B/A Regional Minister is Accused Of Usurping President’s Powers
By Gifty Arthur
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, is being accused of usurping the powers of President John Mahama for nominating the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sompa Development Company Limited, Philip Oppong Amponsah, as Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Techiman.
The Minister, who is reported to have confirmed the news on a local radio station Classic FM recently, is reported to have said that preparations are ongoing for an election to be held to confirm the so-called President’s nominee.
However, scores of supporters of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) mainly from the Zongos, have contested the said information and the two letters, making the rounds announcing Mr. Oppong Amponsah, as the President’s nominee, as fake.
The NDC supporters say that they are unaware of any nomination made by the President Mahama to occupy the seat which is also being eyed by one Mohammed Baba Ahmed said to be the choice of the settlers like Ewes, Northerners and the Zongo communities, whiles Mr. Amponsah is the preferred choice of the indigenes, especially the chiefs.
Checks by this paper indicate that there is no official information coming from the Presidency, the Office of Chief of Staff or the Local Government Ministry announcing the nomination of Mr. Amponsah.
But no formal response too has come from any of the quarters denying or confirming the nomination as all information point to the announcement by Mr. Aidoo on Thursday. Party executives in Techiman have all flatly denied the nomination of Mr. Amponsah.
The two letters announcing the nomination of Mr. Amponsah which The Herald has copies are both headed “Nomination of Municipal Chief Executive”, one is dated November 18, 2013 and signed by Felix B Chaaraah, Chief Director Regional Coordinating Director (RCD) on behalf of the Regional Minister, whiles the second one is signed by the Regional Minister himself.
Letterheads of the Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) were used. However, the two letters had the same reference numbers.
The letter signed by Mr. Chaaraah, has the day of the date written with pen, whiles the rest of the letter is typed, the one written by Mr. Aidoo, was without a specific date, although it had November 2013, as the month it was issued, leaving critics concerned members of the area wondering if, the letters were indeed authentic.
Meanwhile, effort to reach the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, proved futile.
Mr. Aidoo, after failing to pick our calls, responded to a text message to his phone on this paper’s intention to do a short interview with him, but he retorted in a text message, “which area do you want to cover”?
However, after revealing to him that this reporter wanted to know about the nomination of Mr. Amponsah and matters arising, he kept mute without getting back, and many attempts to have him pick up his phone proved futile.
An earlier phone call to his Deputy, Justice Adjei, was rather successful, but he denied the knowledge of the said letters and directed this paper to make the effort to contact the Regional Minister himself, to speak to the matter.
It is on record that Tachiman, last week recorded incident of riot as supporters of the NDC, who doubted the news of the nomination were disappointed that their preferred candidate was not nominated, took to the street to register their displeasure by burning tires and destroying properties, leaving some people injured in the process.
But for the swift intervention of a military patrol team, there could have been a bloodbath in the municipality.
Information coming from the area indicates that the chiefs together with the RCC led by the Minister are feverishly preparing the grounds to conduct the elections, whereas the security, have confirmed the fictitious nature of the letters and have advised that the said elections be cancelled, but the chiefs are adamant.
The chiefs are reported to be sympathizers of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and are burnt on seeing to the confirmation of the 37-year old, Mr. Amponsah as the new Techiman MCE. The Muslim youth who insist most of the NDC votes since 1992 comes from their area, have vowed to disrupt the said elections.
It is feared that if nothing is done about the impending elections, a possible clash may be recorded as the factions are organizing themselves.
The youth argue that if indeed, it was the President that nominated Mr. Amponsah as the new MCE, for the area to replace Alex Kyeremeh, who is now a Deputy Education Minister in-charge of basic education, then the presidency must come clean to help deflate the tension in the area, since they are ready to work with anybody the president nominates.
However, they are not sure of the two letters coming from the Brong Ahafo RCC.