Lobbying for municipal/district chief executives positions intensifies
The position of Metropolitan, Municipal or District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) has over the years become very attractive for most politicians. Apart from being the President’s representative at the metropolitan, municipal and district level, the position comes with a lot of clout and offers the platform for most people to fashion out their future political paths.
Even though constitutionally, it is the prerogative of the President to appoint a chief executive for an area, some political actors have ventured into the business of lobbying for who becomes a Chief Executive since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
The narrative may not be different this year, as some concerned citizens of the Jaman South Municipality in the Bono Region have called on President Akufo-Addo to maintain the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Mr. Alhaji Abuu, in his second term of office.
At a press conference at Drobo, they said the MCE “is the only government representative who has rendered [a] credible account of his stewardship to the people.”
According to the group, “Hon. Alhaji Abuu, through his accountability, has proven to the people of Jaman South that he is a truthful man who has used the little resources given to this Municipality judiciously for the development of the Municipality.”
On the issue of ‘skirt and blouse’ voting that characterised the 2020 General Election in the area, the group noted that the immediate past Member of Parliament (MP), Yaw Afful, was rather responsible for the woes of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and not the MCE, as perceived by some people.
The group also alleged that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, William Okofo Darteh, did not win the seat on merit, as the constituents were fed up with Yaw Afful.
“We can recollect that just after the general election, some few people, for whatever reason which is known to themselves, started accusing the MCE for being behind the skirt and blouse that occurred in this constituency, but it is now evident and very clear to everyone in this Municipality that the MCE didn’t know anything about it,” the group alleged, and added, “rather the MCE worked extra hard for the party to win both the presidential and parliamentary seat.”
Addressing the press, the Secretary of the concerned citizens, Boabeng Clarence, said: “We are now aware that our former MP caused his own defeat but not the MCE, and that it was mere hatred that those few people had for the MCE.”
According to him, said the MP had stood firm inspite of problems, including accusations and insults against him, as well as the camps created within the party.
“The MCE comes through as a unifier of party people, because, inspite of the numerous accusations, insults and the camps created within the party, the MCE has been able to stand firm to this time, and this attitude of his tells us that he is the only person who can bring the party people together again as before to win back our parliamentary seat,” he said.
“This is evident from the various accusations and the insults on him and his family, which he didn’t utter a word or tried to explain, because it could have worsened the situation of the party and the results of the just-ended elections,” he added.
They maintained that this had made Mr Abuu the only person who can unite the party front towards recapturing the parliamentary seat in the next general election.
Mr. Boabeng acknowledged the tenacity of the MCE and his love for the party and people of the area, adding that maintaining him would help fast-track the development of the area.
“Hon. Alhaji Abuu has proven to the good people of Jaman South that he is the only person who puts his party first, even before his own family,” he said.
The group noted that inspite of the major challenges such as the curfew and the Covid-19, if the MCE was able to undertake and finish all these projects within four years, it is for this reason the President should give him four more years to do more.
In the estimation of the group, the people voted massively for the NPP in Jaman South because of Alhaji Abuu, and for that matter the President should maintain him or no one else.
In the Techiman South Constituency in the Bono East Region, some aggrieved youth have predicted doom for the New Patriotic Party if Mr. John Kofi Donyina is maintained as Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area.
They said their stand was based on rumors that the MCE was likely to be maintained, which has incurred the displeasure of the rank and file of the party, taxi drivers, the youth and sympathisers.
The youth described the MCE as “a complete failure”, and also accused him of disrespecting elders and the youth in the area.
They have, therefore, called on President Akufo-Addo to discard any decision to maintain Mr. Donyina if he intends to keep him at post.
In a similar development, the Atebubu Traditional Council, also in the Bono East Region, has called on President Akufo-Addo to consider the reappointment of Edward Owusu as Municipal Chief Executive for the Atebubu Amantin Municipal Assembly “due to his excellent performance during his first term in office.”
The Twafohene of the Council, Nana Ofori Yeboah, speaking on behalf of the chiefs, said the MCE performed well in his first term, and the cordial relationship between him and the chiefs in the area “has yielded fruitful results, hence, our call.”
He mentioned projects and programmes in education, health, roads, potable water, and extension of electricity, sanitation, business centers and employment for the youth jointly executed by the Assembly and the chiefs in the area during Mr Owusu’s tenure.
Nana Ofori Yeboah sounded the Council’s appeal when the acting MCE commissioned a Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound in the Zongo community in the area.
The Queenmother of the Traditional Council, Nana Afua Donyina, also described the acting MCE as “a God-fearing person who seeks unity among the people in the Municipality.”
However, a group believed to be NPP polling agents, has called on President Akufo-Addo to remove Mr. Edward Owusu as MCE due to allegations of incompetence.
The Spokesperson for the group, Mr. Effa Emmanuel, alleged that the MCE “is dividing the party in the municipality. We want him to quit. He is not performing. He is dividing the party and causing the party to lose the seat to the NDC.”
The agents made the call after the Atebubu Traditional Council called on President Akufo-Addo to consider the reappointment of the MCE for excellent performance during his first term in office.
But the NPP polling agents want the MCE removed as they claim he would cause the defeat of the party in the 2024 elections if he is retained.
An Assembly Member in the Dormaa West District, Bright Owusu, has appealed to President Akufo-Addo to consider the good work done by Mary Ameyaa, District Chief Executive of the area, and retain her. He said the DCE had performed extremely well during her first term, and is optimistic that she would do even better if retained.
Addressing a press conference at Nkrankwanta, capital of the district, Mr Owusu, speaking on behalf of other assembly members, stated that changing the DCE would cause a delay in the development and progress of the area, considering her performance since her appointment four years ago.
He mentioned some projects completed during her tenure, which include the construction of staff bungalows for teachers and health workers, a police station, classroom blocks, and a Fire Service Station. Some residents also said the DCE had helped to establish a cordial relationship between members of the NDC and NPP in the area, and that there is a strong bond of unity between them.