Nine of the 20 government appointees at the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly in the Upper East region have been dismissed and replaced to pave way for the confirmation of the District Chief Executive nominee, Clement Dandori.
Their dismissal, coming a week after the nominee was denied the required two-thirds of the votes cast in the first confirmation meeting, was announced just before voting began in the second session held Wednesday at Paga, the district capital. The appointees, already seated and poised to take part in the balloting, came out one after the other at the mention of their names to receive their revocation letters in front of a crowd of traditional rulers, assembly members, security officers, election commissioners and observers.
The letter reads: “By virtue of the powers conferred on His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana by Article 242 (d) of the 1992 Constitution and section 10 (9a) of the Local Government Act 2016 Amended, your appointment as a Member of the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly has been revoked with immediate effect.”
Mr. Dandori needed 43 votes but polled 34 ballots (54.8%) in the first confirmation exercise that saw 28 assembly members reject him. But after the appointees (comprising 2 women and 7 men) were sacked, he got 55 votes, representing 85.94%, with 8 assembly members voting against him and 1 ballot rejected.
Dismissal unfair- sacked appointees grumble
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had fired warnings in an interview with Starr News early in May, this year, that appointees who stood in the way of any MDCE nominee would be thrown out.
Three appointees at Navrongo, capital of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, came close to removal from office on the morning of a second assembly confirmation meeting held for the MCE nominee, William Aduum, after losing out by just one vote in the first session held a few days earlier.
Flaming reactions trailed Wednesday’s dismissal at Paga from the disappointed appointees in what reminds the public of a similar action taken at the same venue by former Upper East Regional Minister in the Mahama Government, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru. He dismissed 12 appointees in related circumstances to make way for George Nonterah, the DCE nominee at the time.
“Why should I be against somebody that the president has nominated? They think that is what I have done- voting against the nominee. This is a picture of the vote I cast the last time for the appointee (showing a picture of a ballot paper on his phone).
“Vote should be secret. But I snapped this one to prove that I voted for the nominee the last time. So, why should they dismiss me? Well, they are leading and they know what they want. If only what they have done can solve the problem, me I don’t have any problem at all. It’s very interesting. Such is politics,” one of the dismissed appointees, Norbert Amoah, told newsmen at the crowded forecourt of the Paga Motel, where the sack was announced.
Sylvester Atule, another appointee with a dismissal letter, told Starr News: “This is a party affair. But I’m okay. I’m okay. I know my conscience will set me free because I voted for the man in the first meeting. As I speak to you, I am the Constituency Youth Organiser of the party. I voted for the man on that day and snapped (the ballot paper) as evidence so that at the end of the day I would be vindicated. But I will continue to be a dedicated party man. The party is bigger than all of us.”
4 Chairmen, 2 Parliamentary Candidates confirmed as MDCEs
The confirmation of the MDCE designees in the region came to an end on Wednesday with only that of the Bawku Municipality still outstanding for reasons government has not explained yet after last week’s suspension of the exercise in the area.
Binduri, the latest so far to hold its confirmation session among the region’s 13 municipalities and districts, also organised the quickest event see so far. In less than 20 minutes, all 17 assembly members present had endorsed the nominee, Ayinga Bagre Yakubu, Wednesday, prompting wild jubilations everywhere in the district and celebratory pouring of white powder.
The event ended so early because the assembly, unlike the rest, had elected its Presiding Member beforehand, and also has a comparatively low number of voting members.
Of the 12 nominees confirmed so far in the region, 4 are constituency chairmen of the NPP and two parliamentary candidates fielded for the 2016 general elections on the tickets of the NPP.
The constituency-chairmen-turned-MDCEs include: David Afoko, Builsa North Constituency in the Builsa North District; William Aduum, Navrongo Central Constituency in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality; Peter Ayimbisa, Bongo Constituency in the Bongo District; and Ayinga Bagre Yakubu, Binduri Constituency in the Binduri District. The parliamentary candidates are: Daniel Kwame Gariba, Builsa South Constituency in the Builsa South District; and Clement Dandori, Chiana-Paga Constituency in the Kassena-Nankana West District.