Richard Amegatse: the unconventional candidate poised to cause an upset at Ayawaso West Wuogon

Most political pundits in the country have pinned the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency as not only a flash point in the upcoming 2020 general elections, but one that will be keenly contested.

Richard Amegatse, Parliamentary candidate in Ayawaso West Wuogon

In all the analysis suggesting why the seat will be very competitive, the two main candidates, the incumbent Lydia Seyram Alhassan and famous actor John Dumelo of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are tipped as the front runners.

However, there is one young candidate in the race who is poised to flip the predictions of the connoisseurs and cause one of the biggest upsets in Ghana’s political history. His name is Richard Amegatse.

How he intends to snatch a seat that has been dominated by the ruling New Patriotic Party since 1992? He simply said: “In 2016, the voter population in Ayawaso West Wuogon was over 81,000. The winner Emmanuel Agyarko got 32,000 votes and his closest competitor got 22,000. If you add votes of the total ballots cast, you could see that the number of registered who didn’t vote was more than what the winner got. Though Ayawaso West Wuogon looks like an NPP stronghold, in reality the number of people who didn’t participate in the elections are more.”

“So, I set out to find out why so many people did not vote and once I got the answers, I felt it was right to step out there and be the change the people want.”

The Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency is primarily urban and it is considered as literally the most developed constituency in Ghana. But, according to Mr. Amegatse, there are a lot sanitation challenges in the communities.

Describing it as one of the hindrances he is coming to fix, this young engineer said: “If you see the level of littering in the constituency, it is an eyesore. From Shiashie all the way to Abelenkpe, you can see the massive littering that goes on.”

Based on the abhorrence of this, Richard Amegatse has decided to run a green campaign. By this, he has opted not to print and paste campaign posters of him in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency. “I have decided as a matter of example, decided to run a 100 percent paperless campaign which is a green campaign because I am against that mode of campaigning where politicians use posters to deface peoples walls”, he said.

“And you can see in the community, both my opponents have defaced so many houses and public spaces with their posters. They have also contributed to the massive waste and littering that is going on this constituency”, he added.

One other policy Mr. Amegatse is hoping to institute should he get the nod on December 7 is the contentious issue of regulating visa procurement fees. He recognizes this as one of the main problems in his constituency and should he become a Member of Parliament; he will push for a bill that will require foreign missions to refund some of the monies they collect from individuals who are denied visas.

“The foreign missions make millions of dollars from Ghana and Africa as a whole every year just simply by unfair visa denials. I think some portions of the fee must be refunded. They have prerogative to decide who comes and who doesn’t come to their countries, but they do not have prerogative to make merchandise of our people through visa denial so If I get the nod I will also institute an office that will look into visa issues and help those in my constituency that will want to travel with their documentations.”

On unemployment and most especially youth unemployment, the independent candidate said successive governments have taken the youth of this country for a ride. “Any government that promises that they are going to give a certain amount of job to the youth they are telling lies looking at the current state of the nation.”

“For you to able to create sustainable jobs, you have to industrialize your country, if not all the jobs you will create will be temporary. The reason why there are a lot of jobs in the Western world is that industries are springing up everyday and that’s the way to go in Ghana.”

He bashed the mode of campaigning by his two main opponents – Lydia Alhassan and John Dumelo -- describing it as philanthropy work. “A lot of the things my opponents share on social media of them helping constituents are fake. They are just for the cameras”, he bashed.

“The work of a Member of Parliament is not to do philanthropy work, if I want to do philanthropy work, I will just open an office and do that. The work of an MP is to legislate so I spend most of my time going through the standing orders of Parliament and some of the bye-laws governing this country”.

Richard Amegaste said he will be the next Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon because the constituency is made up of intellectuals and they can see through the façade of both the NDC and the NPP and they will bypass that and opt for him on December 7.


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