Military being used for confirmation of MMDCEs – Ofosu Ampofo

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo is NDC's National Chairman

National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has claimed that elected assembly members are being denied their constitutional right to endorse or reject persons nominated for the position of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country.

Without mentioning the areas where these happenings are taking place, he alleged that in some areas, the military and other security officers are being used to block some assembly members from having access to the auditorium where the voting is taking place to perform their duties.

He made these allegations when the presidential candidate of the NDC in last year’s elections, Former President John Dramani Mahama met the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs as part of his thank you tour on Tuesday October 12.

He said “You recall that His Excellency President Akufo-Addo  sometimes in the last  term,  proposed amendments to  the Local government  Act  and proposed that  the local government system should be partisan. Those of us here  opposed vehemently  that we will want  to persevere  the nonpartisan nature of our  district assemblies. So, there was  a very intense debate  when a referendum was  proposed  and because of the  position that we canvassed  and convinced Ghanaians  finally, the president  had to withdraw and then referendum never took place.

“Recent development  in the appointment and approval of MMDCEs  vindicate our position  that if we make  local government  system partisan  we will further polarise  this country  and we will to be able to even  put our citizens  together to undertake development projects .

READ ALSO:  Nkoranza South NPP office vandalised following MMDCE nomination

“Why am I saying so?  Only last Sunday  in one district assembly  when 38  people were supposed  to go and endorse  municipal, chief executive  on Sunday  some government appointees were put together  and one or two people were added  and military and  security agencies  provided them  escort to go and approve  somebody who has been appointed  as a DCE.

“The elected assembly members  were prevented from  exercising  their constitutional right  and this is a sad commentary for local governance  which for me  is the heart beat of   the  chiefs when it comes to the governance architecture of this country.

“It did not happen in that place alone, in several  other places  elected assembly members  are prevented and  because the clause says that  two thirds  present and voting  so they will he  elected members and  cordoned off a few people  and say  they are the only people who came  and they have voted  and so somebody has been declared  the DCE.

“I think we are bastardising our local government system and I will plead with the chiefs that in your deliberations take these matters into consideration because our democratic dispensation, the pillars upon which our democracy revolves is the decentralisation and the local government system of which the chiefs are part.”

Mr Ofosu Ampofo is not the only one making this claim.

Members of Parliament for Cape Coast North and Cape Coast South constituencies have also accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of using security forces including thugs to intimidate Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) members perceived to be members of the NDC to confirm the president’s nominee of Chief Executive.

READ ALSO:  MMDCEs polls: Monetization must end – Majority Leader

According to the MPs, Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan of Cape Coast South and Kwamena Mintah Nyarku of Cape Coast North, the NPP have devised several means to ensure that Ernest Arthur is forcefully confirmed.

The 2020 NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Cape Coast South has failed twice to get two-thirds majority votes of assembly members after being renominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Mr Arthur, popularly known as Mayor 1, needed only four votes on Wednesday, October 6 in a second voting on his renomination to be confirmed Chief Executive.

But not even an impassioned gesture by the Central Region Minister, Marigold Assan, will move some assembly members to vote for him.

Others had accused NDC’s Ricketts-Hagan of masterminding his defeat.

He had polled 34 ‘Yes’ votes in the first voting on Monday, September 27, a marked departure from the 99 percent he polled in 2017 when he was nominated for the first time by the president.

Addressing journalists on Monday, October 11, the day initially rumoured for the third and final voting, the two NDC MPs said the two-time rejection of Mr Arthur is a clear indication that he is not wanted by the good people of Cape Coast as mayor.

“There is no law in the constitution that the President should re-present or renominate the candidate. However, the President in his prerogative can renominate a failed nominee,” former Deputy Finance Minister Ricketts-Hagan admitted.

“Mr Ernest Arthur has been nominated twice and twice have the people of Cape Coast rejected him through their assembly representatives. Cape Coast has refused emphatically for Mr Ernest Arthur to be their MCE after four or almost five years to continue as MCE and the assembly has reflected these sentiments of the people they represent.”

READ ALSO:  Summon Roads Minister to account for losses on abolished – Fmr Roads Minister

They claimed the NDC will resist all attempts by government to use institutions such as the police and NPP’s Invisible Forces to intimidate assembly members.

“We will make sure that nothing less than free and fair elections is what happens here in Cape Coast,” said Mr Mintah Nyarku.

They said any bloodshed in the ancient capital will be put on the head of the government.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana