The newly elected assembly members being sworn into office
THE DECISION by President Mahama to select some people perceived to be New Patriotic Party (NPP) members, among the government appointees of the newly inaugurated Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), ignited confusion on Tuesday.
Four people, who are widely seen as NPP members but who were selected to be part of the 44 government appointees, include Henry Osei Akoto, ex-assemblyman for Bomso and Comfort Aninkora, former assembly woman, Manhyia.
The rest of the government appointees whose nomination sparked the brouhaha were Sarfo Kantanka, ex-assembly man for Atwima Techiman and Eric Osei Assibey, Kwadaso Nsuom.
Some angry-looking National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters in Kumasi strongly registered their protest against the inclusion of these people during the inauguration of the assembly at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi.
They argued that these four people are known NPP supporters who had not contributed to the progress of the NDC in any way therefore, the government’s decision to include them in the appointees list, was in bad taste.
Despite the agitation by the NDC members, the four persons were still allowed to swear the oath of office alongside the other 147 members of the assembly, which was supervised by a Supervising High Court Judge, Adzagli Gibson.
Sources at the event venue alleged that the four people lost their seats in the assembly polls but they were eager to be part of the new assembly, so they were made to cross carpet to the NDC before they were given slots in the government appointees list.
It was even rumoured that they had been issued with NDC cards which confirms their defection to the ruling political party.
Meanwhile, most of the 44 government appointees were made up of known NDC communicators in Kumasi, notable among them were Francis Dodovi, Raymond Tandoh, Brogya Genfi, Sammy Gyamfi, Wallas Ababio and Abass Nurudeen.
Okro Mouth Members
Kojo Bonsu, the Kumasi Mayor, in his address, sternly cautioned the assembly members against taking issues in the assembly to the media, noting that such bag behaviour could prevent the assembly from carrying out its set objectives to develop Kumasi.
He tasked them to put aside every consideration, including political affiliation, and work together to transform Kumasi so that the people who elected them as their representatives, would not regret casting their ballots for them.
“If there are any issues we are not clear about, let us find out the facts from the relevant quarters instead of taking to the airwaves only to muddy the airwaves to the embarrassment of the Kumasi Metropolis, for a house divided shall never stand,” Kojo Bonsu admonished.
Lt. Gen. Seth Kofi Obeng (Rtd), ex-Chief of the Defence Staff, who represented President Mahama, charged the assemblies to be innovative enough to mobilize funds to develop their localities and refrain from over-reliance on government funds for developmental purposes.
He admonished the assembly members not to be self-centered but rather have the interest of their people at heart to ensure development, adding that environmental issues should be the concern of the various assemblies in the country.
Lt. Gen. Kofi Obeng announced that government is currently in talks with the Chief Justice to come out with a special court to deal with environmental offenders, tasking the assemblies to tackle the upsurge of slumps in the country.
The Asantehene’s representative, Oheneba Adusei Poku – the Akyempimhene – charged the newly inaugurated assembly to make job creation and revenue collection its major prerogative.
Meanwhile, the assembly failed to elect the next Presiding Member (PM).
Nana Kofi Senya polled 68 votes as against Nana Adjei Kesse, the Adumhene’s 65 votes.
The winner should poll two-thirds of the total valid votes. The election was postponed to two weeks’ time.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi