15 February 2017

Ghana: NPP Man Pulls a Stopper On Nana

The swearing-in of government appointees into the Obuasi Municipal Assembly was put on hold yesterday, following a court injunction secured by one Aaron Boafo against the exercise.

It is unclear what might have motivated Boafo to initiate the action, which was directed against the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), who was to swear in the appointees, and by extension against President Akufo-Addo, who nominated them (appointees).

Anthony Kenneth Buckner, the MCD, would not respond to The Chronicle enquiries, which included a phone call and a text message.

But a source at Obuasi told this reporter that Aaron Boafo, who is the Electoral Area Coordinator for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Obuasi, was peeved that his name was not included on the list and, therefore, decided to halt the swearing-in process.

The Chronicle established that because of the injunction order, the MDC was left with no option than to call off the programme.

The neatly dressed government appointees also had to walk home without achieving the purpose for which they went to the Municipal Assembly.

It is, however, not known whether the local branch of the party (NPP) would go to court to fight the case against one of their own, or the Presidency itself would step in, because the Ashanti Region currently does not have a Regional Minister.

The Minister-designate for the region was only vetted yesterday by the Appointments Committee of Parliament. The President, under the current Local Government Act 462, is required to appoint 30 per cent of the members constituting the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.

Experts are, however, calling for the abolition or scraping of this provision, because its intended purpose has been abused by all the presidents who have served under the Fourth Republican Constitution.

According these experts, the idea for inserting that provision into the Local Government Act was to help recruit professionals such as doctors, engineers, architects and lawyers into the assemblies to ensure their smooth running.

Unfortunately, however, most of the appointments made by past presidents - Rawlings, Kufuor, Mills, Mahama and Nana Addo - are party supporters, most of whom do not even know anything about the local government system.

As a result, some of these appointees go to create confusion, rather than supporting the smooth running of the assemblies.

Some even go to the extent of supporting the elected assembly members to pass a 'vote of no confidence' in the District, Municipal or Metropolitan Chief Executives.

Both NPP and NDC, at a point in time, have had to dismiss these government appointees and replace them with new ones, to ensure peace in the troubled assemblies.

Meanwhile, the Ghana News Agency reports that the newly-elected Presiding Member (PM) of the Tarkwa Nsueam Assembly, Mr Benjamin Kesse, has been sworn into office.

The 42-year-old administrator, and the current Constituency General Secretary for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, was sworn in by Mr Jonathan Nunoo, a Tarkwa District Magistrate.

Mr Kesse was the only candidate who filed his nomination when the Municipal Deputy Electoral Officer, Mr. Edwin Opare, who supervised the exercise, called for interested assembly members to pick their nomination forms.

The Deputy Electoral Officer, therefore, declared Mr Kesse unopposed without going through any voting process to secure 29 votes, representing two thirds of the total membership of 43.

Mr Kesse, in his acceptance speech, expressed appreciation to his predecessor, Mr Joseph Alban-Mensah, and the assembly members, and assured them that he would not betray the trust they had reposed him.

The two-time Assembly Member for Dompim Pepesa Electoral area added that since the assembly was in session, he would serve the unexpired term of his predecessor to speed up development.

He called on all stakeholders to support and correct him when he goes wrong, to help advance the cause of the municipality.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsueam, Mr George Mireku Duker, appealed to stakeholders in the Municipality to assist the Presiding Member in all his endeavours, as far as the activities and deliberations of the assembly were concerned.

"I call on the assembly members to go through the Local Government Act, study it well, so that the submission or debate on the floor of the assembly will be influenced, otherwise, you may come and be found wanting," he stressed

The MP charged the 13 newly-selected government appointees to take their duties seriously, and go through the assembly's standing orders and local government Act to help them make informed decisions.

Mr Duker promised to coordinate well with the activities of the assembly, and be present at all meetings.

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