President appoints MMDCEs (Front, April 27)

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed 212 chief executives for the metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs) amid agitations by some supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The regional breakdown of the appointees are Ashanti Region, 29,  Brong Ahafo Region, 27, Central Region, 20, Eastern Region 26, Greater Accra,15, Northern Region, 20, Upper East Region, 13, Upper West 11, Volta Region 25, and  Western Region 21.
The list of the appointees was released in Accra by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, with a call on those who were not chosen for those positions to remain calm.
At a media briefing yesterday, Hajia Mahama said: “It is natural that those who were shortlisted and vetted by the President’s Committee had high expectations that they would be appointed to serve the nation as chief executives of the assemblies and be representatives of the central government in their districts. But it is obvious that only one person can serve in that capacity in every assembly.”
The minister, however, advised the other applicants to appreciate that there were other positions for which they might be called upon to offer their service in the interest of the nation.
Already, four metropolitan chief executives (MCEs) for Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi/Takoradi and Tamale have been appointed and approved by their respective assemblies.

Expansion of local  democracy
With the government planning to make the position of district chief executive (DCE) an elected one from 2019, the minister said: ‘’It is the expectation of the President that  this will be the last time metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives would be appointed in this manner.
‘’The time has come for expansion of local democracy to provide for their direct election by the people of the districts.’’
 It was the pledge of NPP in the run-up to the 2016 general election to have MMDCEs directly elected by the people in the districts.
She said the government would begin the process of amending  the 1992 Constitution and putting in place the necessary measures to ensure the direct election of MMDCEs.
After the necessary constitutional amendment had been done for the election of MMDCEs, Hajia Mahama said, the President would have no hand in their appointments since the power would be reserved for the people.

Capable men and women
She said the appointees were capable men and women with expertise, experience and temperament  to head  the assemblies and inspire a new era of rapid development in the country.
 In exercising his responsibilities under Article 243(1), Hajia Mahama said, the President carried out extensive consultations at the district, regional and national levels.
Since 1993, successive Presidents have nominated metropolitan, municipal district chief executives (MMDCEs) who are then approved or rejected by their assemblies.
The process always generates some protests, especially, from supporters of the ruling parties and chiefs. Ethnicity, hometowns of the appointees and cases of lack of consultation have always been the underlying factors.

January 20, 2017
Dozens of angry youth alleged to be members of the Basere ethnic group at Tatale in the Northern Region embarked on what police in the area described as an “illegal demonstration” threatening of violence over a rumour that President Akufo -Addo had given the DCE position to someone from the Kokomba ethnic group.

February 2, 2017
There was growing tension in the Nkwanta South District in the Volta Region as the process leading to the appointment of a new DCE commenced with some elders in the area accusing the leadership of the NPP in the area of trying to impose a failed parliamentary candidate, Mr Cephas Kujoe Edusei, on them as the DCE because he was not from Akyode. Mr Edusei did not get the appointment.

February 20, 2017
Supporters of the NPP in Saboba in the Northern Region staged an angry street protest and followed it up with a press conference against some regional executive of the party over alleged attempts to impose the party’s Constituency Chairman, Mr George Bingrini, on them as DCE.
That effort did not yield fruit as Mr Bingrini has been nominated by the President.

February 20, 2017
A group claiming to be the youth wing of the NPP in the Tano North District in the Brong Ahafo Region issued a stern warning to the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Ms Freda Prempeh, not to interfere in the selection of a DCE for the area.
According to the angry youth, previous appointments had gone to indigenes of Duayaw Nkwanta though there were four zones in the district.

April 25, 2017
A group that calls itself Concerned Youth of Atiwa East embarked on a peaceful demonstration in Anyinam, calling on President Akufo-Addo to appoint someone from the Atiwa East Constituency as DCE for Atiwa.
The group said for more than 16 years since the district was created, all its DCEs had been appointed from Atiwa West, leaving Atiwa East residents out of leadership of the district

 April 26, 2017
Some aggrieved men, suspected to be members of the governing NPP, last Tuesday besieged the office of the Bawku West District Assembly in the Upper East Region and destroyed some properties to register their displeasure over the President’s choice of DCE.

April 26, 2017
Tension is mounting in the Mpohor District in the Western Region, as furious NPP supporters issued a stern warning to the leadership of the NPP in the region and the President not to appoint Mr Ignatius Assah Mensah for the position of DCE on the basis of ethnic balance.
They claimed their preferred candidate, Mr George Bernard Eshun, who was from Mpohor, would balance the share of power as the MP for the area, Mr Alex Agyekum, and the top constituency executive members of the party were all from Fiase.
In the end, Mr Mensah got the job from the President.


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