HELL BROKE loose at the forecourt of the Tarkwa Community Centre on Monday when one Collins Paha, an assembly member for Wassa Simpa Electoral Area in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, claiming to be a staunch member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), nearly engaged the Western Regional Organizer of the party, Col. Kaku Korsah (rtd) in fisticuffs.
It all started when the 37 assembly members of the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly who had gathered at the community centre failed to elect a Presiding Member (PM) after the initial three rounds of voting had ended in a deadlock.
In the full glare of assembly members and the public, Mr. Paha was spotted openly insulting members of the NDC, describing them as cowards and bastards.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I say all NDC members here are cowards and I will not leave out anyone. All constituency and regional executives here are cowards. I want someone who is a man to come and confront me, for I will beat that person,Ã¢â‚¬Â the Wassa Simpa assembly member flexed his muscles.
The utterances from Paha apparently angered the regional organizer of the NDC, Col. Korsah (rtd) who confronted him and asked him to shut up; but enraged Paha would not budge, leading to hot exchanges between the two.
But for the timely intervention of some NDC regional and municipal executives who separated them, Paha and Korsah who were at each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s throat would have entered a fee-free boxing arena to sort things out.
No wonder, the two NDC gurus could not help but engage in an open debate, hot verbal exchanges leading to the hurling of unprintable words at each other.
When DAILY GUIDE reached Mr. Paha as to why he was publicly castigating the NDC executives, he explained that two persons – Mr. Robert Mensah, assembly member for Wassa Dompim and Mr. Gordon Opoku-Boateng, assembly member for Benso – initially contested for the position of PM but could not secure the two-thirds majority required by the assemblyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Standing Orders.
He disclosed that at a secret meeting prior to the election, the NDC assembly members had resolved to vote for Mr. Robert Mensah, a Wassa by tribe, for the position.
According to him, after none of the two contestants failed to secure the position, sitting should have been adjourned to make way for proper lobbying for Mr. Mensah to win the election at an adjourned date.
But some NDC constituency executives rather allowed two Nzemas, namely Mr. Moses Ackah, headmaster of Tarkwa Secondary School and Mr. Alex Quarm, a businessman at Tarkwa, to compete for the position because time was not on their side, when the position was to be the preserve of the Wassa people.
This action by the NDC executives infuriated some of the assembly members including Mr. Paha who walked out of the Community Centre angrily.
When calm was restored, the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), Mr. Kizito Ballans, upon consultation with the Western Regional Minister, Hon. Paul Evans Aidoo, suggested to the assembly members to postpone the election of the PM to another date and go on with the confirmation of the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nominee for the position of MCE.
The suggestion did not go down well with some of the assembly members who insisted that it was not the prerogative of the MCD and the Regional Minister to alter Standing Orders of the assembly and consequently insisted that an PM-elect must preside over the confirmation or otherwise of the MCE.
The Regional Electoral Officer, Mr. Opoku Mensah who was there to supervise the election and the confirmation of the MCE, then had no option than to heed the call of the assembly members.
In the 1st and 2nd rounds of voting, Mr. Moses Ackah had 18 ballots in each voting, while Mr. Alex Quarm had 13 votes in the first and 12 in the second round.
Before the 3rd round of voting for the post of PM, Mr. Quarm stepped down from the race to lend support to Mr. Ackah, who incidentally garnered 19 (less than two-thirds) out of theÃ‚Â 37 ballots cast.
It was, however, interesting to note the spontaneous jubilation from a section of the members after the declaration of the result who kept shouting Ã¢â‚¬Å“No Robert Mensah, No PMÃ¢â‚¬Â.
After failing to elect a PM by the assembly members, the Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission hinted that a new date would be announced to coincide with the confirmation or otherwise of the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nominee as Municipal Chief ExecutiveÃ‚Â for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Tarkwa