Ayawaso West Wuogon has since 2000 gone the way of the NPP. The last time NDC won the seat was in 96 when Rebecca Akweley Adotey won with a difference of 296. It was even closer between Kuffour and Rawlings with JJ edging it with a difference of 96. The NPP alleged both verdicts were rigged.
Since then, it has been a safe seat for the NPP and one that has over the past given them little reasons to be worried. The margin was almost 8000 in 2016 and it is significant when you look at the fact that the total number of valid votes were less than 38000.
This time, a lot has changed.
What has changed.
1. John Dumelo: it is difficult to be sure about how voters are going to react to the candidature of John Domelo, his background and personality makes it difficult to be sure of what to expect. Is his celebrity status going to sway young voters in a predominantly youthful constituency his way? Celebrities for the most part don’t do well in national elections in our part of the world. However, until they lose, you never know what to expect. The most difficult thing about preparing for a contest is when you are not sure about the strength and weakness of your opponent.
2. His campaign: John Dumelo in my estimation has campaigned more than any parliamentary candidate in Ghana, he has been all over the place, done all it takes to win a landslide elsewhere. If NDC parliamentary aspirant gave half of what John has into their campaign, JM would be better placed to win this.
But this is Ayawaso, all things being equal, his effort should be in vain. But all things are not equal in Covid-19 and my next reason is why his effort could yet pay off.
3. Students were home during registration: NPP have dominated the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency largely because of their dominance in institutions of higher learning acrossthe country. University of Ghana, University of Professional Studies and Accea Teacher Training College have been at the heart of NPP dominance of that constituency. The registration for the 2020 elections took place with most students at home. This means a chunk of NPP votes is spread across the country instead of being centralized to give them advantage in certain constituencies. But for these institutions, Ayawaso West Wuogon would be one of of the key swing regions. That situation has been created, thanks to Covid.
Even without Covid, John would have eaten into that a bit because he identifies with the students, the ladies especially. That though may not have been enough, he is better off without them on campus altogether.
Lydia Alhassan would yet go into this race as the front runner but she is the one who has to be worried, the man down has little fear of falling.
That said, if NDC doesn’t nick it this time, John should either go to his hometown and use that path to Parliament or identify a more keenly contested constituency. The NDC can then effectively forget winning the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat in the foreseeable future.
History is behind Lydia Alhassan but momentum is with John Dumelo.
Time would tell.
Kofi Kyei -Media