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Biography Mahama Ayariga

Biography of Mahama Ayariga
Mahama Ayariga

Mahama Ayariga (born 12 May 1974) is a lawyer and politician in Ghana. He belongs to the National Democratic Congress. He was the Minister of Information and Media Relations and the Minister of Youth and Sports under the John Dramani Mahama administration. He is currently the Member of Parliament representing Bawku Central constituency of the Upper East Region of Ghana in the 4th,6th and 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

Early life and education

Mahama Ayariga was born on 12 May 1974 in Bawku in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He was educated in Ghana and Nigeria and the United States of America. He attended the Barewa College in Zaria in Kaduna State, Nigeria. He holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree from the Harvard Law School in the United States of America and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) Degree from University of Ghana, Legon. He was the executive director of Legal Resource Centre in Accra.

Ayariga’s older brother Ayariga Hassan was the presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (Ghana) for the 2012 General Elections in Ghana.

Career

Ayariga is a lawyer by profession. He started his career as a teaching assistant in natural resources law and international law at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana. He also co-founded and was the executive director of the Legal Resources Centre, an organization to promote human rights, community development and social justice.

Political career

Member of Parliament

Ayariga was the member of Ghana’s parliament for the Bawku Central constituency from 2005 but lost his seat in the 2008 Elections to Adamu Dramani Sakande of the NPP. The seat became vacant when Adamu was convicted and jailed by a court for having stood for the election while being the citizen of another country which is against the Ghana constitution. Ayariga recaptured the seat in the 2012 General Elections. He has been elected as the member of parliament for this constituency in the fourth, sixth and seventh parliament of the fourth Republic of Ghana.

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Minister of state

In 2009 when Prof John Evans Atta Mills won the elections, Ayariga became the Presidential Spokesman before he was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Education. Mahama Ayariga was nominated for appointment as Minister for Information by President John Dramani Mahama in January 2013. Mahama Ayariga serves on the Appointments Committee of Ghana 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic.

Elections

Ayariga was elected as the member of parliament for the Bawku constituency of the Upper East Region of Ghana in the 2004 Ghanaian general elections. He won on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress. His constituency was a part of the 9 parliamentary seats out of 13 seats won by the National Democratic Congress in that election for the Upper East Region. The National Democratic Congress won a minority total of 94 parliamentary seats out of 230 seats. He was elected with 18,518 votes out of 38,108 total valid votes cast. This was equivalent to 48.6% of total valid votes cast. He was elected over Amidu Mamudu Sisala of the Peoples’ National Convention, Hawa Yakubu of the New Patriotic Party, Yussif Taiban Kundima of the Convention People’s Party, Sadat Amadu and Abubakar Jibreel Ustarz both independent candidates. These obtained 333, 10,169, 353, 161 and 8,574 votes respectively of total votes cast. These were equivalent to 0.9%, 26.7%, 0.9%, 0.4% and 22.5% respectively of total valid votes cast.

In 2012, he was elected as the member of parliament for the same constituency. He won on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress. He was elected with 24,071 votes out of 43,876 total valid votes cast. This was equivalent to 54.86% of total valid votes cast. He was elected over Awuni Aguuda Joseph of the Peoples’ National Convention, Alhassan Haruna of the New Patriotic Party, Iddrisu Mubarak of the Progressive People’s Party and Ibrahim Zaliya of the Convention People’s Party. These obtained 303, 19,082, 269 and 151 votes respectively of total votes cast. These were equivalent to 0.69%, 43.49%, 0.61% and 0.34% respectively of total valid votes cast.

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Controversy

He Accused Hon. Boakye Agyarko a nominee for the Energy Ministry of paying the minority caucus on the committee bribes for his approval. An AD-HOC committee was set up by the speaker investigated and submitted its report to parliament on March 29, 2017. The report claims Mahama Ayariga could not substantiate his accusation against Mr. Agyarko and therefore should unconditionally render apology to the house. In 2019, there have been controversies about him facing a court trial as it is perceived he has done some wrong to be litigated on in the High Court though there has been some resistance, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye on June 4, 2019, ruled that, the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, be released to stand trial at the High Court (Financial Court) to begin the necessary proceedings against him. In June 2020 the Speaker of Parliament rejected Mahama Ayariga’s challenging the Electoral Commission’s decision to make the Ghana card and passports the sole valid identification for registering to vote in the 2020 elections.

Personal life

Ayariga is married. He is a Muslim. His father, Frank Abdulai Ayariga, also served as member of parliament for the Bawku Constituency during the third republic administration of Hilla Limann.

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