The man redefining and looking beyond politics in the Akim Oda Municipality

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The political landscape of Ghana is gradually shifting to all-inclusive governance, with the peasant majority and the working class still backing the political establishments.

It is worth noting that as a democratic republic, the support received from both the working class and peasant majority is considered out of free-will. Over the years, it is becoming increasingly clear that both the peasant majority and working class of Ghana want a new style of politics – and if possible, an alternative political movement.

Although the peasant majority and working class are calling for a new political style, the gap between them is wide and unconsidered in most political manifestoes. For a new political style to be sustainable in the Akim Oda municipality, bridging the gap between the peasant majority and working class is key. In an attempt to bridge such a gap, the youth play a significant and crucial role in development of the municipality.

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The youth constitute a major source of the human capital base that drives economic, cultural, and political development worldwide. The youth’s productive acumen as well as their intellectual abilities, if properly harnessed, underpins social and political development.

The youth development and inclusiveness in the municipality’s political landscape is dicey, because the youth represent immense potential as both threat and opportunity. Political leaders in the municipality calling for change and those seeking to defend the existing order tend to mobilise the youth to undertake their bids.

Against this backdrop, the energies and abilities of young people are exploited positively and negatively through the deployment of various activities in the municipality. Although a section of the youth remains uneducated and unskilled, our politicians promise them far more than their capabilities.

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To deliberately fulfil campaign promises, a considerable number of youth enter the labour market unprepared in terms of education and labour market experience. This phenomenon, coupled with limited employment opportunities, is largely responsible for the high unemployment and underemployment rates among the youth.

In the case of Akim Oda, where elections over the years have not been marred by electoral violence and insecurities, the youth have grown tired with the non-fulfillment of campaign promises made prior to previous parliamentary elections.

Over the years, the parliamentary seat of Akim Oda has been won by New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirants. Prior to selecting the parliamentary aspirant for the NPP, a new ‘political wave’ blew through the youth enthusiasts of the NPP.

The youth saw change in a man who is considered as redefining politics in the Akim Oda municipality. This man is considered a game-changer who nurtured a new political movement among the youth to win the NPP primaries. The question that arises in this scenario is: Why such massive support? and What did this man instil in the youth to warrant such support?

The two questions above are complex to answer – especially for us who were outside his campaign team and monitoring his campaign from afar.    In an attempt to answer the questions posed, we simply asked some of his social media campaigners if their support was merely because the previous parliamentary seat winners were unable to fulfil their campaign promises.

Although some argued as to the lack of development, a chunk of the campaigners based their arguments on ‘the man’s’ policies developed and his work leading to the primaries. To understand his work and policies laid out, we monitored as his campaign progressed to the eve of the primaries. In order not to burden readers with all his work undertaken, we present a synopsis of his campaign promises and achievement.

In his campaign he pledged to improve the constituency’s health system by introducing comprehensive health insurance for the constituents; buy 30 taxis to create jobs for the youth; and ensure an operating factory in the community. Further, he promised to use half of his salary to create a constituency development fund. On an achievement scale, he donated a Nissan Frontier pick-up vehicle to the Akim Oda constituency to ensure ease of movement for the executive members. Among such achievements, his professionalism throughout the campaign stands out. With his collectivism approach, the voice of the youth was heard.

I am sure we are all wondering who this mystery man is. His name is Alexander Akwasi Acquah (AAA), the parliamentary aspirant for the NPP. He is a game-changer who redefined politics in the municipality and looked beyond politics to achieve his goal. Kudos AAA.

Bismark Ameyaw (Ph.D.) is an energy analyst and a top renewable energy expert.

Eugene Abrokwah holds a PhD in Management Science. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Business School, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

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