There was tension at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday following a directive by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to suspend the election of a Presiding Member (PM) for the Assembly.
The AMA had called a special meeting as part of the agenda to elect the PM and swear-in of government appointees and an announcement of the directive stoked the tension.
A copy of the letter shown to the media was dated March 3, 2008 and signed by Mr F.T. Nartey, Chief Director, for the Greater Accra Regional Minister.
It read: “I am directed by the Honourable Minister to confirm that the election of Presiding Member for your district should be suspended until further notice”.
The meeting at which 30 government appointees for the Assembly had earlier been sworn in, had to be adjourned, as the assembly members furiously protested the directive, saying it was against the standing orders.
Members said they had waited for a long time to fully constitute the assembly and therefore expressed fears that the suspension of the election of the PM would further delay work in the Assembly.
But according to Mr. Isaac T. Adjovu, Secretary to the Assembly, the AMA received the directive only on Tuesday night and could therefore not communicate it to them.
Mr Adjovu said he was operating under an authority and therefore had no option than to obey orders as a civil servant.
He said the AMA and the Ministry equally shared in their concern since a new PM for the Assembly had not been elected since October last year and assured the members that it would hold consultations to find out when the elections could be conducted.
Mr Nii Armah Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, who came to the scene to intervene, asked the Assembly members to calm down and promised to get back to them very soon.