The first ever confirmation test for Municipal and District Chief Executive nominees in the Upper East Region has ended with Christopher Boabil Somiteyen, failing to sail through the process.
He need 20 votes of the 30 ballots cast to have done the district a much-desired honour as the first area to have a DCE in the current government. But he polled 19 votes- just 1 ballot short of the required two-third. The outcome may have sent a strong shockwave to the twin district, Nabdam, where another nominee, Agnes Anamoo, is awaiting the same exercise- and perhaps the same fate!
Sighs of anger and shock greeted the results inside a packed conference hall of the Talensi District Assembly. Whilst an overflow of disappointed-looking people in the corridors of the building could be heard murmuring and pointing accusing fingers at some big shots perceived to be responsible for the debacle that befell the nominee, some faces looked very unconcerned as they exchanged hearty pleasantries after the Electoral Commission had announced the outcome.
“This is a waste of resources. We are our own enemies. Imagine the amount of time and resources spent on this exercise since morning. Look at the number of cars parked outside and the fuel consumed to drive them here and back. And somebody just decided to be wicked by spoiling the ballot paper,” an angry man, wearing a rich smock, could be heard in the midst of a stunned multitude as several individuals who had come to witness the event were placing telephone calls to relay the results.
For reasons not known yet, the election, which was expected to see 22 elected assembly members and 10 government appointees in the polling booth and originally scheduled for 8:00am Monday, eventually kicked off around 10:30am under a heavy police guard.
The Presiding Member of the Talensi District Assembly, Ben Yindor, had set the tone for the exercise with a plea on the assembly members to accord the nominee an overwhelming endorsement. A disappointed Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, fired his spleen particularly at the assembly members, saying their failure to endorse the DCE-designate was a cold gesture towards the region’s quest for development and job creation.
“Next time I want 100%. I don’t want 90%. You are all honourable members. Tomorrow must be a different thing,” the minister charged.
Meanwhile, the Talensi Traditional Council is set to convene a news conference today at the palace of the Paramount Ruler of the area, Tong-Rana Kubilsong Nalebiktang. It is not yet clear if the impending press confab has any links with the some issues relating to the assembly’s confirmation business or the recent outcry about alleged illegal mining activities in the Talensi District.
19 assembly members to confirm Nabdam DCE nominee
Nineteen assembly members are expected to take part in the confirmation process in the Nabdam District Monday for Agnes Anamoo, one of the two women among the 13 nominees in the region.
Decision makers within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had told Starr News government appointees would suffer a dismissal and would be replaced at assemblies where nominees missed the required two-third mark.
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 meet the Regional Minister 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 had warned.