The Sagnarigu Constituency, one of the newly created constituencies in the Northern Region which was carved out of the Tamale Metropolitan Area for the 2012 general election, is one constituency that would be hotly contested for in the 2016 general election.
The seat was won by Alhaji A.B. A Fusieni, the current Deputy Northern Regional Minister and a former Night Editor of the Daily Graphic, in the 2012 general election, making him the first Member of Parliament (MP) for the area.
The constituency, with its district capital as Sagnarigu, shares boundaries with the Tamale Metropolis and the Tolon District. It is fast developing into an urban area, thereby changing the political dynamism of the area.
It is also the constituency that hosts some of the educational institutions in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, and notably among them are the two campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS), the Tamale Polytechnic, the Tamale College of Education (TATCO), the Bagabaga College of Education (BATCO) and the Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO).
Although the Sagnarigu Constituency is seen as one of the strongholds of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Northern Region, it could lose that status following recent developments and the popularity of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) parliamentary candidates.
The candidates presented by the NPP and the CPP for the parliamentary elections are Habib Iddrisu, a former media practitioner, and Zelia Issah, an Assembly member in the Sagnarigu District respectively who are popular among the grass roots.
The popularity of the two parliamentary candidates is going to make it a herculean task for the incumbent MP, Alhaji Fusieni, to maintain his seat in Parliament but he has downplayed the threats posed by the NPP and CPP parliamentary candidates.
Aside from the popularity of the two candidates, another issue that Alhaji Fuseini has to deal with in order to retain his seat is the lack of development in some communities in the constituency, notable among them being the construction of roads and the drainage system to check the perennial flooding.
Also in the race is Hawa Musah, a businesswoman who worked with Salad Master, a Food and Nutrition company. She is contesting on the ticket of the United Front Party (UFP) in the constituency and said she was in the contest to cause a stir.
The Daily Graphic visited some communities in the constituency, namely Choggu-Yalpalsi, Sognaayili, Sagnarigu-Kokou and Yalpalsi where some residents complained bitterly about the poor nature of their roads, claiming that their MP has failed to address this challenges and, therefore, they would vote for a change.
According to them, the MP has also failed to help address the poor drainage system in the constituency which leads to perennial flooding in the area.
The Daily Graphic also spotted some concrete slabs on the yet-to-be-constructed Choggu-Yalpalsi road with a bold inscription “We need change. No Road No Vote.”
Madam Zelia, the CPP candidate, said she was confident of winning the seat for the CPP based on her popularity and hard work at the grass-roots level and she believes the people of Sagnarigu would vote for her to address the challenges that they face.
Mr Iddrisu of the NPP said the non-performance of the incumbent MP would make the people give him their mandate to also represent them in Parliament to prove to them what he could do when given the nod.
The incumbent MP has mounted giant billboards at vintage points in the area to enhance his re-election and he has downplayed the effects of the popularity of the two candidates who are contesting him and the issue of lack of development on his fortunes.
Some residents in the constituency who claimed to be supporters of the ruling NDC said they were not enthused about the performance of the incumbent MP and would, therefore, not vote for him but rather for President John Dramani Mahama. They added that “we will vote skirt and blouse in the forthcoming election.”
Notwithstanding the disenchantment by some supporters of the NDC in the constituency, some political watchers claim the incumbent MP will retain the seat for the ruling NDC, since the area remains a stronghold for the party.
In the 2012 general election, Alhaji Fuseini, polled 29,508 votes representing 78.79 per cent, to win the Sagnarigu Constituency parliamentary seat, while the then NPP candidate, Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, secured 6,935 votes representing 18.52 per cent.
The other candidates were Alhassan A. Suhuyini of the CPP who obtained 402 votes; Abdul Jamaldeen Ahmed of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) who secured 371 votes and Abdul Kahar Adam of the National Democratic Party (NDP) who got 235 votes representing 1.07, 0.99 and 0.63 per cent respectively.
Source: Daily Graphic
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