One of the exciting constituencies to watch in the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections , is the Lower Manya Krobo constituency, as a fierce contest between a sitting Deputy Eastern Regional Minister and a former Deputy Eastern Regional Minister is to be replayed.
Mr Ebenezer Teilarbi, the incumbent MP on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Mr Samuel Nuertey Tetteh, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, have so much in common that, many have described their contest as the survival of the fittest, if only the dynamics in the voting pattern changed.
The two close contenders have similar backgrounds and political watchers are of the view that the odds favour the NPP candidate, while the incumbent was a Deputy Defence and Deputy Eastern Regional Minister in the Former President Mahama administration and a former lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the NPP candidate is also a lecturer at the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) and the current Deputy Minister of the Eastern Region.
The Lower Manya Krobo constituency has been a no-go area for the NPP, as it is one of the seven strongholds of the NDC in the Eastern region out of the 33 and since 1992.
The NDC has maintained its grips, by steadily increasing its votes and support in both the Presidential and parliamentary elections that, it has been difficult for the NPP to make inroads until 2016, when the NPP candidate pulled a huge surprise by losing with just 376 votes.
Mr Terlabi, the incumbent MP, who is contesting for the third time won in 2012 with a margin of over 8,000 votes but surprisingly won with only 387 votes difference against the current Minister who lost with over 19,000 votes, breaking the previous high record of over 15,000 votes in the 2004 contest.
From the 1996 elections, one of the constituencies which had never disappointed the NDC since Ghana began the democratic dispensation, is Lower Manya Krobo, Mr Henry Derma of the NDC won with 13,876 in 2000 as the parliamentary candidate for the NDC, in the Presidential, Professor Atta-Mills had 15,066 votes as against Former President Kufuor who polled 9,491.
In 2004, then candidate Prof. Mills widened the gap with 21,690 votes as against 12,992 obtained by President Kufuor and Mr Michael Teye-Nyaunu of the NDC polled 18,571 to beat the NPP’s Mrs Difie Agyarko-Kusi who obtained 15,228 votes in the parliamentary.
The NDC entrenched its hold over the Lower Manya constituency once again in 2008 when Prof. Mills polled 22,497 as against 11,576 obtained by Nana Akufo-Addo while in the parliamentary, the incumbent, Mr Teye-Nyaunu garnered 19,497 to beat Mr Emmanuel Agyarko who polled 14,800 votes, in the Presidential, President Mahama poled 22,335 and then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo had 16,682.
In 2012, Former President Mahama set another record when he polled 30,183 votes as against 13,965 obtained by then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, whiles in the parliamentary Mr Ebenezer Okletey-Terlabi, polled 24,367 to beat Mrs Difie Agyarko-Kusi of the NPP who polled 16,181.
The NPP candidate in the person of Mr Samuel Ayertey Nuertey, currently the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister made inroads in the 2016 Elections as he polled 19,383 just 376 votes short of the votes obtained by the incumbent Mr Terlabi of the NDC who polled 19,759 votes, he was then a Deputy Defence Minister.
He is confident that the votes garnered in 2016 by the NPP especially in the parliamentary elections, where he was able to win 78 out of the 131 polling stations in the constituency, is an indication that the constituents were fed up with the NDC and therefore the NPP was going to win the seat hands down in the parliamentary elections come December 7.
He said the NPP under President Akufo-Addo had performed creditably that, “the long held perception that the NPP disliked the krobo people was demystified”, adding that everywhere in the area, a developmental project had been completed or ongoing to improve on the living conditions of the people.
According to him, throughout his campaign activities, the people had indicated to him that the incumbent had nothing to show in terms of development and therefore considering the performance of the NPP, it was clear that the NDC had lost its hold and he would make history come December 7.
Mr Terlabi, on the other hand has indicated that the NDC would once again entrench its hold on the constituency by winning the seat despite the close margin in 2016, “the dynamics have changed and it’s not like the votes my opponent obtained in 2016, 2020 is a new ball game altogether.
He said whatever happenned in 2016, could not be compared to the events leading to the 2020 elections and that the NPP candidate was no match for him adding that the constituents would assess the performance of the NPP and that of the NDC and vote massively for the NDC.
Whiles the NPP candidate is relying on the strength of the NPP under President Akufo-Addo in the last three and half years of being in government, the NDC candidate on the other hand is relying on the goodwill of the NDC in the area, the reality is that both candidates stand the chance of winning the seat come December 7, per the credentials of their respective parties.