General News of Monday, 8 May 2017
Sources within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper East Region have hinted at plans to hand dismissal letters to appointed assembly members, and have them replaced, should the municipal and district chief executive nominees miss the required two-third mark as their confirmation tests begin today in the region.
The Upper East Regional Coordinating Council has released a timetable for the confirmation sessions which are expected to run in the region’s 3 municipalities and 10 districts from Monday 8th May to Wednesday 17th May, this year.
At least two of the districts- Builsa North and Bawku West- have been marked ahead of the polls as combat zones for the respective nominees.
This is due to the violent resistance that greeted the announcement of their designations about two weeks ago by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“Our eyes are on the government appointees. Some of them have issues with the nominees. If the nominees are not confirmed, it would come from the appointees, not from the NDC (National Democratic Congress) assembly members.
And if they (the appointees) disappoint, we are dismissing them to bring in a new set of appointees. We intend to have a meeting with the Regional Minister early on Monday on this before we set off on the confirmation.
“Except Sandema (capital of the Builsa North) and Zebilla (the Bawku West district capital), we really don’t foresee any problem with the confirmation of the nominees. But that is not to say surprises are not possible in the other districts,” a source, who is one of the decision makers in the party, told Starr News.
The recent unrests
It would be recalled that some NPP supporters stormed the offices of the Bawku West District Assembly and vandalised state property following speculations that the President had chosen Victoria Ayamba- a candidate they did not like- as DCE for the area.
It took soldiers, deployed from two military bases at Bawku and Bazua, to crush the upheaval that also saw the angry party men set tyres on fire on the main road in the district capital amid brutal attacks on the party’s office and the private residence of the Member of Parliament for Zebilla, Frank Fuseini Adongo, who is also the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister.
A similar incident came up in the Builsa North District where a group of party supporters opposed to the nomination of David Afoko, cousin to the suspended NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko, waged an open demonstration in red bands and vandalised furniture at the party’s office.
After his unsuccessful bid for the position of the Municipal Chief Executive for Bolgatanga, the NPP’s 2016 parliamentary candidate for Bolgatanga Central, Rex Asanga, issued a press statement that suggested it took his timely intervention to stop another rampage in the regional capital by disappointed party loyalists.
CSOs unhappy about appointments
The current batch of nominees consists of 11 men and 2 women- same as the structure the erstwhile Mahama Administration gave the region in 2013.
Some civil society organisations are not pleased with the blend, saying the current administration ought to have increased the quota of women in the gender blend.
“For us, we were hoping that this current government would have done better than the previous government in terms of appointment of women. The previous government promised 40% of its appointees would be women. Unfortunately, at the end of the day it didn’t go that way. We had 2 women as MDCEs in the past administration in the Upper East Region.
“The current government promised 30%. We were all hoping that they would get the number. And when it came to the appointment of the Regional Minister and the Deputy Minister, we were thinking that one of them would be a woman. But unfortunately, both were men. Unfortunately too, there are only 2 women among the MDCEs. They have not been confirmed yet. So, we also can’t tell if in the end we would have the women among the eventual MDCEs.
We only appeal to the assembly members in both districts (Nabdam and Bawku West) to support them to go through the confirmation process so we still have the two women as DCEs,” Executive Director of the Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC), Seidu Musah Akugri, said.
The nominees are Agnes Anamoo (Nabdam), Victoria Ayamba (Bawku West), Ayinga Bagre Yakubu (Binduri), Moctar Amadu Bagaya (Bawku), Joseph Atura Ameyure (Bolgatanga), Peter Ayamga Ayimbisa (Bongo) and David Afoko (Builsa North).
The rest are Daniel Kwame Gariba (Builsa South), Emmanuel Avoka Asare (Garu-Tempane), Williams Aduum (Kassena-Nankana Municipality), Clement Kuyianyim Dandori (Kassena-Nankana West), Abdulai Zubeiru (Pusiga) and Christopher Boabil Somiteyen (Talensi).