A total of thirty-six candidates, including eight incumbent Members of Parlia- ment (MPs), have filed their nominations to contest the 2016 parliamentary primaries in the Upper West Region on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Two veteran MPs, namely, Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, Minister of Defence and MP for Nandom, and Mathias Puozaa, MP for Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, decided not to contest the primaries.
In the Wa Central Constituency, the incumbent and Minister of State responsible for Public Private Partnership (PPP), Dr. Abdul- Rashid Pelpuo is being challenged by four other candidates, including Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister.
The rest of the Wa Central seat contestants are: Iddrisu Mahama, former Upper West Regional Director of Education, Wahidu Banpuori Iddrisu and Jamaldeen Kukurah.
One of Ghana’s longest serving Members of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, Majority Leader in Parliament and MP for Nadowli-Kaleo, is being challenged by three others.
They are Roger Gaalee, a lecturer at the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), John Baptist and David Jawara Banye.
Joseph Yiereh Chireh, a veteran MP is contesting the primary with Seidu Tungbani, a former District Chief Executive and Pharuk Bandanaa in the Wa West Constituency.
For the Sissala West Constituency, incumbent Alhaji Amidu Sulemana who doubles as the Upper West Regional Minister, is being challenged by Madam Mary Hagbana Abu Azantilow, a businesswoman.
The Wa East MP, Ameen Salifu, has his second term ambition in Parliament being threatened by no person than Dr. Henry Seidu Dannaa, the Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs Minister, who is seeking to enhance his Curriculum Vitae (CV) as the first visually impaired minister, and hopefully MP as well.
Mathias Puozaa retires as MP for Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, giving way to four other candidates, namely: Abu Kabiebata Kansangbata, former Deputy Upper West Regional Minister; Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, Lawra District Director of Health Services, and Lt. Col. Bathuure Walter (rtd) as well as Mr. Michael Kombor.
Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, MP for Nandom, has also withdrawn from the race, and given his blessings to Cuthbert Baba Kuupiel, Nandom District Chief Executive to contest Dr. Richard Kun-Ere, a former National Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service and Dr. Luke Anle-Ere, to battle it out for the position.
Edward Dery Kaale-Ewola, MP for Lambussie Constituency is gunning for the seat with Macelleneus Kandy Welber.
Bede Ziedeng, a former Upper West Regional Minister and Pascal B. Dery, Lawra District Chief Executive would be challenging Samson Abu, the incumbent, for the Lawra seat.
In Sissala East, Madam Alijata Sulemani is facing stiff opposition, as four other candidates, namely, Madam Jamilatu Ibrahim; Johnson Juasuglo Sabbour, Sissala East District Chief Executive, Mohammed Bataglia Issah and Nuhu Limann have filed their nominations to unseat her.
The Jirapa Constituency has Dr. Francis Bawaana Dakurah, former MP, Madam Vivien-Nelly Kunko, former District Chief Executive, Charles Lwanga Puozuing, a lawyer, battling to reclaim the seat from Paul Derigubaa, an independent MP for the Jirapa Constituency.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa, Adams Mengu Issahaq, NDC Upper West Regional Organiser, urged the candidates to base their campaigns on ideas and not on personalities.
The party needed everybody on board after the primaries, hence anything that could cause in-fighting within the party must be avoided, he pleaded.
Mr. Issahaq appealed to delegates to vote for candidates who would campaign on ideas that would bring development to the people, and not those whose acts could bring disunity to the rank and file of the party in the various constituencies.