Writes Nkrabeah Effah Dartey
During the era of the National Democratic Congress 9NDC), arguably, the President Mills period, hardly a week passed without hearing in the media that some irate youth in this or that district had ambushed and attacked their District Chief executive (DCE).
It was as if every DCE was sitting on thorns.
If anybody thought the situation will change under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, that person was wrong. Hardly a month passes by without news of trouble for one DCE, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) or another in the now over 200 district assemblies in Ghana.
The latest in the landscape, catalyst for this article, is the unprecedented vandalism that took place in the ordinarily quiet neighbourhood of Kete Krachi, where irate youth forced open the door to the DCE’s office, seized his mobile phones, and physically sacked him from office – the DCE, Osei Nti, was rescued by the Krachi police.
As I write these lines, a Ho High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Baah, has remanded them pending further investigations to reappear in court on June 11 2019. (courtesy GNA)
But hold your breath – reports from the far north eastern town of Bawku indicate that the DCE there, Hawa, is sweating hell, as her own people are trying to remove her vide a vote of no confidence.
Only the Good Lord Almighty knows what is in store for the DCE – will she survive?
I have always maintained that the only solution to this problem of agitation, endless bickering and complaints against DCEs dotted all over the country is to say if you want to be the local governor for the area, file papers, contest openly, and if you win stay in office, run your manifesto and be re-elected, or lose based on your performance – period!
Right now, since 1992, after every general election, so many hopefuls pest the Presidency with applications, deputations and lobbies for appointment as DCE. Once they get the nod and take office, who are they responsible to?
Is it the party, or the Regional Minister, or His Excellency the President, or who?
It is an open secret that some applicants grease certain palms with handsome dole outs, and once in office, they have to recoup their losses.
This is credible, because the President, being human, cannot know ALL the correct good people all over the country. He is forced to rely on trusted party aides, regional ministers, Presidential staffers and a whole lot of advisers who may not necessarily be as saintly as the President.
And so the DCE takes office, yes, a party man, but who is he responsible to? It was His Excellency the President, who appointed him, but he knows truly who his “Godfather” is, and for the people whose daily lives he is supposed to supervise, they can literally go to hell.
There was once a DCE who abandoned the official residence and went to stay with his wife in the regional capital, and was never removed from office.
There was once a DCE who built a brand new personal house six months into office, and there was once a DCE who had 10 taxis in his name in the regional capital,
The message is clear: ELECT every DCE – period!
It is impossible for a DCE directly elected by the people to be so irresponsible with the coffers of the Assembly and survive – the law will force you out.
I urge all MPs to vigorously support the moves by the NPP administration to elect DCEs, because so much pressure will be taken off their shoulders.
Yours is to make laws for Ghana, and the Parliament is in Accra, so go there, but as for those of us here in Kete Krachi or Bawku, Sekondi or Keta, we want water, schools, bridge, whatever…ask the man you voted for to be the DCE – period!
Our democracy will take on a new level and push development faster once every DCE is directly elected.
I cannot wait for that day!