Three giants pursue the giant killer: Will Akwatia NPP rescue Ama Sey? Featured

Three men have gone through vetting and won the right to contest the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries in Akwatia slated for 25 April. The three men, Bernard Owiredu Donkor, Ernest Yaw Kumi and Robert Boateng Ampratwum, will be standing against the sitting MP and the only woman in the race, Mercy Adu Gyamfi.

Ama Sey, as Ms Adu-Gyamfi is popularly known, ousted the vibrant NDC MP for the area, Baba Ahmed Mohammed Jamal, in the 2016 election. She polled 21,433 votes, or 57.21 per cent of the valid votes.

Akwatia politics

The Akwatia seat, in the Eastern Region, is a typical swing seat for Ghana. In the Fourth Republic, the National Democratic Congress won the seat twice, in 1992 and 1996, before Kingston Akomeng Kissi, the current Eastern Regional chairman of the NPP, snatched it in 2000.

The NPP maintained the position from 2000 to 2008 until it lost the seat to the NDC in 2012. Dr Kofi Asare, who succeeded Mr Kissi after the latter chose to leave Parliament, lost the seat to the NDC’s Baba Jamal in 2012.

Violence erupts

Dr Asare won the seat narrowly in 2008 in an election marred by ballot box snatching at six polling stations. The disorder prompted a Supreme Court case which led to a rerun of the election at those polling stations in December 2019.

The rerun at the six polling stations triggered some of the worst electoral violence ever in this country. Tension was so high in the constituency that the Ministry of Interior was forced to place a curfew on the town of Akwatia.

Electoral malpractices marred that election and party vigilantes nearly succeeded in taking over. At one polling station, the MP for Okere, Dan Botwe, was prevented by vigilantes, believed to be associated with the NDC, from serving as a polling station agent for the NPP. 

2016 election

In the lead-up to the 2016 general election, the NPP was determined to present a candidate who could defeat Baba Jamal, the then Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

Ama Sey, who had then been appointed the party’s women’s organiser for the constituency following the promotion of Kate Gyamfua to become deputy national women’s organiser of the NPP, decided to run for the party’s nomination to stand for the seat.

Two men, the former MP Dr Asare and Philip Kofi Ankomah, an electrical engineer who had contested and lost four NPP primaries, ran against her in the primaries. This internal election, too, was characterised by such tension that one of Mr Ankomah’s supporters collapsed during counting of the ballots.

Ama Sey won with 311 votes, beating Mr Ankomah (183 votes) and Dr Asare, who managed only 35.

About Ama Sey

A woman with little formal education, Ama Sey and her educational background became hot topics of discussion in the lead-up to the vote on 7 December 2016. A smear campaign was waged against her, with verbal attacks on her personality by the Eastern Regional branch of the NDC. 

Ama Sey is a businesswoman and hairdresser by profession. Before entering Parliament, she was managing director of the Amasey Pharmacy in Kade. She attended Presby Middle School in Akwatia, where she obtained a Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC). In Parliament, she serves on the employment, social welfare and state enterprises committees.

Her supporters believe her abilities to surmount the odds make her the best candidate for the seat. The NPP women’s caucus in Parliament has also thrown its weight behind her.

Bernard Owiredu Donkor

This private legal practitioner is electoral area co-ordinator for the NPP in Akyem Kusi. He holds a BSc in chemistry from the University of Ghana. In university, he served as a member of the Akuafo Hall senate and played in the hall’s men’s football team.

In 2007, he studied French at the Alliance Française School in Accra. In 2009, he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2011. He entered the Ghana Law School that same year and was called to the Bar in 2013. He also holds certificate in insurance claims and reinsurance from the National Insurance College.

The young lawyer taught chemistry and biology at St Thomas Senior High School, Asamankese, and also worked briefly as a quality assurance manager with a food processing company in Tema before pursuing law. He has been involved in such high-profile lawsuits as the Aisha Huang, Kwabenya Police shooting and SSNIT operational business suite cases, among others. He is currently a retainer lawyer for host of organisation, including Denkyembour District Assembly.

Robert Agyenim Boateng Ampratwum

Ing Ampratwum is a certified professional engineer, procurement and contract management specialist, policy analyst and rural development expert. He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Engineering (GhIE), Ghana Society of Agricultural Engineering (GSAE), Project Management Institute (PMI) and Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS). The young man, whose campaign catchphrase is “The Real Game-Changer”, is an old boy of St Augustine’s College, Cape Coast. He also holds a BSc in agricultural engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

After university, he worked briefly in Kumasi at the Adum branch of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).  He later worked at the Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate (AESD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as an assistant agricultural engineer and as district agricultural engineer of Builsa in 2011. Six months later, he was made regional agricultural engineer for the Eastern Region.

He moved to the project office of the MoFA as an agricultural engineering expert in the ministry’s procurement unit, where he has since gained remarkable exposure, experience and contacts while working with international agencies and donor organisations such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Ernest Yaw Kumi

Yaw Kumi is a corporate governance expert with diverse expertise in risk management, logistics and administration, fraud detection and investigation, with strong business acumen. He has over ten years’ specialisation in administration planning and governance, policy and process development and implementation, financial management, leading projects, budget preparation, human resource management, supply chain management and new business generation.

An astute communicator, he is a member of the NPP’s national communications team. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Mountcrest University, an MBA (corporate governance) from the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), a p rofessional certificate in corporate governance from the Institute of Directors Ghana and an executive master’s certificate in business administration and enterprise leadership (specialising in project management, logistics and transport management) from the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership (GSGL).

The security expert also holds a p rofessional diploma in security management and advanced investigation as well as a BSc in port and shipping administration from the Regional Maritime University.

Known as the Akwatia Star Boy, Yaw Kumi has served on several committees in the NPP, including the Eastern Regional youth finance working committee.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 March 2020 14:17

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