connoisseurs by winning the seat for the NPP for the first time since the creation of the Hohoe Constituency. The controversies surrounding the creation of the Guan district which carved out part of the constituency not withstanding, the seat remains the only one in the hands of the governing NPP in both Volta and Oti Regions. Peter Amewu polled over 26,000 votes to defeat NDC’s candidate Prof. Margaret Kweku who could only manage a little over 21,000 votes. There’s no indication Prof. Margaret will stage a comeback but Peter Amewu might have to deal with another woman in the 2024 elections if Yayra Vera Hayibor, a PhD candidate at Glasgow Law School sails through the impending NDC primaries. Vera, a member of the campaign team of Prof. Margaret Kweku in 2020 tells me she believes the economic empowerment of women, which can be secured through laws, can help solve the global economic crisis especially in Ghana and the world at large. She is counting on her legal background, humanitarian initiatives and her international exposure to secure the NDC ticket and subsequently enter parliament to bring about change to Hohoe.
Vera believes women are underrepresented in all aspects of leadership in Ghana, a development she wants changed.
The resourceful of incumbent MP John Peter Amewu is however expected to make the contest arduous for whoever emerges as NDC’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
I am a person with good interpersonal skills who is self-motivated, proactive, assertive, and disciplined. I am open-minded person with adaptability to evolving situations and new environments. I am a proud alumnus of Mawuli school where I completed my secondary education in 2007.
I am also an alumnus of the University of Ghana and hold a Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre in 2014. I proceeded to study an law at the University of Strathclyde in 2015 and graduated with Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law and Sustainable Development. My Master of Law thesis has been published on the challenge’s worldwide website (https://challengesworldwide.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/An-Analysis-of-the-Impactof-Labour-Laws-on-the-Economic-Rights-of-Ugandan-Women-Vera-Hayibor.pdf)
I am currently pursuing my PhD in Law, with focus on Labour and Immigration law at the University of Glasgow Law School and on the Work on Demand research team (https://workondemand.co.uk/verahayibor/)
I believe the economic empowerment of women, which can be secured through laws, can help solve the global economic crisis especially in Ghana and the world at large.
I am a co-founder of Cosy students, a sustainability, environmental and social project aimed at working with Further Higher Education Institutions (FHEI), students and organisations in the UK to promote re-use and responsible consumption.
I nurse a keen interest in research and will be happy to work with a local or international organization that focuses on humanitarianism, sustainable development, and feminism. It is my vision to become a renowned entrepreneur, a legal practitioner who focuses on humanitarianism (or Human Rights), sustainable development and good governance in Ghana and beyond.
I believe one of the ways to stand up for the marginalised in societies is to join the discussion tables and represent the views of the minorities and be the voice for the voiceless in societies.
Source: Ghana/Kasapaonline.com/102.5FM/Ibrahim Alhassan