General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
The Brong Ahafo Regional Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe has called the bluff of the members of the Sunyani Traditional Council calling on President Akufo-Addo to withdraw the nomination of Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh as Brong Ahafo Regional Minister designate.
‘Abronye DC’ as he is popularly called said, the Sunyani Traditional Council has no right to demand the withdrawal of the nominee as the traditional council never contributed to his appointment.
“Nana Addo did not appoint him (Asomah-Kyeremeh) as Regional Minister for Sunyani Region but as the Minister for the Brong Ahafo…if the chiefs dislike him, they should rather write a letter to Nana Addo to request that no MCE be brought to Sunyani because that’s their jurisdiction and not entire Brong Ahafo…,” he said.
The vociferous NPP Communicator said this on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Thursday while responding to a press conference by the Traditional Council which called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to withdraw his nominee to the region.
Nana Bofotia Boamponsem who addressed the press said the chiefs are unhappy with Asomah-Kyeremeh who is also the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the NPP because he once denigrated them and the Chieftaincy institution at large. Sunyani Traditional Council vs NPP battle.
In the run up to the 2016 general elections, the Omanhene of Sunyani, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri, confidently stated that the Brong Ahafo Region was going to give former President John Mahama 80 percent of votes in the 2016 elections. The declaration led to the development of bad blood between the Brong Ahafo branch of the NPP and the chiefs in the region.
The politicians considered the assertion a blatant breach of Article 276 Clause 1 of the 1992 constitution which states that, “a chief shall not take part in active party politics; and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin”.
But the chiefs were rather angered because according to them, the NPP’s Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman made derogatory remarks against them after the endorsement.
According to the Krontihene, Asomah-Cheremeh responded to the traditional council’s summon to him to appear before them by referring that the chiefs rather breached the article in the constitution which banned chiefs from partaking in active politics.
This response, Abronye DC said was apt adding that the Supreme Court in JA Ampofo vs Attorney General case, ruled that it was not compulsory to respond to a summon by chiefs to appear before them.
But the Krontihene thinks referring to this ruling was a form of inciting the subjects against the chief.
“He in his letter saying he won’t appear before the Sunyani chief tried to denigrate the chieftaincy institution by referring that it is no crime to fail to respond to a chief’s call…,” he said.
Against this backdrop, the Krontihene said the chiefs would have nothing doing with Asomah-Kyeremeh should he be approved by Parliament’s vetting committee to become the regional minister.
“The chiefs would not have anything to do with him if he becomes the Regional Minister, even if he has gold for us, he should take it away because he disrespects us…,” the Krontihene declared.
The Regional Youth Organiser however responded that the traditional council were misfiring as Asomah-Cheremeh’s response to them at the time had the endorsement of the entire Regional Executives and members of the NPP in the region.
“We will deal with Asomah-Cheremeh if he goes to apologise…we want to reiterate that we stand by what we said, we have no regrets, the chiefs meddled in politics and that is unconstitutional so they must be told in the face…Asomah-Kyeremeh would be the Regional Minister…,” Kwame Baffoe emphasized.
Kwame Baffoe further stated that he did not see the need to retract stating the facts in the constitution in reaction to an Omanhene who was appointed the regional lands commission chairman and a Krontihene who was once a government appointee at the Sunyani Municipal Assembly and an NDC card bearing member.
To Abronye, the Sunyani Traditional Council has no right to block Asomah-Cheremeh from becoming the Regional Minister as Sunyani Traditional Council does not represent the entire Brong Ahafo region.
“We would never retract the statement and would emphasise that they never did well in declaring 80% for President Mahama…we will never apologise to the chiefs today or tomorrow, Nana Addo did not appoint him as Regional Minister for Sunyani Region but for the entire Brong Ahafo region…,” he stated further. Chiefs disappointed in Abronye’s comment.
The Krontihene reacting to these comments on the show called on Kwame Baffoe ‘to come and install himself the chief of Sunyani so we can all come and worship him.’
“Is it criminal to be a government appointee at the Assembly…I was the government appointee in Atta Mills’ time but that doesn’t warrant him denigrating me, NPP would also appoint people from the traditional council to represent the government,” he said.
Nana Bofotia Boamponsem further called on Abronye DC to ‘seek the counsel of an elderly person to learning how to talk to elders.’
The Krontihene however said that the chiefs would be prepared to sit down and thrust out issues with Asomah-Cheremeh should he come apologizing.