Ho, April 1, GNA - A number of Members of Parliament (MPs) and District Chief Executives (DCE) in the Volta Region have established good working relations contrary to general scepticism that the sharp political divide in the region would not accommodate any such possibilities.
This came to light during a Political Leadership Dialogue at Ho recently attended by eight out of the 19 MPs, District Chief Executives, Presiding Members (PMs) of district assemblies, representatives of non-governmental organisations and donors at the instance of the Volta Regional Minister Mr Kwasi-Owusu Yeboa.
All the 19 MPs in the region belong to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), while the DCEs are the appointees of President John Agyekum Kufuor as the head of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The dialogue discussed cohesion between the region's political leadership on both sides of the political divide and developmental issues touching on the implementation and monitoring of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), efficient utilisation of funds available to the district assemblies, utilisation of donor funds and the involvement of the people in policy implementation.
Mr Kwasi Kedem, MP for Hohoe-South said of Mr James Dogbe, DCE for Hohoe, "My DCE is the most Co-operative DCE in Ghana, he is doing a very good job except that he belongs to another..." Mr Kedem said the Volta Region needed to resolve its leadership factor for the GPRS to succeed in the region.
Mr Kofi Attor, MP for Ho Central described his relationship with Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho DCE, as one of co-operation and that they both always agreed on guidelines before he signed, in reference to the utilisation of his share of the MPs Common Fund.
Mr Attor's only concern was that as MP for the constituency he was neither informed about nor invited to official functions, the latest being the presentation of regimental colours to the 66 Artillery regiment where his personal visit revealed a major facelift and upgrading of the regiment contrary to rumours in Ho that the regiment was being closed down. "If we are seen together talking we can change the mentality of our people", he said.
Mr Francis Agbotse MP Ho- West and Mr Steve Akorli MP for Ho-East also praised Mr Goh's leadership style and relationship with them both officially and privately. Mr Agbotse's only sore point with the DCE was the contracts tendering process, which excluded the participation of the MPs, and cautioned that this could raise speculations about corruption.
Dr Kwame Ampofo, MP for South-Dayi also praised Mr Goh for willingly offering him official assistance whenever he needed it even though his constituency did not fall within his district. Regarding his relationship with Mr Pius Adanuti, DCE for Kpando, Dr Ampofo said he always responded positively to his calls on him. "Anytime I informed him that I would be in Kpando he made arrangements to receive and extend to me all the courtesies as an MP even if he would not be around," Dr Ampofo said of Mr Adanuti.
On the contrary Lieutenant Colonel Charles Agbenaza (Rtd) MP for Ketu-South was unhappy with his DCE, Mr Linus Koffie over issues concerning releasing his share of the Common Fund without the intervention of the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi.
Lt. Col. Agbenaza said "development is our common concern" of which the MPs share of the Common Fund is an important intervention and that there was the need to improve the working relationship between the DCEs and MPs in the region over its disbursement.
Miss Akua Dansua MP North-Dayi said she had expected Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa to make arrangements to meet the region's Parliamentary Corps on a regular basis to discuss issues pertaining to the development of the region. She expressed misgivings about MPs of the region being excluded from important official functions.
Miss Dansua said as representatives of the people, MPs had vital information to share with the DCEs to facilitate the development of the region.
Mr Nicholas Negble, Akatsi DCE explained that perceived bad blood between some MPs was principally over the use of the MPs share of the Common Fund, which some MPs would like to utilise without following laid down procedures but which the DCEs were also not ready to compromise on. 1 April 04