A group associated with the ruling National Democratic Congress in the Ashanti Region has expressed frustration at its neglect by the President John Dramani Mahama-led administration.
The group, made up of some parliamentary candidates in the 2008 and 2012 polls, constituency executives and frontline party opinion leaders in the most populous region, believes that their hard work during the two elections had not been recognised and rewarded.
According to the group, they fought “life and death battles” during both the 2008 and 2012 election campaigns but, regrettably, after the NDC won both elections, they had been relegated to the background and sidelined in terms of opportunities and appointments.
They admitted that working in the stronghold of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had not been an easy one, but continued to do the “dirty work” to bring the party to power.
They also shared the belief that only a few who were “cronies of the President” had been considered for appointments, with majority of equally deserving party members being marginalised.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, leaders of the group did not apportion blame to the President, but to the Ashanti regional leaders of the NDC, mainly the Ashanti Caucus based in Accra.
Leaders of the group, who want to remain anonymous, said their regional leaders were selfish and lobbied for appointments for themselves. They recalled that in the 2008 election, constituency executives, parliamentary candidates and opinion leaders had to toil to make sure the party came to power and they had done that with the then Ashanti Regional chairman of the party.
They further recalled, for example, that when the NDC came to power in 2009, the regional chairman, Mr Daniel Ohene Agyekum, was appointed as Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States and as party leader in the Ashanti Region. “He only lobbied for himself and left other equally deserving members behind,”they alleged.
They said when the NDC maintained power in the 2012 election, they felt things would change. “Ashanti Regional NDC leaders such as P.V. Obeng, Kwame Peprah and Dr Stephen Opuni came to the scene. Instead of lobbying for appointments to help other hard-working members in the region, they rather lobbied for appointments for themselves,” they further alleged..
“As competent people as we are, we also utilised our energies, abilities and resources to fight for the party during the electioneering in both 2008 and 2012 but we are forgotten when it comes to appointments,” they stated.
They also mentioned that former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NDC and Ambassador to US, Dr Ohene Agyekum, who had not been active in the 2012 election campaign, had been made the Board Chairman of the Ghana COCOBOD.
They also mentioned Mr P.V. Obeng, also of the Ashanti NDC who had been appointed as Special Advisor to the President, leaving other equally deserving party members marginalised.
The group mentioned the appointment of Dr Stephen Opuni, who for the last six years had headed sensitive institutions. They recalled that he had been the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and board chairman of the then Food and Drugs Board now Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). “He is currently the CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), while others who also merit appointments have not even acquired “cleaning jobs,” they added.