Thursday, December 11, 2008

NPP supporters react to elections results

NPP supporters and sympathizers in the Kumasi metropolis are reeling at the inability of the party to win the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections "one touch" as was predicted.

They cannot fathom the humiliating defeat in the parliamentary results and the near disaster in the presidential one, in-spite of the enthusiastic support and assurances the party received during the campaigns, which was been described as the best and most sophisticated and modern in the political history of Ghana.

Immediately after the announcement of a round-off in the presidential election's results by Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, party members and supporters plunged into extensive discussions and arguments as to the possible causes of the party's performance in the elections.

In drinking bars, restaurants, chop bars, market places, "trotro", taxis and on the streets, party supporters were seen seriously, but morosely discussing and arguing about the election results, their repercussions and the second round balloting.

While some blamed the outcome on the perceived arrogance and insensitivity as well as corrupt practices by some Members of Parliament, party leaders and government officials, others put the blame on the government's inability to ensure proper monitoring and effective implementation of some of the socio-economic policies initiated to reduce poverty and enhance the wellbeing of the people.

They mentioned in particular, the implementation of the capitation grant, school feeding programme, National Health Insurance Scheme and the small loans scheme and said, most people expressed concern about fraud and corruption in the implementation of these programmes but the government failed to act appropriately.

This, according to some of the party supporters, resulted in the people not realizing the full benefits of the initiatives.

Others also blamed the government for its inability to ensure that transport fares were reduced whenever there was a reduction in the prices of petroleum products in the country.

On the reason why most people did not vote in the Kumasi metropolis, the supporters put the blame at the doorsteps of city officials and the security agencies for their continuous and sustained harassment of petty traders and prosecution of commercial drivers in the metropolis for minor infractions.

They cited for instance, the implementation of the decongestion exercise, which resulted in the displacement of most petty traders and the subsequent loss of their huge sums of working capital, which had made most of them currently unemployed and indebted to the banks.

According to them, even though the two main lorry stations in the Kumasi metropolis- Kejetia and Asafo market are chocked as a result of the erection of structures for shops, city guards and personnel of the police MTTU continued to arrest and extorted monies from commercial drivers who parked on the shoulders of the road to either pick or enable passengers to alight.

Others also cited the delays in the implementation of development projects in the Kumasi metropolis as some of the causes and said these, coupled with the perceived arrogance and opulent lifestyles displayed by MPs and party officials, have made some of the residents angry and hence, their refusal to vote.

According to them even though they are mobilizing themselves to interact with the affected persons to vote in the second round to ensure total victory, there was the need for immediate intervention by Nana Akuffo Addo, to reassure these people so that they could come out in their numbers to vote.

They emphasised that, the estimated number of people who refused to vote in the Kumasi metropolis was capable of ensuring a resounding victory in the first round and there is the need to device effective strategies that would entice them to vote in the second round.

Source: GNA

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