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Opinions of Friday, 12 January 2024

Columnist: Abdul Jaleel Suleiman

Is the die actually cast for Francis-Xavier Sosu?

Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, MP for Madina Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, MP for Madina

The unfolding events in Madina constituency seem to set in motion the process to fulfill a prophecy that warned the National Democratic Congress (NDC) about the danger of losing Madina parliamentary seat.

In his New Year's message, Nigel Gaisie of the Prophetic Hill Chapel listed about twenty prophecies that were largely about Ghanaian politics, specifically on the 2024 general elections.

The revered man of God couldn't have singled out Madina parliamentary seat, out of sheer folly, as part of what has been divinely inspired to him through "prophetic inspiration, dreams and motivation".

In Madina, the choice of a candidate for any of the two major political parties, NDC and NPP, has always been driven by ethnic and religious sentiments. The constituency has witnessed the manipulation of ethnicity and religion by power brokers to remove one candidate surreptitiously and replace him or her with another.

The NDC camp this time started with agitations by some supporters of one Prince Moses Zakaria, a parliamentary aspirant who was alleged to have been unfairly disqualified by the Greater Accra Regional Vetting Committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on grounds of what has been described as the aspirant's failure to pass eligibility criteria to participate in the primaries.

The elimination of Prince Zakaria from the race was not taken lightly by his sympathizers as they believe it was through machinations suspected to have been orchestrated by the sitting Member of Parliament, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu in order to get him declared to contest unopposed.

The constituency committee refuted the allegation and described it as unfounded as members of the committee had no interest in eliminating aspirants from the race.

Aggrieved by the decision of the regional committee, Prince Zakaria decided to register and contest as an independent candidate for Madina parliamentary seat. Already a grassroot political activist with expertise in social mobilization, he managed to win over the youth and a section of the constituency executive of NDC, with his message of unity, social cohesion and societal decency.

To curb the looming disquiet and preempt any backlash, the constituency executive decided to go after members of the party who were suspected of supporting the independent candidate, an act they considered as running counter to the party's rules and regulations.

Suspension letters were hurriedly issued out to these suspected former members of the executive including chairman of the Zongo caucus, Alhaji Yakubu Tallie, former MP of the constituency, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, the two former constituency chairmen, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed (Baba Pantang), and Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman (Survivor), as well as a number of campaign foot soldiers.

In a statement released to the media, the constituency secretary, Razak Hussein confirmed the mass suspension of their members for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities.

The constituency office had a daunting task of explaining the rationale behind its decision to the rank-and-file members and supporters of the party, and much more to the officials at the regional and national offices who have been skeptical about the capacity of the constituency office to manage and hold the constituency in one piece.

Rather than instilling discipline and order among members, the move exacerbated the already tensed and precarious situation. This unfortunately shook the support base of the party, increased the agitations and further polarized the party followers, thereby playing into the cause and agenda of the independent candidate.

According to the suspended officials, due process was disregarded in the whole exercise to suspend them, and they therefore expected some interventions from the national party office in order to call the constituency executive to order.

As if to hasten the actualization of the New Year's prophecy and prove as true the danger of NDC losing the parliamentary seat, the sitting MP, Francis Xavier-Sosu, dragged a number of NDC officials to court for allegedly defaming him, and sought damages of GhC 300, 000. The MP's action infuriated not only his critics but even some of his ardent supporters.

In the words of one of the former members of the constituency executive, "Sosu seems no more interested in the Madina seat. Obviously, he has achieved his lifetime ambition of owning a house in the US where his entire family have now taken refuge against the occupational hazards of his profession as a human rights lawyer."

"If he was really interested in retaining the Madina seat, he wouldn't take this course of action," the member suggested.

"Don't we have elders in the party? Where is the constituency council of elders?", he queried.

In the opinion of some political pundits in the constituency, this latest move by the MP could be the final nail in the coffin for NDC's efforts and campaign to retain Madina parliamentary seat. Both regional and national NDC offices remain silent over their eroding electoral gains in the constituency and seem unmoved by the danger of relinquishing the parliamentary seat to any of their opponents.