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22.05.2005 Politics

Eastern DCEs Struggle to Get Jak's Nod

By Chronicle

While the President, Mr. J. A. Kufuor, gets prepared to announce the next batch of district chief executives (DCEs) in the Eastern Region, more petitions for and against some of them by the party members filter into the Chronicle offices in Koforidua.

Some of the New Patriotic party (NPP) members, even constituency executives, have been filing petitions, calling on the president to retain their DCEs.

Others are however strongly against their retention or reappointment calling for new DCEs to be appointed.

Chronicle gathered that in most of the districts, supporters of the NPP are calling for replacement because according to them, the DCEs did not perform to satisfaction, thus creating room for the NDC and other opposition parties to campaign against the NPP.

In other districts too, the members or petitioners are pleading with the president to retain their DCEs because they have actually pushed the development agenda of their areas forward to raise the standard of living.

The districts, where DCEs are facing troubles in the Eastern Region are Asuogyaman, Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Birim North, Birim South, Kwahu South, Fanteakwa and West Akyem.

In one of the petitions signed and issued by all the eight constituency executives in the West Akyem district or Asamankese, they kicked against the reappointment of the DCE, Alhaji Umar Amoah for a second term.

According to the constituency executives, the DCE has been lambasting his subjects in the district, assigning strict official duties to members of the opposition party, the NDC and using them to promote he the (DCE) through phone-in programmes.

Last but not the least, they charged the DCE of securing properties, including Opel Vectra Saloon and Alpha Romeo Saloon cars.

Quite recently, a group of NPP (Youth) supporters from Kwaebibirim held a press conference in Accra and called for the appointment of their DCE, Mr. Yaw Yiadom Boakye.

According to them, he is not affable, and has been initiating projects in one constituency, neglecting the other constituency. Besides, he lacks foresight and many more, they contend.

This made the constituency executives from Kade and Akwatia react to these allegations, describing them as untrue and unfounded.

To counter the allegations, Mr. Addo Danquah, polling station chairman from Kade and Mr. Joe Danso, Akwatia constituency secretary, described the youth as perpetrators of pull-him-down machinations.

They said, "Renowned chiefs, regional and national political pundits with unsung groups heap deserved praises on the DCE for his unparalleled administrative acumen, excellent performance in terms of socio - economic development in the district even to the admiration of those in opposition."

According to the executives, they were surprised about the attack on the DCE since his respect for chiefs and leaders, coupled with his capabilities and negotiation skills enabled them to successfully resolve a bitter dispute between the Okumaning residents and the Ghana Oil Palm Development Corporation (GOPDC).

They observed that the smooth take off of the Okumaning Oil Palm plantation has provided jobs for hundreds of people in the district, hence were pretty sure the DCE would be retained.

In Fanteakwa, the DCE, Mr. Ebenezer Ofoe Caesar, is actually not having his peace of mind since day in and day out, the constituency executives keep filing resolutions, calling on the president to replace him.

According to Mr. James Adjei, a polling station chairman in Dwenase (Mumuadu Zone), the DCE had failed to help the NPP in last year's election campaign, which clearly gives doubtful indication of his loyalty to the party.

He said, Mr. Caesar, during the 2000 election campaign, approached the NDC to allow him to contest the parliamentary seat of Fanteakwa on their ticket and smuggled himself into the NPP only when the NDC had refused.

But the DCE says they are all propaganda against him as the perpetrators are just trying to block his chances of securing a second term to continue his good works.

Less than 24 hours after the Enquirer revealed that the DCE for Kwahu South, Mr. Raymond Osafo Djan, had diverted ยข400 million into a secret account, most of the FM stations in the Eastern Region were inundated with calls from listeners, asking the president to replace and prosecute Osafo Djan.

The Yilo Krobo, Manya Krobo, Asuogyaman, Birim North and South districts are also boiling as constituency executive party members and other residents in their districts have passed resolutions asking the president to change them, listing various allegations to justify their demand.

Alhaji Amoah, when contacted on the phone, told The Chronicle that he had not been given a copy of the petition issued by the eight constituency executives.

He said both the Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Barimah, and the regional Chairman of the NPP, Nana Adi Ankamah, have met him but none of them questioned him about the issues raised in the purported petition filed by his constituency executives.

Alhaji Amoah promised to contact the addressees and find out the issues and react accordingly.

One thing Chronicle observed through its tours in these districts has it that really, most of the members of the NPP in Fanteakwa, Yilo Krobo, Manya Krobo and possibly Kwahu South are gearing themselves up to demonstrate against anyone the president would appoint or retain against their wish.

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