The NDC Minority members on the Local Government and Rural Development Committee of Parliament have called on President Akufo-Addo to order re-run of all approval processes of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) that have been characterised by what they claim to be abuse.
Ranking Member on the Committee, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, claimed the processes in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, Assin South, Sekyere Kumawu, Cape Coast, Lawra and Shama were “manipulated to prevent known assembly members from exercising their constitutional mandate.”
According to them, apart from abuse of the approval processes, there was huge deployment of police personnel “in most of these cases.”
They urged the IGP to “cause an investigation into all those reported cases of the abuse of the processes, assaults, intimidations, threats and physical manhandling of Assembly Members and MPs in all those MMDAs reported, and take disciplinary actions to prevent further deterioration of the confidence of the people in our security agencies and erase the impression of our men in uniform being used as tools for oppression and subjugation.”
The Minority said in the Assin South District Assembly, the Central Regional Chairman of the NPP allegedly used “intimidation, cohesion and assault on Assembly Members perceived to be against the nominee.”
“It was shameful, how the Regional Chairman of the NPP is alleged to have used about 30 fully armed men with about 22 in police uniform and the rest in mufti to prevent Hon. Assembly Members from entering the hall where the second voting for the nominee was taking place,” they claimed.
The NDC MPs claimed two of the 15 Assembly Members were prevented and named them as Robert Tetteh of Awuro Camp Electoral Area and William Appiah of Assin Andoe Electoral Area, alleging that the duo were heavily assaulted by the security personnel in the presence of the police hierarchy in the region.
At Bibiani Anhwiaso, the NDC MPs said the alleged abuse of the processes and procedures for the approval of the President’s nominee was given “a comic but dangerous verse.”
They claimed the Western North Regional Minister, the nominee and the District Coordinating Director used “crooked, unscrupulous and undignified deception” to prevent 33 members of the assembly from voting.
“Disgracefully and shamelessly, these people connived with the EC, changed the venue, time and day of the proposed second voting, and only got 19 out of the 52 members of the Assembly to vote on a Sunday, October 10, 2021.”
For Sekyere-Kumawu, the Minority alleged there was an abhorrent behaviour of the use of security personnel, intimidation, cohesion and brutal force to prevent the MP for the area, Philip Basoah and some Assembly Members from taking part of the approval process held on Friday, October 15, 2021.
They recounted similar incidents at Suaman, Cape Coast and Awutu Senya West, asserting that government appointees were replaced at the eleventh hour to secure the approval.
“We are asking the President to respect the will of the people and stop imposing all those nominees who have been twice rejected by the Assembly Members as in Cape Coast, Lawra, and others,” they stressed.
They also want the Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe, to immediately set in motion a mechanism “to repair the damaged relationship and cooperation between the Assembly Members of all these mentioned MMDAs and the would-be MMDCEs in order to foster unity, cooperation and partnership for development in our districts.”