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27.02.2009 Politics

Senior Citizen advises Prez MillsAppoint two CEOs to handle metro assemblies

By Sebastian R. Freiku in Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

FOR EASE of administration, a senior citizen and veteran political activist has suggested that two metropolitan chief executives should be appointed for the Kumasi, Accra and the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan assemblies.

Opanin Kwame Afreh, Chairman of the Asante United Front who made the suggestion, called for the amendment of the Local Government Law 462, to make it possible for the appointment of two metro chief executive officers for our metropolitan assemblies.

He went on to explain the rational behind his suggestion, being the need to create an office for the monitoring of party political activities, and yet another for purely the administrative and management of the city, to help plug the vacuum created by the existing system, which renders government ineffective at the local government level.

According to Opanin Afreh, if it was prudent for the Nkrumah regime to appoint two District Commissioners, in the persons of Mary Osei and one Fosu for Kumasi, in those days when the population was relatively low, then it stands to reason to have two mayors today, when the population had increased tremendously.

He referred to the administrative setup of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), where the Ashanti Region has been divided into Ashanti West and Ashanti East, with a Regional Director assigned to each of the two, for effective administrative and operational purposes.

He said the creation of Sub-Metro Councils (10 in the case of Kumasi) had not been beneficial, because they were not operational and functional, saying the structures were simply not functioning, making decentralization a mockery, since the day to day administration of the system rests on the mayor.

Under the Sub-Metro Council system, each sub-metro is supposed to be headed by a deputy Metropolitan Chief Executive, but no such position has been created since the Local Government Act was amended some years back to make them autonomous.

He further suggested that assembly members, who under the local government system form part of governance must be paid appreciable salaries, instead of irregular allowances, to enable them give off their best and contribute meaningfully to the development of their electoral areas.

Meanwhile, His Excellency President J. E. A. Mills has been commended for the meticulous way he goes about the selection and appointment of his ministers and people for positions of trust.

Opanin Kwame Afreh, however, cautioned him (the President) to be extra careful in the selection of DCE's, to help him carry out the developmental agenda of his government.

He advised that the security apparatus, particularly the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), should be engaged to scrutinise the backgrounds of the all persons he intends to nominate for public offices, before they embarrass him.

According to him, there was no need rushing to appoint people only to revoke their appointments, or be rejected by the Appointments Committee. He should consider people with unblemished characters, who would be acceptable by all.

Opanin Afreh also cautioned the President to be wary of the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), since their actions and activities could make the ruling government unpopular.

He said the Presidency should not take security for granted, because some members of the CJA and the public were a threat to the ruling party and the Presidency, hence the need to beef up security at the presidency, and not toy with it.

He said the government would need strongmen like DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare Addo, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, who cannot be pushed over, to ensure stability and peace and order, as well as protect lives and properties across the country, while the government goes about its duty.

Opanin Afreh seized the opportunity to commend DCOP Opare Addo for the role he has played in sustaining peace in the region, since he was reposted to head the Ashanti Regional Police Command.

According to the AUF Chairman, DCOP Opare Addo had contributed immensely towards peace and general development of the region, during the two terms of office, in his capacity as the police boss in the region, and needs commendation.

He described DCOP Opare Addo as a professional who knows his job, and what to do at the right time.