AS THE RACE for the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Sekondi Takoradi enters the homestretch, new names have emerged to muddy the waters, with party kingpins now facing a huge dilemma as to which of the 13 names that have thrown their hats into the fray should get the nod.
However, one of the latest entrant to the race, who is generating a stir, is an employee of Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) in Accra, in the person of Mr. Charlie Brown who is an indigene of Essikado and said to be enjoying the unalloyed support of the chief of Essikado, Nana Kobina Nketsia (V). Attempts to reach the eloquent chief for his confirmation of the support to the candidate however failed.
One other contestant who is strongly rated for the job and enjoys the support of most Ahanta chiefs, including the over all Omanhene of Ahanta traditional area, Otumfuo Baidoo Bonsoe is Mr. Yaw Gyan, affectionately called 'Abott' by people in the Metropolis, a nickname he earned for his academic prowess in science, (a well known author in Physics goes by the name Abott).
Information gathered by The Chronicle indicates that about thirteen names, all strong members of the ruling party are interested in the single position, but only six of the aspirants, according to sources within NDC, have already presented their CVs, paid the GH¢ 100 fee required and are currently waiting to be vetted by the National Vetting Committee, led by Alhaji Mahama Iddirisu, former Minister of Defense in the erstwhile NDC government.
Members of the Metropolitan Assembly have meanwhile told The Chronicle that it will take one person, if nominated by President John Evans Atta Mills, to be approved by the assembly. Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu will be accompanied by Mr. Yileh Chireh, Minister for Local government and rural development, and aided by the new Regional Minister who may have something to say about the candidate who will best make his job as Regional Minister effective, both for the party and the administration of the region.
With the controversial picking of Ms. Betty Bosomtwi Sam, as Deputy Regional Minister designate, who faces a hair raising grilling this week, all but sealed, the nomination of a DCE and MCE is a cakewalk for the party chieftains. Competence and acceptability should be the litmus test beyond which everything else lapses into second tier consideration, said Kofi Coomson, a member of the opposition New Patriotic Party, but whose opinion counts for much in both national and local politics.
Credible information obtained by this reporter indicates that the earlier vetting that was done by the regional executives was not going to be used as a yardstick for the selection of the MCE, despite the pressure being mounted by some of the candidates who were vetted in Accra, parading the corridors of authority.
The Cronicle sources say the six names that faced the grueling vetting committee led by the introvert regional chairman of the NDC, Mr. John Abu with his lieutenants Col. (Rtd) Kaku Korsah, the Regional Organizer, Musah Adamu, the deputy Regional Secretary and Auntie Ewuraba Essie, one of the regional executive committee members and leader of the 31st December women's Movement in the region, would not be an issue at all for the consideration of the MCE position.
With the successful vetting of the Western regional Minister, and that of the Minister of the Local Government, the affable Yileh Chireh, who had previous romantic ties in Takoradi, with an almost French name, the team would certainly be sufficiently empowered with adequate data on all seekers of the job to make a definite pick.
And as Mills promised that he will listen to the advise of traditional authority, then clearly Nana Badu Bonsu and the Takoradihene, would be listened to in these days when most chiefs already have identified with certain political parties.
The Essikado Chief has his apron strings tied to the Convention People's Party and the New Patriotic Party.
Those who were expected to be vetted include Mr. Abbey-Hart, the NDC defeated parliamentary candidate in the Essikado Constituency in the last elections, who sources say, is a relative of Mr. Kojo Smith, First Board chairman of Ahantaman Rural Bank, firmly rooted in the NDC and was picked as the first Western regional minister in 1992, when the country returned to constitutional regime, and analysts say his push can help the candidate.
Next on the list is Mr. Joseph Cobbinah Anan (Marlon), a native of New Takoradi, one of the fishing communities in the Metropolis and a defeated parliamentary candidate for Takoradi constituency in the last elections, this paper has reliably been informed that he has paid up and was ready for the vetting.
Mr.Yusif Gyamson, the Shama District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is also in the starting blocks, after paying his mandatory GH¢ 100.00, the very famous and indefatigable regional Youth Organizer, Solomon Yaw Nkansa is academically challenged but has the advantage of youth and eloquence on his side, and wants the MCE job.
Mr. Dickson Mensah, an accountant at Axim Road Credit Union and Mr. K Gordon, tutor at Holy Child Training College all make the tall list of aspiring MCEs.
However, party gurus in NDC revealed that one name that continues to send shivers down the spine of the other contenders is Mr. Alfred Gyan (Abott), 45, who has lived and worked in the Metropolis since he was born at Amanful, one of the communities in the Metropolis and had his umbilical cord tied to New Site (Effiakuma West), a family man with his wife, a health worker, also in the community where he grew up.
Inside sources within the NDC said he is been described by many in the Metropolis as a unifier; Mr. Gyan, they told this paper had his first and second degrees at the University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Building Technology and Construction Management respectively.
Some contractors in the Metropolis, when contacted by this reporter, had also described Mr. Gyan, a licensed member of the Chartered Institute of Administration and Management Consultants as a gem.
Other loyal members of the NDC described his contribution to the party's success as great, whiles recognizing his involvement in the performance of the NDC youth working committees. According to sources within the party, Mr. Gyan, apart from being a project consultant to many contractors in the Western region is also respected by many for his understanding of the land marks of the Metropolis, which to some people will be a plus for the government in local governance in the Metropolis.
A close associate of Mr. Gyan, in an interview told this reporter that his expertise in contract administration, negotiation, settlement of disputes, project planning and implementation had aided development in the Metropolis, especially with his technical role played in the execution of projects by many of the best contractors in the Metropolis and in the region. “His contribution in the NDC is also obvious; with most of the NDC youth in the region falling on him for financial support in the last election,” noted an NDC loyalist. He was loyal even when the situation was difficult, one executive also told this reporter.
Information obtained has confirmed from the traditional leadership that Mr. Gyan is highly tipped for the position of the MCE because of his respect to traditional authority, hence their utmost feeling that
Mr. Davis said STMA was yearning for a quality material and a unifier for the development of the Metropolitan area. “He is the most suitable and qualified person, but we are watching the actions of the President,” Mr. Davis pointed out, adding that although names such as Mr. Yusif Gyamson, a member of the assembly had also popped up strongly, Mr. Gyan stood tall in terms of experience and managerial competence.
Though it is the prerogative of the President to nominate the chief executive for approval by the various assembly members of all the Districts, Municipalities and Metropolitan Assemblies, the sitting President, John Evans Atta Mills had earlier made it public that he will consult the traditional leadership of the local areas, before nominating his candidate for any District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executive position.