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27.02.2009 NDC News

Yamoah Ponko Punches NDC

By Daily Guide

THE DIRECTOR of Operations for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Afrifa Yamoah Ponko, has descended heavily on the party's appointments committee vetting prospective candidates for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive positions (M/DCEs) in the Ashanti region, describing them as jokers.

The one-time Kumasi Asante Kotoko Director of Operations accused the committee of asking elementary questions which failed to unearth the very best in the candidates who appeared before them.

Yamoah Ponko, whose application for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Chief Executive position had been rejected, indicated that it was mediocrity of the highest order for the committee to ask basic questions such as your name, constituency and when one joined the party among others.

He noted that the M/DCE position is a sensitive one which requires competent people to handle; therefore the committee ought to have structured thought-provoking questions that could uncover the level of competence of the prospective candidates.

Speaking on Fox Fm, a local radio station on Thursday morning, the NDC Director of Operations, he explained that he was utterly disappointed when he appeared before the committee last Sunday.

“My expectations ran down completely when members of the committee began asking elementary questions such as your name, constituency and when I joined the party among others” he stressed.

The NDC activist remarked that, his heart trembled when news reached him that his application was rejected because he failed to impress the committee when he took his turn to appear before them.

Mr. Doe Tamakloe, the party's Ashanti Regional Secretary, in an attempt to explain why Mr. Ponko's application was rejected had indicated that the speaker failed to make an impression at the vetting.

Describing Mr. Tamakloe's explanation as most unfortunate, the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) Former Director of Communications wondered how on earth he would have unimpressively failed to answer questions like your name, constituency and others.

“Mr. Tamakloe should come again, because this explanation is too childish to believe” he observed.

President Mills, in consultation with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party, instituted a 13-member appointments committee to vet prospective candidates for M/DCE positions in all the ten regions.

Some of the members of the committee include Alhaji Iddrissu Mahama, a defence minister in ex-President Rawlings government, Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi, a local government expert, Dr Kwabena Agyei, the party's national chairman, among others.

According to President Mills' directive, the committee would move to all the ten regions to liaise with the regional executives to vet prospective candidates for M/DCE positions.

The committee, the directive further indicated, would short list three candidates for each metropolitan, municipal and district Assembly and forward the names to the castle for the president to make the final decision.

Beginning its work on Sunday in the Ashanti region, the committee is expected to move to the other regions in the coming days.

The committee's work in the region was nearly marred as it was characterized with protests by some aggrieved party supporters who vehemently demonstrated against the deliberate sidelining of their favourites.

For instance on Wednesday, the Zongo and Ewe caucus of the party in Kumasi staged a heated demonstration at the Regional Coordinating Council, the venue for the vetting, to impress upon the government to give the KMA and deputy regional minister position to their compatriots.

According to them, once the regional minister position has gone to an Ashanti, the deputy and the KMA position should automatically go to somebody from the Zongo or an Ewe, because they all contributed significantly to the party's success in the region.

The demonstrators who made it impossible for the committee to work that day, specifically demonstrated against information which suggested that one Mr. Samuel Sarpong, the Ashanti Regional Head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was in a clear position to become the next KMA boss.

Thirteen people filled applications to vie for the KMA post but information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that five persons have been short-listed to attend further interviews in Accra.

After the interview, three persons would be further short-listed for the president to make the final decision as to who takes over as the next KMA boss.

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi