I paid assembly members to become MCE even though I was competent – Ex MCE

Former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Akuapem North Dennis Miracles Aboagye, has cleared the air on what goes on in the local government elections in the country, saying vote buying are a reality with the process as he had to settle the assembly members in his municipality in order to win even though he was a competent candidate.

He pointed out that the few members of the municipalities who are entrusted to decide who should be the leader of the local government could base that decision on monetary considerations from the candidates in order to decide who becomes the chief executive of the local authority.

Mr Aboagye however stated that there are few districts where the members just decide to sit and vote for their leader based on development without any financial considerations attached to their choices.

He said in other places the decision to elect the local authorities is based on partisan reasons and against them on personal vendettas, rancours and resentments simply because such districts are the strongholds of the opposition party.

Mr Aboagye pointed out with the local government election process that a district can have a nominee who is competent and development oriented but if he/she doesn’t pay the few assembly members voting to elect them, the development of a whole district is held for ransom.

He said if the aspirant does not pay what is termed as “T & T” and “refreshments” money, it will be communicated that they came to the aspirant to listen to him/her on why to vote for him/her but offered them no refreshments nor transportation fare back home.

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The former MCE of Akuapem North further disclosed that the members communicate the amount of money they are going to charge to the nominee and coordinate the amount to other districts to base their decision or request on what has been paid to other members.

Mr Aboagye asked what will be the outcome of some nominees who are required to pay as much as GHC 5000 to 70 assembly members, where will he/she get that money from?

He said the charge and cost that comes with being a local chief executive of the local authority can affect the soundness of their minds because if one spends an amount of GHC 100,000 to go and occupy the office as the DCE, there is no way that person can recoup his/her funds in that position.

He made this observation in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, October 18.

Mr Aboagye was speaking on the backdrop of the local government elections ongoing across the country after the President submitted his nominees to be voted and approved by their assembly members in the various districts in Ghana.

“We are talking about the local gains now, the assembly system is what I am talking about now. The few members who are supposed to take decisions on behalf of the bigger population are what I am talking about, there are districts where they go and sit to vote hundred percent and they leave, they say we want development, we want progress. There were those when you listen to them you hear resentments, vendetta and what have you. 

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“These are realities that are there, they are endemic, they have been there for a very long time, probably it’s just because we now have social media and citizen reporting so we are highlighting it but it’s been there, when I was going for my nomination it was there, I had to give assembly members money even though I could deliver, I will not hide it”, he pointed out on the New Day show.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana