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Nature probably foresaw what was rolling towards everybody. Assin North constituency will hold the magic wand and the Midas touch to decide which direction the whole nation may take. With just days to go for a crucial by-election in the constituency, the toss of the coin to decide which of the two major political parties controls parliament rests on the shoulders of voters in the constituency.

Unknown to all the schemers, former President Mahama already have some deep roots in the Assin North constituency. He built a special relationship with Assin North during his tenure of office, thus laying a strong foundation for the bonds between himself and the people, which his party could benefit from at this crucial hour of necessity.

Back then, it was not in the slightest of imaginations in the former President, John Mahama what lay ahead. Nearly ten years ago, Mahama started visiting Assin Praso to hold parties for children in the town, and to have personal interaction with town folks. This was not done once or twice but on many occasions at which he marked his birthdays at Assin Praso.

The special presence of a Head of State in the Assin North constituency between 2014 and 2016, was so alluring that people in neighbouring towns such as Assin Manso, Fante Nyankomase and others joined all the durbar held in his honour to fraternize with him.

The fulcrum of the relationship, Assin Praso later won the accolade ”Ghana’s neatest village or rural settlement.” It was a by-product of President Mahama’s affinity with the place. It induced community service in the inhabitants who resolved to maintain clean sanitation. This became the welcome gauntlet for their special visitor. This title conferred on rural settlements by a national panel is few and far between, thus since 1997, other previous winners have been Agomeda and New Ningo of Greater Accra région as well as Assin Kushea in the Central region.

Président Mahama channelled development projects to most Assin areas, promising to build a little “hut” at Praso where he could spend part of his time after he had left the presidency and was on retirement. His constant interest in the area elicited the cordiality of the chiefs and people of the town who graciously declared their intention of granting him a piece of land and the status of citizenship.

The whole affair looked radiant for the simple reason that the President who is not a native of Assin North constituency had chosen a town there for the symbolic hybridization of his hometown, Bole in Ghana’s northern Savannah region and the other he had adopted in the Central region.

It has run in full circles now, as one of the most important elections ever to be conducted in Ghana will take place there, in which the people of Assin North will decide whether the ruling NPP or the opposition NDC will have that extra man in parliament to tip the scales in the law-making body.

Decision time in Assin North by-election. Will the people reward Mahama with a good handshake, or they will embrace new friends in NPP?

Their proxies are James Gyakye Quayson of the NDC and Charles Opoku of the NPP respectively. If the NDC candidate wins, it could be the Mahama factor as he had built foundations for positive friendship years back without knowing a time will come one day when their solidarity will count, in the most significant ways, and in such heightened fashion. Here we are now, the area has become the life-blood, and the live wire of the key political parties and national direction.

For the NPP, a vote in its favour will simply suggest an endorsement of the party’s stewardship in government so far. Assin North is clearly the case of a past casting a long foreshadowing into the present. Will it tickle the old adage “one good turn deserves another”, judging from the Mahama perspective, or the turn of the one wielding the most resources by virtue of being the party in power?

Story By Napoleon Ato Kittoe

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