A top brass of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and 2016 parliamentary candidate for Chiana-Paga, Clement Dandori, has become the second District Chief Executive nominee to be rejected in the ongoing confirmation process in the Upper East Region.
As many as 28 assembly members voted against his bid Wednesday to become the next DCE for the Kassena-Nankana West in what observers have described as an “overwhelming rejection”. This means Christopher Boabil Somiteyen, the first nominee to suffer a similar misfortune at Talensi earlier in the week, is no longer alone in the wave of disappointment wrecked by assembly members on nominees in the region.
The confirmation session, held at Ghana’s border town of Paga, saw a flawed blend of police officers and some muscular men wearing round-necked black shirts with the NPP logo dabbed in the front and the inscription “security” boldly labeled at the back. Mr. Dandori, who retired as a coordinating director at the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly in the Western Region some years back, garnered 34 votes, representing 54.8% of the 62 votes cast.
“Shame! What a shame!! Each of them took Gh¢400 and still voted against the man and they will still go and eat the jollof rice and the banku he has made them to prepare,” an angry observer, seated in the last row in the hall, babbled at the assembly members after the Electoral Commission had announced the results.
“I’m not disappointed. I have the second chance. Anything can turn. What you see today as a disappointment can be an appointment,” a sad-looking but composed Mr. Dandori, walled by well-wishers, told Starr News exclusively when he stepped out of the venue of the event, wearing a striped smock.
No DCE, no Presiding Member
The event, which had notable figures including former Member of Parliament for Chiana-Paga, Abuga Pele, and Ghana’s Ambassador-Designate to Italy, Paulina Abayage, in attendance, took off with a sharp division in the house over a proposal to elect a Presiding Member for the Assembly before the confirmation of the nominee.
The division lingered, delaying the start of the core business, until the house resorted to the Order 10 Section 7 of the Model Standing Orders for District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies.
The order clearly states: “Where the Assembly is unable to elect a Presiding Member under Article 244 (2) of the Constitution, section 7 (3) of the Local Government Act, 1993 (act 462) and Order 10 (1) of the Standing Orders, the members of the Assembly shall proceed to elect one of their members by simple majority of the members present and voting to preside over the Assembly for the duration of the sitting only”.
The ensuing election saw the two contestants, Solomon Abakari and Sulemana Kukuje, fail to capture the required two-thirds (44 votes) of the total 66 assembly members in the district. Mr. Abakari with 29 votes finished behind Mr. Kukuje who polled 33 votes. A struggle for the appointment of an interim Presiding Member to oversee the confirmation trailed the disappointing outcome. A number of names, proposed by the assembly members, rang out loud in the hall. In the end, Eric Akurugu, the Assemblyman for the Nabango, won and accepted the task to watch over the region’s fourth confirmation exercise so far.
Disappointed Regional Minister vents anger
The results came as a slap in the face of the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, who, before the confirmation process began, had passionately underlined the need for the nominee to be endorsed and a presiding member elected.
“We are delaying development. We are delaying peaceful and good governance in Kassena-Nankana West. Do not allow us to delay development here. Kassena-Nankana West is one of the largest districts. You have the resources. You need to hit the ground running. You have to give the nominee the chance again. Within 10 days, I hope we will come back here for you to endorse him,” Mr. Bukari reacted.
The confirmation of the Municipal Chief Executive nominee for the Kassena-Nankana East is expected to follow later in the day at Navrongo, the capital.
William Aduum, a teacher, would become the first MCE in a region of three municipalities in the Akufo-Addo Government if he sails through. The assembly, with 51 members, is expected to elect a Presiding Member before the confirmation exercise kicks off. The overwhelming shock that stunned Paga on Wednesday, some observers following the trend fear, could rock the pending gathering at Navrongo.
Agnes Anamoo escaped what could have been a crushing electoral ambush Monday after clinching exactly the 13 votes needed to become the District Chief Executive for Nabdam. Earlier, just 1 vote had stood between Christopher Boabil Somiteyen and his confirmation at Talensi. The senior lecturer needed 20 out of the 30 votes cast to cross the pass mark but only 19 thumbprints backed his bid.