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‘I pity Prez Akufo-Addo’ – Okyem Aboagye reacts to MMDCEs election violence

Former Member of Parliament for Bantama, Daniel Okyem Aboagye has decried the violence and confusion that characterized the recent confirmation of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) across the country.

He said the situation whereby some Assembly Members, and in some cases, MPs were prevented from taking part in the confirmation process dents the democratic credentials of the country, saying that was not the vision of the appointing authority—President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The Controversies

Acts of violence, brutalisation, and intimidation characterised the approval of the MMDCEs in some parts of the country, with the highest recorded in the Greater Accra Region.

In the Assin South District, for instance, heavily armed police officers prevented legitimate voters from taking part in the confirmation process. In the Awutu Senya West District, journalists were prevented from monitoring the confirmation process by police officers.

Dan Botwe is Minister for Local Government

There was overvoting in the Cape Coast Metropolis in the Central Region although some Assembly Members did not take part in the process.

Security Expert David Agbee has condemned the act and asked the government to take responsibility of the nasty acts that were recorded and proceed to sanction government officials whose names are connected to the violence and intimidation.

But speaking on Critical Issues on Accra-based UTV, the politician and entrepreneur noted that he believed the chaos was not what the president envisioned, nonetheless, it did not go well as planned because some persons had to use all means possible to achieve their selfish gains contrary to what ought to have been the right way of confirming MMDCEs.

Asked how he arrived at his posture, Okyem Aboagye stated, “Leadership is hard. Sometimes I pity President Nana Akufo-Addo.

“The people that follow you, as a leader, do not see the dream you have; they sometimes do not appreciate your vision and that is why some of these things happened. Even me, I struggle with the little businesses I am doing,” the former MP revealed as he condemned the chaos.

Zooming into what could be the solution to the pandemonium that usually mar the confirmation of local authority heads, Okyem Aboagye suggested MMDCEs should be elected by electorates as is with the election of MPs.

To him, the people would be able to elect the people they believe in to represent them so that when such people fail to act on their mandate, the same process could be employed to take them out of office “rather than leaving the confirmation in the hands of some few people.”

Concerns

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament (NDC MPs) have condemned the chaos and called for a re-run of the processes to confirm some MMDCEs.

Addressing the press last month, Ranking Member of Parliament’s Local Government and Rural Development Committee, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, indicated that immediate interventions must be put up by the government to prevent further chaos.

Vanderpuye, with reference to incidents at Assin South, Bibiano Anhwiaso, Sekyere Kumawu, Suaman, Awutu Senya West, Shama, Cape Coast, and Lawra, said those incidents, if not checked, could throw the country and its cherished democracy into anarchy.

Nii Lante Vanderpuye is former Minister for Youth and Sports

“We shall protect the sanctity of our democracy and condemn in no uncertain terms actions of people who we see as “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” the MP added.

The Minority also played video footage showing confusion and prevention of Mr Philip Basoah, MP for Kumawu in the Ashanti Region and some assembly members from entering a voting hall to vote to approve or reject a nominee.

here were other video footages that showed some re-appointed chief executives struggling their way through to be approved while other assembly-members were either given wrong dates, venues and times that deprived them of casting their votes for approval or rejection of the nominees.

The Minority further complained about last-minute replacement of nominees in the Suaman and Awutu Senya West districts, in addition to the use of security personnel to intimidate voters, especially at the Sekyere/Kumawu areas.

And for Shama, the Minority noted that what made its “case more disturbing is that there was an impending court injunction on the process but the government and its agents disrespected the court and went ahead to organise that botched approval.”

The Minority wondered why there should be brouhaha over the approvals, following an eight-month-long wait for the release of the names by the President, who explained that “the delay was to afford a wider consultation with chiefs and all stakeholders before the names were released.”

It promised to haul the District Commander of Police of the Kumawu Area to the Privileges Committee of Parliament, when the House resumes sitting, to explain why the Kumawu MP was prevented from exercising his franchise.

 

By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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