Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) in the Brong Ahafo Region, have rubbished accusations by the Brong Ahafo Regional Youth Organizer for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe ‘Abronye DC’ that some of them paid bribes to the Regional Minister to influence their appointments.
They also rubbished his call for an investigation into corrupt practices by the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh, for awarding contracts to himself.
In a statement signed by the Dean of the 27 MDCEs, Evelyn Ama Kumih-Richardson (PhD), the MDCEs stated that “Mr. Baffoe’s allegations concerning the MDCEs in the Region are unsubstantiated and figment of his own imagination and we challenge him to name MDCEs who paid bribes to the Hon. Regional Minister to influence their appointments or retract and apologize”.
They charged “we believe that to be more purposeful than the approach he has adopted because he who alleges must prove and he is been reminded that the media does not have prosecuting powers. We also request of the leadership of the youth wing of our party to have a word with their colleague, Mr. Kwame Baffoe to be decorous in discussing 4 issues concerning senior government officials. We wish to remind listeners about similar embarrassing allegations as well as wild accusations he made against Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah, the Minister of National Security”.
They MDCEs said they “want to believe that our younger brother made those allegations out of anger and we expect that after he has soberly reflected on them, he will retract and apologise to his senior colleagues because he failed to crosscheck his facts before going on air” to make the statement that was carried on Monday, November 13, 2017 on Okay and Peace FM, both radio stations in Accra and their affiliate stations throughout the country.
They reminded Mr. Baffoe that the Constitution empowers only the President to do such appoints and wondered how the minister could have accepted bribes as it is not his mandate to appoint MDCEs. “Regional Ministers are not responsible for the appointment of MMDCEs,” they underscored in the statement.
They emphasized that it is “not true that the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister had influenced the appointments of lawyers from his chambers for all the MDAs in the Region” as claimed by Mr Baffoe.
Abronye, had declared that President Akufo-Addo’ s fight against corrupt practices in the country, should start from his own government by punishing members found to be corrupt.
The outspoken NPP youth executive has in recent times attacking the Brong Ahafo regional minister over what he described as a bad attitude of the minister, and care is not taken, the party will lose its hold in the region.
Abronye had earlier alleged that the minister has been involved in several corrupt activities which is gradually killing and making the NPP government unpopular in the Brong Ahafo region, terminating contracts of lawyers of all district assemblies in the region, and awarding it to his private law firm, called ‘HENEWAA CHAMBERS’.
“How can this person, who believes in the ideology of President Akuffo Addo, mingle himself with corrupt practices to tarnish the image of the president and the party, he should be investigated, and if found guilty, be punished,” he ordered.
His statement and allegations have received several criticisms, as many believe the issues could have been addressed to party leadership for solutions.
But speaking in an interview with OTEC fm’s Evans Agyei Sikapa, the NPP National Youth Organizer hopeful, described such criticisms as hollow, which must not be attended to.
He explained that the position of a Regional Minister, has nothing to do with party affairs, hence must be brought out for public consumption, to know the kind of person the regional minister is.
“Regional minister position is not a party position so why should the party be the linked to it?” he asked.
The statement said “News item broadcast on Monday, November 13, 2017 on Okay and Peace FM, both Radio Stations in Accra and their affiliate Stations throughout the country, to the effect that Mr. Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as ‘Abronye DC’, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Regional Youth Organizer of the Brong-Ahafo has alleged that the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh collected bribes from MDCEs to influence their appointments by HE the President”.
“The news item also has it that the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has used his influence to appoint Lawyers from his Chambers (Henewaa Chambers) for the various MDAs in the Region. We the 27 MDCEs in the Region as key stakeholders in the party and the government of an incorruptible leader and President, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, are indeed disturbed about the news, from the perspective of the wild allegations made by Mr. Kwame Baffoe”, it said .
According to them, “we want to state unequivocally that Mr. Kwame Baffoe’s allegations concerning the MDCEs in the Region are unsubstantiated and figment of his own imagination and we challenge him to name MDCEs who paid bribes to the Hon Regional Minister to influence their appointments or retract and apologize”.
the said that “The news is indeed very unfortunate and we want to believe that our younger brother made those allegations out of anger and we expect that after he has soberly reflected on them, he will retract and apologize to his senior colleagues because he failed to crosscheck his facts before going on air. 2 To set the records straight, no MDCE in the Brong-Ahafo Region ever paid money to the Regional Minister, Hon Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh to influence his or her appointment”.
“We want to state that all the 27 MDCEs in the Region were appointed by HE the President on our own merits. We are men and women of substance from various fields of specialization, spanning from Law, Medicine, Banking, Business and Teaching, some even at the University levels. We are also known party members who have served the party at the various levels as Executives, Parliamentary Aspirants and Candidates”, they insisted.
They charged that “the weakest link in our younger brother’s chain of allegations is that in his haste to go to the media without crosschecking out the facts, he forgot to realize that the 1992 Republican Constitution, Article 243 (1) and section 20 (1) of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) have reserved an unconditional sole responsibility to HE the President, for the appointment of MMDCEs in all the 216 MMDAs”.
They explained that “Regional Ministers are not responsible for the appointment of MMDCEs. Therefore it is strange for any right thinking person or any experienced politician, seeking to serve the high office of MMDCE, to bribe a Regional Minister with the hope of been appointed, knowing very well that the same President who appointed the Regional Minister is responsible for his or her appointment”.
Then if any aspirant, desirous to become MMDCE believes there is anyone to be bribed for his/her appointment, then it should be no other person but the President. We wish to ask our younger brother who has alleged that the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister for example, collected the bribes from the then MDCE aspirants, to influence HE the President to appoint them, or the Regional Minister gave the money to HE the President so as to appoint the aspirants who paid the bribes as MDCEs? One unique thing about President Akufo-Addo’s appointments to the various positions as many Ghanaians can testify is that all individuals who 3 had opportunity to be appointed got such appointments on merit because talents abound in NPP.
It is also not true that the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister had influenced the appointments of Lawyers from his Chambers for all the MDAs in the Region.
According to them, “Out of the 27 MDAs in the Region, only 3 namely; Techiman and Sunyani Municipalities and Asutifi North District who have Lawyers from Henewaa Chambers as their Solicitors, adding “We wish to state that each Lawyer from the Chamber applied using his Solicitor’s License and duly screened by their respective Assemblies before appointments were made. They were appointed as Lawyers to provide professional services to the Assembly concerned but not representatives from the Regional Minister’s Chambers”.
“Ironically, Tano South District Assembly is currently litigating with a party at the Sunyani High Court whose Solicitor is from Henewaa Chambers. It’s on record that Some MDAs even had Lawyers appointed by their respective Assemblies before Hon Asomah-Cheremeh assumed office as Regional Minister. Having set the records straight, we wish to assure our younger brother, Mr. Kwame Baffoe that in spite of all the embarrassment his unfounded allegations have caused us, the party, the Regional Minister, and HE the President, we have forgiven him and plead with the Regional Minister and the President to do same. We however wish to advice Mr. Kwame Baffoe to assist HE the President in his fight against corruption, to submit any such evidence of corruption he has, to any of the state investigative bodies for necessary action to be taken”, the state said.
To this end, “we believe that to be more purposeful than the approach he has adopted because he who alleges must prove and he is been reminded that the media does not have prosecuting powers. We also request of the leadership of the youth wing of our party to have a word with their colleague, Mr. Kwame Baffoe to be decorous in discussing 4 issues concerning senior government officials. We wish to remind listeners about similar embarrassing allegations as well as wild accusations he made against Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah, the Minister of National Security”.