Newly-elected Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday trooped to parliament in their numbers on the first day of their registration exercise to be officially recognised for the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic which will be inaugurated on the eve of Saturday, January 7.
There were contrasting moods, as New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs who have the overwhelming majority in the house, hugged and shared jokes with one another while the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs, who were obviously not happy for losing their majority in parliament, trickled in, with some trying to force smiles on their faces as others conferred in groups – most probably to discuss their individual waterloo at the December 7 poll.
MPs coming to parliament for the first time were there in their numbers, as they looked eager to be given official recognition as ‘Honourable’ Members.
DAILY GUIDE caught up with some of the ecstatic first timers who also made history by winning for the first time in the strongholds of their opponents.
Seventy-year-old Patrick Al-Hassan Adamah of the NPP, a UK-trained mining engineer, caused a sensation when he snatched the Sissala West Constituency seat in the Upper West Region from the Regional Minister, Amidu Sulemani, who was before then the Minister for Roads and Highways in the current administration.
His colleague, a relatively young man aged 33, Abass Ridwan Dauda, also won the Sissala East seat for the first time for the NPP by defeating incumbent NDC MP, Alijata Gbentie Sulemana.
On what did the magic for the NPP to win the two seats in the region where it hitherto had no seat, Patrick Al-Hassan told DAILY GUIDE that his constituents bought well into his party’s policy of ‘one village, one dam’ for communities in the three Northern regions, as well as the ‘one district, one factory’ policy.
According to him, his constituency is so much deprived that the people had become disenchanted after decades of voting for the NDC.
“The ‘one village, one dam’ and the ‘one district, one factory’ policies principally convinced the people to vote for the NPP because they wanted a change in their lives,” he said, adding that majority of the people in his constituency are farmers who rely on water for all-year farming while the youth too are unemployed.
The MP-elect for Sissala West said personally he had provided 18 boreholes for some communities in the constituency even in opposition and the people saw them as an ample evidence of his ability to bring development to the constituency.
“We really worked so hard for this victory both in Sissala West and Sissala East; and we believe the NPP will bring the needed development to the people of the North,” he underscored.
Another first timer, Babara Asher Ayisi, who won the Cape Coast North Constituency seat on the ticket of the NPP, told DAILY GUIDE that she was extremely privileged to represent the people of Cape Coast North which was previously an NDC seat.
She said she would concentrate on improving education in her constituency and developing sports and creative arts as a way of providing jobs for the youth at the place.
“It has not been easy getting to this level from the party primary through to the main election. It has been tough as a young woman going into politics,” she said, adding that what helped her was her social work in the constituency and the fact that she had lived with the people of Cape Coast North for most part of her life, teaching at the Wesley Girls’ Senior High School for the past 12 years.
Another fresher was the NPP MP-elect for Sefwi Akotombra in the Western Region, Djornobuah Alex Tetteh, who also made history for winning the seat for the first time on the ticket of the party.
He said the NPP indeed won the Juaboso and Suaman seats in the region but the incumbent NDC MPs managed to rig the election in those constituencies and therefore called on the party to contest the results.
Some of the newly elected MPs who came to register yesterday were Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (NPP) for Ofoase/Ayirebi; Mavis Nkansah-Boadu (NPP) for Afigya Sekyere East; Naana Eyiah Quansah (NPP), Gomoa Central; Cynthia Morrison (NPP), Agona West; Elvis Morris Donkoh (NPP), Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese; Eric Osei-Owusu (NDC), Afram Plains South; Babara Oteng-Gyasi (NPP), Prestea-Huni Valley; Angela Ofori Alorwu-Tay (NDC), Afadjato South and Geoffrey Kini (NDC), Nkwanta South.
More than 100 MPs-elect were able to register yesterday. Registration continues till Friday, December 23.
Meanwhile, the Sixth parliament will resume today to complete its work before its dissolution on Friday, December 23.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr/DAILYGUIDE