It appears the dead-end of the Minister for Railway Development and Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado Ketan constituency, Joe Ghartey as MP is in sight following the decision by his former Constituency Chairman to pick nomination form to contest him.
Joe Ghartey had not had internal contest for the last sixteen years he has served as Legislator for the Essikado-Ketan constituency.
But this time around, he will have no other option than to face his own pal and former Chairman of the constituency, James Obeng for the first time in an internal Parliamentary contest that appears to have taken him by surprise and thus be giving him (Joe Ghartey) a sleepless night.
This reporter can report on authority that if Joe Ghartey does not go to the table to negotiate with James Obeng who is currently the Sekondi-Takoradi NADMO Coordinator for him to withdraw his nomination, he may laugh at the wrong side of his mouth at the internal Parliamentary contest considering the rising popularity of his contender.
Picking a nomination this week Tuesday, James Obeng who has served as two time Secretary and two-time Chairman of the constituency told this reporter he had decided to contest Joe Ghartey because he believes the latter had done his best as Legislator for the last sixteen years.
“I think he has served the constituency for the last sixteen years and he has done his best-he cannot go beyond his best.”
Obeng added it was obvious the MP eye was not on the constituency but on his ministerial work.
This has led to the MP to desert the constituency for which if the MP was allowed to contest again, there was the likelihood the party may lose the seat to the opposition NDC.
According to Obeng, there was the need for change in the candidature of Joe Ghartey considering his loss of popularity and touch with the party foot soldiers particularly the electorates.
Obeng argued that in 2004 when Essikado-Ketan was carved out of the Sekondi constituency and Joe Ghartey first contested the seat, the party won all 55 polling station. In 2008, the party lost two polling stations, in 2012, the party again lost seven polling stations and in 2016 lost nine polling stations.
This Obeng believes should tell anyone this that in every four years, the party’s vote declines. So there was the likelihood that in 2020, “we are going to lose more polling stations because the MP has lost touch with polling station party executives and electorates’.
To Obeng, “if we allow him (referring to Joe Ghartey) to run again we may lose our seat. So I have decided to save the seat from going into the hands of the NDC, a reason I am running against him this time around.”
James Obeng told this paper that the current MP popularity in the constituency has waned to the extent people could hardly identify Joe Ghartey as the Legislator for the Essikado-Ketan Constituency.
“So if I tell you he has lost touch I know what I mean.”
Answering a question as to whether he was not scared contesting Joe Ghartey whom for the last sixteen years he had served as a Legislator had not had any internal contest, Obeng responded: “We have made him who he is today.”
He cannot say the unopposed that he has been enjoying is his own effort. I have been the architect behind it’ But this time around Obeng strongly believe Joe Ghartey will face him for the internal contest.
“I have worked with him and we both know each other strength and weakness”.
James Obeng discounted a question his decision to contest his boss will mar their relationship.
“This should not be a personal issue. Joe Ghartey worked as a lawyer under Nana Akuffo-Addo chambers but he decided to contest Nana Addo for the presidential primaries.”
Source: Kwesi Alfred Adams, Contributor