The inclusion of the Chief Executive Officer of non-governmental organization JOY Foundation Joy Jocelyn Andoh on the list of aspirants to contest the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primary in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency of the Western Region appears to have saved the party from voter apathy among market women in the constituency.
On Tuesday, March 10 after the regional chairman of the party Francis Ndede Siah had announced that Joy Jocelyn Andoh has been disqualified, scores of traders at the Tarkwa main market were left disappointed and vowed to vote skirt and blouse in election 2020.
“This cannot be happening. We need a woman who understands what compassion is and will work with our interest as her topmost priority. If the woman is not allowed to contest then, NPP is in danger as many of us here will vote skirt and blouse or not vote at all. The party knows we are in the majority here at the market,” a disappointed market woman had said.
Another equally disappointed trader claimed the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency, George Mireku Duker, has not lived up to their expectations and therefore believes that another person should be given the opportunity to be tested.
However, the traders led by their various market queens have had a “change of heart” after the report of the F.F Anto Vetting Committee included Joy Jocelyn Andoh in its list as having qualified to contest.
“The vetting committee has made the right decision. The fortunes of the party would have been affected if Madam Joy had not made the list. We need her. Because since she formed her foundation, she has been phenomenal in helping us stay in business. We have had some loans to help with our trading activities. From what we have seen so far, we are certain that Madam Joy can do more when by the Grace of God, she becomes the MP,” market queenmother Adwoa Amanah said.
She recalled several instances where but for the timely intervention of Madam Joy and her foundation, some traders would have gone out of business and said “it is the one who climbs the good tree who must be helped”.
Auntie Amanah insisted that majority of the traders in the market approve of the open support for Jocelyn Andoh as majority of them support her as well.
According to a very vociferous trader who is known in the market as ‘Mother’, the Member of Parliament promised to institute a Market Day as well as combine all the small markets into one but for the past three years there has not been any effort to fulfil that promise.
“Already, we are disappointed in the MP. So disqualifying Madam Joy would have been double jeopardy for the party. Now, some of the traders who are not NPP mock us every day and question what the MP has done for us in appreciation for voting for him.”
But she said even traders who are not NPP members often speak of the generosity of Jocelyn Andoh and how lucky they are to have her as a party member, stressing “it means if she becomes our candidate we can have votes from all over, whether NDC or NPP”.
“This is someone who has a clear agenda of transformation. Already she has been helping widows, orphans and what have you even when she is not the MP. Testimonies of her good deeds are all over. So, we are convinced that when she comes, she will work on the market for us so that trading activities will improve here”.
For Esi Kwam, leader of the yam sellers, they were more resolute in their decision not to partake in the 2020 elections.
“You should see how goats and other livestock destroy our wares because we sell them on the bare floor, not to talk of the devastation caused by the rains. We also do not have a proper storage facility. In fact, conditions here are very appalling. So, we resolved not to vote again. But the woman has changed our decision. We need her. She will hear our cry and help talk to the right people for the truck carrying our yam to come closer to us here in the market so we can store our yam well and prevent goats from causing havoc.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana