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13.03.2009 Politics


By Issah Alhassan, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

RELIABLE INFORMATION available to The Chronicle in Kumasi indicates that some personalities, whose names have been making rounds as likely to be appointed the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, have started wooing some members of the assembly, with the view to soliciting their support after being appointed.

A popular member of the assembly, who pleaded anonymity, has confirmed to the paper that he has received calls from some shortlisted candidates, requesting for his support in order to enable them secure the approval of colleague assembly members.

The prospective candidates, who claimed, on individual basis, that they had reliable information that they were likely to be named for the position, want the assemble member to prepare the grounds for them, and to lobby his colleague members to approve them, after their names have been mentioned.

An appointed Metropolitan, Municipal or District Chief Executive Officer must secure two thirds of the total number of assembly members, before being confirmed as the substantive chief executive, and that of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly has always been characterised by intense lobbying and underground works by appointees.

There are some so-called power brokers in the assembly, who are sometimes indispensable, if an appointed Metro Chief Executive (MCE) would sail through in their elections.

Past MCEs had often found it extremely difficult dealing with these hard nuts in the assembly, who are normally described as decision-makers in the activities of the assembly.

It is against this backdrop, that some of the shortlisted candidates have thought it wise to secure their support, before they come face to face with members of the assembly.

Meanwhile, information available to The Chronicle indicates that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, President Mills is expected to announce the new MCE on Friday.

So many names have been making the rounds as the likely candidates, with the Ashanti Regional head of the Serious Fraud Office, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, Ishmael Butler, a one-time Assembly Member for the Kaase Electoral Area, and the defeated NDC parliamentary candidate for the Oforikrom Constituency, Mr.Tei Larbi, topping the bill.

Other names circulating in the media also include Mr. Tony Nyame, the defeated parliamentary candidate for the Subin Constituency, the first Regional Vice Chairman of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Sannie, and the Regional Operations Director of the party, Mr. Afrifah Yamoah Ponkoh.

The latest personality to have declared his bid for the position is the former Chief Executive, Nana Akwasi Agyemang, who says he possesses the right solutions to the problems of the metropolis.

However, investigations indicate that some of the candidates may lose the position, because they do not meet the criteria for the selection of the MCE job, which requires that one is a pure Ashanti, and must have been approved by the traditional leadership, should possess quality academic background, and be very loyal and dedicated to the cause of the party.

A lot of controversies have surrounded the vetting process for the selection of an MCE for the Kumasi Metropolis, after the Northern and Ewe caucuses of the party complained bitterly about the inclusion of certain personalities, who they claimed had contributed little to the cause of the party in the region, compelling the committee, led by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, to suspend sittings at the Regional Coordinating Council, and refer all candidates to Accra.