Immediate past Metropolitan Chief Executive for Tema, Hon. Isaac Ashai Odmtten, has his eyes on the Tema East Parliamentary seat and is lacing his boots to contest for the 2020 Parliamentary ticket of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), it has been revealed.
A group of NDC gurus who made this revelation at a press conference in Accra, are hailing the coming of Hon. Ashai Odamtten, a respected indigene of Tema, whose candidature will finally create opportunity for the NDC to present “a son of the soil” to the voters of Tema.
“All around the country, the wind of change is blowing because the NPP government has failed miserably. In our little corner here in Tema, the wind is in the form of calls on Hon. Odamtten to rescue Tema from Titus Glover and it is with pleasure that I announce to you, that Hon. Odamtten will surely stand up for the NDC in the coming election,” Gilbert Ibrahim, a leading member of the NDC in Tema announced to tumultuous applause from his audience.
Mr. Ibrahim, who is an aide to Hon Ashai Odamtten said the former Mayor, who is currently domiciled in the US where he works as a University Don, will soon return to the country and formally make a stake.
The development puts the re-election prospect of three-time unsuccessful NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Tema East, Kempes Ofosuware, in danger. In the past decade, the Tema East NDC Parliamentary ticket had been dominated by Kempes, who never managed to unseat the NPP’s Titus Glover.
According to analyses, the main reason Kempes has not been able to annex the seat in spite of three fine opportunities given him by the NDC is his lack of indigenous credentials. A paternally Akyem man who hails from Ossinor in the Eastern Region, Kempes is viewed by many voters as a stranger. His nemesis, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover of the NPP, is not strictly an indigene of Tema himself as he too actually hails from Ga Mashie in Accra. However, compared to Kempes, Titus is seen as more Ga than Kempes, because while Kempes is maternally a Ga, Titus is not only Ga by total parentage, but has his grand mother hailing from Tema.
Over the years, this ethnic factor has played against Kempes and the NDC. Available information indicates that the 23 clan houses of Tema are now very desirous of having one of their own on the seat, a thing that is playing in favor of Hon. Ashai Odamtten, a respected former MCE whose father hails from Tema.
Kofi Mensah, an activist of the NDC who fielded some questions after Gilbert Ibrahim had given the main address, explains that an added advantage that the NDC would derive from an Isaac Odamtten candidature is that, the man is maternally a Fanti. “So while his father’s people will vote for him, the non-Ga Community in Tema too can relate to him,” he said.
Mr. Mensah revealed that the press conference to announce the intent of Hon. Ashai Odamtten to run for the Tema East seat had filtered through to both Titus Glover and Kempes Ofosuware and that this was a source of panic for them.
“If you look around the media, you would realize that a certain allegation that Hon. Odamtten embezzled some ghc5.6million of the Assembly’s money has suddenly emerged and we are told that EOCO is investigating the matter. I can tell you for a fact that this allegation is the doing of the sitting NPP MP, Titus Glover and Kempes Ofosuware,” Kofi Mensah said.
He said, the two of them have realized that they do not have a chance in 2020 if Hon. Ashai Odamtten runs for Parliament, “and so they have teamed up in a marriage of convenience to destroy Hon. Odamtten so he can’t run for MP.”
He said in the scheme to discredit Hon. Odamtten, Kempes and Titus are using the current MCE for Tema, Felix Mensah Anang-La, as point man. Mr. Anang-La is reported to have detected the supposed embezzlement of the money by his predecessor and reported the matter to EOCO.
Interestingly, the newspaper which broke the story, also reported that even though the current MCE’s allegations included claim that his predecessor had siphoned money by giving revenue collection contract to a private company, the new MCE did not abrogate such contracts.
“All of a sudden when information started coming that Hon. Odamtten will come and run for MP, Mr. Anang-La has found his voice, after almost two and a half years in office and reported a supposed embezzlement. All this while what was he doing?”
Mr. Kofi Mensah also questioned why the current MCE had not first called his predecessor to thrush out things with him before going to report him to EOCO.