The Ho Central Constituency is second to the Ketu North Constituency as one with the highest number of MP aspirants on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region.
Seven individuals are battling for the soul of the Ho Central Constituency with 2,260 delegates expected to choose a winner on Saturday.
Mr. Benjamin Kpodo, a finance professional, is representing the Constituency in Parliament for the third consecutive term, and his decision to retire with the present Parliament saw many rises to attempt to take his place.
The Ketu North Seat, which has eight aspirants – the highest in the Region, also generated interest when its MP, four-timer James Klutse Avedzi, who is the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, indicated his retirement.
The capital of a Region, Ho, unarguably the NDC’s stronghold, is a bit of a prize for any incoming Parliamentarian.
It has prized institutions and sought infrastructure such as the nation’s prime health and research University, and an airport, and is set to receive a metropolitan status sooner or later.
Owing to recent promotional efforts, the influx of investors is on the rise amidst a quality oxygen environment campaign.
The stakes are pretty high for any aspirant, and the sheer magnitude of billboards messaging the Municipality shows how fierce the battlefield has become.
If billboards were anything to go by, one would say it’s a contest of just three or four candidates out of the seven, who have their signages at almost every major intersection, and had also branded all kinds of vehicles and tricycles.
Yet elections for delegates have come to be dreaded and has a popular byword; “Fear delegates.”
Most notable among the lineup of aspirants is Stanley Nelvis Glate, who has made a name for himself as one of the most persistent as far as attempts to attain leadership positions of the Party in the Constituency is concerned.
Stanley is a lecturer at the Ho Technical University with ample popularity among delegates and party supporters, having trailed aspirant Edem Kpotosu, who came few votes close to unseating the MP in the last primaries.
Mr. Kpotosu is an educationist, who has held various positions within the Party in the Constituency and is on his second attempt at securing candidature.
He seems to carry the composure of a man, who is sure of victory, although he joined the aggressive sign posting and seems to match the coverage of his contenders, including some of the new entrants.
Dr. Robert Kofi Doh is one such new entrant, whose energy is served in a high pitched and ecstatic tone, and if there is anyone pushing the limits of the campaigns, it is him.
Dr. Doh registered the largest campaign launch days after the vetting, calling to consider his achievements as a medical doctor with a private practice in the Region.
Other new entrants such as Raphael Korda also pursued the signpost train, which has set the tone for the coming elections.
The youth wing of the Party in the Constituency organised a unity walk recently with the aim of ensuring unity among the aspirants and their teams.
It was well attended and gathered the faithful in the constituency at a basic school’s large compound, where the aspirants took the opportunity to reiterate their messages to the delegates and supporters.
Mr. Kpodo, addressing the multitudes, urged the aspirants to avoid the campaign of insults and personal attacks, and should desist from the practices and indulge in working together as a team, and to most importantly support whoever was elected.
He said delegates should therefore consider peace and unity above all, and that he was available to offer the needed support and assistance to the Constituency and the Party even in retirement.
Mr. Kpodo’s talk about his retirement from Parliament was met with resounding cheers from the crowd, with many considering it a new dawn in the Constituency’s parliamentary leadership.
The aspirants took turns introducing themselves to the large gathering, and it was then that the potential winners came closest to revealing themselves.
Kpotosu, Stanley and Dr. Doh got the loudest cheers while Raphael Korda and the rest trailed on a sound scale.
Mr Korda, to prove his talk about prioritising agriculture among other sectors, had a brand-new tractor he said he had bought for the constituency, put on display at the grounds, and promised to provide a few of the farm machinery every year when elected.
Dr. Doh has been basing his campaign on human development, saying he would provide the opportunity for all to unlock and to build upon potential, with the welfare of Party members also as a priority.
He had also said he would explore job creation and economic avenues to cater for the needs of the youth and mentioned state agricultural initiatives among others.
Aspirants like Stanley, for their popularity, seem uninterested in floating heavy campaign promises, and would rather hope for numerological and spiritual meanings of the slot number on the ballot.
Being the fifth person on the ballot, he asked to consider the fact that all five fingers were required for the surest handgrip, while saying also that five stones had prominence in the Biblical account of a battle between David and the giant Goliath.
Dr. Doh, seventh on the ballot, also seeks to connect to the seventh day of rest for the Creator, which is considered holy by some believers.
Kpotosu had asked delegates to consider his experience in policymaking and human relations, while other aspirants including Mr. Dzamefe, a former Assembly Member and constituency executive, probably banked hope on popularity within the party, and posted a reserved attitude.
Mr. Delali Kasu, a former organiser, asked delegates to consider sending a ‘grassroots person” to Parliament, and that he best possessed the qualities to represent them.
One thing was, however, common with all the delegates – the endorsement of John Mahama as the flag bearer of the NDC.
Each aspirant made sure to place emphasis on the support for the former President, who was described as the one to rescue the nation from the present economic situation.
With the election day coming close, candidates are surely wrapping up campaigns and mobilisations, while the gates of the Ola Senior High School, the venue for the primaries, has been awashed with the posters and billboards of the various aspirants fight for space.
Meetings among delegates at the various branches are intensifying, and onlookers expect the monetary facilitation that characterise internal political elections although such is being condemned in recent times.