NPP supporters asked to pipe down anger (April 27)
Supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been urged to calm down as the government yesterday released a list of 212 municipal and district chief executives to lead its vision at the district level.
With a wave of agitations spreading in some parts of the country over President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s choice of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), the acting General Secretary of the party, Mr John Boadu, has called on the party members and supporters to pipe down their anger.
“With the kind of people the NPP has on the ground, with qualities such as experience, long service to the party and hardworking people over the period, obviously if you have to appoint one person in a district, you will have a lot more people who are qualified and competent and would have wished to be the one, but the President has only one choice,” he told the Daily Graphic.
According to him, there were a lot more positions yet to be filled.
“There are more positions available. Even those appointed will not be there forever. We are even planning in a year or so to go for the election of MMDCEs.
“I don’t think this should generate the kind of agitations we are seeing. It clearly shows the kind of interest people have and the fact that people want to be part of the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” Mr Boadu said.
Putting a spin on the protests, he said it was because “people want to see the success of it. It will pipe down”.
Asked about the party’s effort to reach out to its supporters to prevent the disappointment from degenerating into chaos, he said the party did not want to tie the hands of the President.
“We have been talking to them, only that it is not direct because if you don’t take care you will be usurping the powers of the President.
“As party leaders, opinion leaders, chiefs, ministers and others, we are only complementing the efforts of the President. This is a pure decision of the President,” he noted.
Mr Boadu, however, said the party machinery had put in measures in place to forestall disturbances.
The Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, shared a similar sentiment, saying, “I can assure you in the course of the governance process, there will be other opportunities for the President to find positions of qualified persons who were not named as MMDCEs.”
He was, however, quick to add that it was not automatic that once the aspirants for the MMDCE job did not get appointments, they had to be fixed somewhere at all cost.
Since 1993, successive Presidents had nominated MMDCEs who were then approved or rejected by their assemblies. The process has always generated some protests, especially from supporters of the ruling parties and chiefs.
However, Mr Abdul-Hamid said he was optimistic that this would be the last time public anger over the choice of MMDCEs would happen, whether the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or NPP was in power, as the government would make the necessary constitutional changes to allow voters choose their local government heads.
“We intend to put a stop to that matter and President Akufo-Addo is determined to be the President to stop it by putting power directly in the hands of the people to elect their MMDCEs,” Mr Boadu stated.
He said just as the election of members of Parliament did not court protests, the election of MMDCEs was the way to go.
He said the police were mandated to deal ruthlessly with persons who destroyed public property in the name of disagreement over the appointments of MMDCEs.
According to figures from the NPP, there were more than more than 2,300 applicants for the positions.
The Chairman of the MMDCEs Appointment Committee, Mr Peter MacManu, told the Daily Graphic that the selection process involved an extensive consultation and inputs from chiefs, opinion leaders and assembly members.
He said the background of the applicants’ work experience and their knowledge of local government and their plans to improve the socio-economic well-being of their people were key considerations.