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22.06.2018 Feature Article

Sekyere Kumawu DCE Is Playing A Big Time Role Of Spin Doctor For NPP

Sekyere Kumawu DCE Is Playing A Big Time Role Of Spin Doctor For NPP

On 1st June 2018, I received a video clip sourced from the YouTube on my WhatsApp page. It was sent by one of my WhatsApp contacts. It was titled, “SEKYERE KUMAWU DISTRICT IN FOCUS”. The recording was made when the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Sekyere Kumawu District, Mr Samuel Addai Agyekum, appeared on the Royal Television (RTV) in Kumasi.

After watching the video, I decided not to disseminate it to my other WhatsApp contacts until I had clarified certain issues pertaining to the truthfulness of his entire assertions. I therefore forwarded it to about three persons in Kumawu and requested them to check the veracity of the claims as made in the video by the DCE and then get back to me with their findings. The video can be accessed via the YouTube link below.

The response that came to me is the following. Two of the refuse dumps in Kumawu, that of Zongo and the one behind the Sekyere Kumawu District Office, formerly the Kumawu market, had indeed been removed five months ago to the time the DCE appeared on the television. Yes, the Bomfobire waterfalls has existed since time immemorial but unknown to many people. The late Kumawuhene Barima Asumadu Sakyi II made some attempts to make it a tourist attraction but he could not pursue his dream about it to the end. This DCE is publicizing it to attract people. It is very good of him and I commend him for that. Apart from these, most of his claims are untenable. They are mere exaggerations, I was made to understand.

Since I am not physically in Ghana to attest to his claims or the answers made available to me following my inquiry, I can deduce from some of his claims that he is exaggerating if not making outright lies. From the information available to me from a reliable source, the Kumawu Hospital under construction but which has ceased since His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's NPP-led government came to power, had completely been paid for since the late President John Evans Atta Mills' NDC-led government. It was at the cost of about US$20 million. The hospital, doctors and nurses' bungalows, medical equipment for the various departments and the supply of medication etc. were all included in the cost.

Readers can disregard the information on the cost but to dwell on the following which goes to prove how a big liar, or in a polite manner, a huge Spin Doctor, the DCE is. The construction of the hospital was awarded to a contractor either through a sole-sourcing or a tender. I am very much aware that at such a cost, the only possibility of awarding the contract was by tender. When a private company is awarded a government contract, the government can only negotiate in the terms of the contract that a certain percentage of the workforce must be from the locality. The quality of the materials to be used and the timeline for finishing the project as well as the method of payment, how and when, are all written into the terms of the contract.

The contractor employs his workers, supervises them and must have his own initial money to pre-finance the project. In the terms of the contract, it could be agreed as follows. When the foundation is completed, the owner of the project, in this case the government, will have a designated responsible person or persons to inspect it. When they are satisfied with the work, the contractor will be paid the first tranche of the cost. When the contractor reaches the lintel, in case the project is a building, he will be paid the second tranche. When it is entirely completed to specifications without any structural defects, he will be paid the last and final tranche.

My beef with the DCE is, what has some workers siphoning off petrol at the hospital got to do with him when he was a Presiding Officer at the District Office? Was it the District losing out or the contractor? Was he employed and paid by the contractor in any capacity, especially to keep surveillance on the workers to catch those who were thieves and if yes, what did he do to those who were stealing fuel and cement and other building materials?

If the District Office had not awarded the hospital as a contract to a private contractor, but had employed its own masons, labourers, drivers etc. to do the job, then the DCE could act as he claims in the video other than that, he is talking crap.

He says forensic audit has been done and that the same contractor will be directed to do the job but he will ensure it will not be the same labourers or masons. The DCE is a big joke and completely ignorant of contractual terms. He cannot control the contractor. Has he been appointed as a responsible person for the oversight of the hospital construction? In employment terms, a responsible person is an expert in the field concerned. He could be an architect, or a Site Manager who knows about construction techniques.

Why has the construction of the hospital stopped? Was the cost suspected to be too high with the possibility of an element of “create, loot and share” factored into it by the NDC government and if it were so, has the NPP government renegotiated for a reduction in cost?

Additionally, he talks about some Chinese Company coming to commence a pilot project of fertilizer factory in Kumawu and when they succeed, after testing their machines and confirming they are good, then they will move to Accra or Kumasi. This DCE must be a complete nutter. He goes all the way to China with the aim of securing a company to come to Kumawu in Ghana to set up a fertilizer factory knowing that we have not enough rubbish (raw materials) to feed the factory. He goes on to say they will come and test their machines in what is a pilot project. What nonsense is that? Is the One District One Factory about testing machines and starting pilot schemes? Does he know the economic factors to be considered before siting an industry at a particularly place?

The DCE talks big but he makes less sense. I hope he will be careful from today forward about what he puts out for public consumption. There are more intelligent people out there to read deeper into what he says. The NPP Government is not there to copy the trade mark, that is, the propaganda, of the NDC, so he should cease spewing lies. He is trying his hardest to be seen in a brighter light by the President and the government but his hardest is comparable to a wise person's weakest.

Sekyere East Constituency, before it's redemarcation into three (Asokore-Effiduase, Kumawu and Sekyere Afram Plains), has since the late Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia's time, been voting the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition – Progress Party (PP), Popular Front Party (PFP) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). It is only recently when the Kumawu Sekyere Constituency was divided into two that its Sekyere Afram Plains has been voting NDC. Subsequently, Kumawu deserves better from the NPP.

Holistic investigation will prove that the NDC has done more for Kumawu Constituency than the NPP. During former President Rawlings' era, he macadamized the Kumawu to Abotanso, and Besoro through Bodomase to Woraso roads as well as re-macadamizing the Kumawu-Effiduase road. During President Atta Mills' time and through Dr Kwabena Duffour, the son of Kumawu soil, pipe borne water project was started and he arranged for the hospital which is now left half-completed, to be started by the John Mahama's administration. President Kufour from NPP expanded the Kumawu Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and again provided the school with a water tanker.

However, the bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 “5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. 6 I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.…”. Therefore, whoever sourced for the funds or which government executed the project is not all that relevant as long as the people have got their fair share of the national cake generated through the sweat and toil of the taxpayers.

If the NPP Government are planning to help all districts, Kumawu District must get their fair share but with the lies being peddled by the DCE, we risk losing out. This is because many people in other districts may be tempted to believe and argue that Kumawu has already got more than they need whereas all the positive claims are just the figment of the DCE's warped imagination. His attitude if not checked, will cost Sekyere Kumawu District dearly. He is a young man of about thirty years trying to prove his worth but in a deceptive manner.

I would have taken him on and done his head in if I had not decided to scale down on my political writings. He is not fit to be a DCE should he continue in his infatuated deplorable mannerisms that impact negatively on the Sekyere Kumawu District.

“In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favour or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, "spin" often implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics. Public relations advisors, pollsters and media consultants who develop deceptive or misleading messages may be referred to as "spin doctors" - Wikipedia.

It is up to the people of Kumawuman to verify the falsity or veracity of his exaggerated claims. I am sure the President will laugh his head off when he hears of the big lies in the form of empty praises the DCE is heaping on him. I hope the NPP government will not tarry to recommence the Kumawu hospital project.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo, © 2018

This author has authored 1811 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RocksonAdofo

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