It is now official. The wife of the slain Member of Parliament (MP) for Mfantseman, Mrs Ophelia Hayford will replace her late husband as the parliamentary candidate (PC) for the constituency in the December general election.
Mrs Hayford got the nod following an overwhelming endorsement by the rank and file at the constituency, regional and national levels of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Following the endorsement, Mrs Hayford who is an Assistant Superintendent in the Ghana Police Service has tendered her resignation as required by the 1992 Constitution to enable her contest the elections.
Mr Ekow Kwansah Hayford, who was the incumbent NPP MP of Mfantseman Constituency and re-elected as the candidate for the upcoming December polls, was killed by suspected robbers last Friday, when he and his campaign team were attacked on their way from a campaign activity within the constituency.
Confirming the replacement, the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, said Mrs Hayford was selected based on the overwhelming endorsement she had from the party hierarchy and faithful in the Mfantseman constituency.
“Yes, it is to a large extent true. I have been to the constituency several times and the whole constituency leadership and party members, the regional executives and the national setup deem it fit that his wife (Ophelia) is the backbone of the husband,” Mr Boadu said in an interview with Accra-based radio station, Joyfm.
Mr Boadu added that “Mrs Hayford knows the constituency very well and considering the large support that the husband had and the kind of difficulties that the constituency is going through, a lot more of the constituents think that we should let the wife continue.”
The NPP General Secretary explained that due to the huge following Mrs Hayford enjoyed she was the apparent choice and the party would soon make formal announcement.
The slain MP filed his nomination at the Electoral Commission one day before his death and the party now has a 10-day window to replace his name with that of the wife.
This is based on provisions in Section 4 of the Public Elections Regulations 2020, C.I. 127, which states that, “Where at the close of nominations, but before the election, one of the candidates dies, a further period of 10 days shall be allowed for nominations”.
Meanwhile, our Central Regional Correspondent, David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, reports from Mankessim that the one-week observation for the late MP would be held today.
The programme has been scheduled for 9am at Kessim School park at Mankessim.
The Mfantseman NPP assistant constituency secretary, Emmanuel Essah Edu, said dignitaries from the NPP, MPs as well as delegations from other political parties and mourners from all walks of life were expected.