A Local Governance Expert, George Kyei Baffour, has warned that President John Dramani Mahama could grow unpopular within his party with its attendant consequence on his political ambitions for 2016, if he refuses to heed the NDC’s call for the ‘Tweaa’ DCE to be reinstated.
The DCE for the Ahafo Ano South District, Mr. Gabriel Barima, was last month dismissed by the President over his unrepentant behavior after throwing tantrums while addressing a public event in anger to a local swear word ‘tweaa’ howled at him from his audience. Nine persons have already submitted their bids to contest the vacant position with a vetting date yet to be announced.
But just as it seemed the controversies around the dismissal of the famous Tweaa DCE had come to a close, some chiefs in the Ahafo Ano South area and big wigs within the National Democratic Congress appear to have rekindled the matter.
A delegation of chiefs has already submitted a petition to the president to reconsider his decision. In the latest twist, the National Executive Committee, which is the highest decision making body of the NDC, has also submitted a statement to the President outlining seven strong reasons why it feels Mr. Barima has to be reconsidered for his position.
In the statement, the party indicated that the President was not furnished with the full facts of the matter and believes the tape was doctored to create an unbalanced representation of the DCE. The party believes that if the decision is left to stand, it will not only amount to serious injustice to the DCE but will seek to dampen the enthusiasm of other DCEs in their attempt to deal with indiscipline and corruption in their various areas of jurisdiction.
Commenting on the developments, the astute local Governance Expert, George Kyei Baffour told Ultimate Radio, the position taken by the party does not suggest party interference in the President’s power to hire and fire.
He rather faulted the President for taking a hasty decision to dismiss the DCE on an ”impulsive and uninformed” posturing displayed by the Minister of Local Government Mr. Oppong Ofosu, whose comments on radio he feels informed the sudden dismissal of Mr. Barima.
“The President acted on the advice of the Minister of Local Government and the advice was seriously flawed because it was based on impulse. This minister has always acted on impulse and the President must observe that the man hasn’t got the capacity to handle the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at this time of the country’s development.”
“I have said this all the time and people are not listening that as we speak now, we don’t have MMDCEs nominated for some places in this country one year and three months into the administration of President John Mahama. The Minister is not up to the task. He wrongly advised the president and now the president finds himself in a drama with his party and so he has to solve it,” he added.
Expressing his disagreement with the decision to dismiss the DCE on what he described as “the most flimsy of excuses”, Mr. Kyei Baffour stated that the move was “a bad omen for decentralization and good governance”.
He cautioned the President not to take the stance of the NDC lightly as his ability to maintain goodwill and cohesion within his party hinged on his response to the petition submitted by the party.
“The president is likely to face internal opposition from the party if he decides to ignore the party because if a statement or a petition is signed by the General Secretary of the NDC, you can imagine the consequences” he noted.
He indicated that the President calling Mr. Gabriel Barima to take back his office will not be uncharacteristic of him as “he has told all Ghanaians in his book, my first coup d’etate” that he is indecisive and that in his life time there hasn’t been any decision taken that is not fraught with drama”.
He is calling on the President to “eat back his humble pie or his party will bite him.”