…Over Delay In Appointment of Mayors
As the indulgence of President Nana Akufo-Addo in frivolities, including hosting lavish Presidential parties with custom-made drinks embossed with his name, exposes his claim that his government is in a hurry for the fanciful talk that it is, a seeming incompetent ambivalence over the appointment of Mayors is stirring up displeasure.
The chiefs and people of Cape Coast in the Central Region are beside themselves with anger that after the first 100 days in office, the President has not been able to appoint a mayor for the metropolis, which is crucially needed to administer the metro’s affairs.
With the administrative machine consequently running in slow motion in Cape Coast, the chiefs and people there are wondering if this President, who makes time to hang out with former presidents of the country, is serious at all.
This sentiment is more than shared by the chiefs and people of Tema who have been shocked by a snubbish gesture by the President, as Akufo-Addo brushes aside demands for an indigene of Tema to be appointed as Mayor.
Rather than a son, or daughter of Tema, the Flagstaff House recently sent one Naa Adukwei, a native of Accra, to the Tema Traditional Council, to introduce herself to the Tema Mantse, Dr. Nii Adjei Kraku ll, and his elders, as the Mayor-nominee for the Tema metropolis.
The development, which is a bold snub to longstanding demands by the Traditional Council that a Tema indigene be made Mayor has left a sour taste in the mouth and set the TTC on a collision course with the Akufo-Addo government.
With the TTC feeling disrespected by Akufo-Addo, the cue has been delivered to the General Assembly of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly to reject the nomination of Madam Naa Adukwei.
The foregoing makes for a clear future protraction of the pendency of the appointment of a mayor which has already delayed for too long.
Sources say the situation has led to a groundswell of anger and disappointment among New Patriotic Party adherents of Tema nativity, who, may revolt or even cross carpet to the opposition National Democratic Congress if the President pushes through his unpopular choice.
On 9th March 2017, the Flagstaff House had vetted some four people and arrived at the conclusion that one Charles Boateng, a non indigene of Tema, would be appointed Mayor.
The Tema Traditional Council had responded with a press conference to protest.
Nii Amarh Somponu, Stool Secretary of the Tema Traditional Council, had underscored the protest by pointing out that even though Tema has natives who are well educated and qualified, all major national agencies and institutions in the metropolis are headed by non indigenes.
He had explained that that was an insult to the self-worth of the Tema people and demanded that in show of respect to the indigenes of the harbour city, an indigene be nominated as Mayor.
However, President Akufo-Addo, at the time, had been constrained to pencil down Charles Boateng because out of four short-listed candidates, the two indigenes among them were not qualified enough.
With Benjamin Ashitey, holding an HND in Marketing from the Accra Polytechnic, now pursuing a degree at GIMPA, and Felix Anang Do-Mensah, commanding a Post Graduate Diploma from the Ghana Nautical College, it was obvious that the indigenous people available to the President were not up to qualification. This left non-indigenes, Charles Boateng and one Ray Yeboah in favorable position to be nominated Mayor.
However, the TTC’s press conference that had demanded for an indigene scuttled the nomination that was about to take place. Soon after, the ensuing cold war between the Flagstaff House and the TTC threw up evidence that the two unqualified natives presented to Akufo-Addo were not the only native materials available.
It came to light that among the 13 people that had originally applied for the job were two highly qualified natives – Ishmael Anum Mensah, who holds a Masters Degree from the Institute of Local Government Studies (KNUST), and one Kofi Appo, who holds a Degree in Electrical Engineering.
However for some reason, an influential party hawk within the Greater Accra NPP had removed them from the short-list that had been presented to the President creating the impression that the only qualified natives are those with low academic credentials.
This was said to be part of a scheme to get Charles Boateng nominated as Mayor. However, the TTC which was said to be backing Ishmael Anum Mensah resisted the move to nominate the non- indigene as Tema Mayor. Apparently, the Flagstaff House was constrained to back down on the Charles Boateng move after the TTC protest.
It is while everybody is looking forward to the Flagstaff House announcing a native as nominee that the Tema Traditional Council was slapped in the face with the introduction of Madam Naa Adukwei, a non-indigene from Accra, as the pencilled nominee of the President.
The TTC is said to have since expressed displeasure, leaving likelihood in the air that the protracted delay over the appointment of the Mayor of Tema is going to delay even more.
Observers are disappointed that this delay has even happened at all, given that Tema is the most important industrial city of the country, with the metropolis almost enjoying a regional status.
Indeed, in a demarcation of regional jurisdictions for most state security agencies, including the Military, Bureau of National Investigations, Police and Fire Service, Tema is treated as a region on its own.
Observers are therefore intrigued that the President is finding it difficult to name a mayor for the metropolis.
The TTC has pointed out however that the nomination should be easy for the President since the nomination of natives has been the case in all other Metropolitan Assemblies around the country that have had their chief executives in place.
Amidst the pendency of the nomination, many rumours have hatched and flourished over the issue, with one line of the tale claiming that some MPs of the ruling NPP, including Assin Central’s, Ken Agyapong, are part of the President’s constipation over the matter due to serious lobby and arm-twisting for girlfriends to be made Tema Mayor.
Jacklyn Bonsu, an alleged girlfriend of Ken Agyapong, is said to be very hopeful that she will be the next Tema Mayor even though she is not a native because her lover is an important bankroller of the party and a well known guru.
However, Jacklyn is said to be in a bruising girlfriend competition for the job because one, Adjoa Amoako, believed to be lover of Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, NPP’s Tema West MP, is also said to have her man lobbying on her behalf.
When the paramount chief of Tema, Dr. Nii Adjei Kraku II, was contacted on phone for his comment, he told this reporter that it is unfortunate that the indigenous people are not getting the cooperation of the parliamentarians in the metropolis on the choice of MCE.
He pointed out: “It is known to the BNI and NPP gurus at the Flagstaff House that we have a marketing officer, an electrical engineer, a unionist in the Maritime Industry and a local government expert who have all served the party in various capacities,”
“President Akufo-Addo is a clever politician and I am highly optimistic that he will follow his conscience just as his great father did. By the way, who gave you my number? Some of you journalists are liars. Next time, come to my palace. Bye,” Nii Adjei quipped.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com /Fiifi Samuels