*The Inside Story
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
It has been almost nine (9) months since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo begun his second in office. But, the various districts in the country are yet to know their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
The President, however, has asked his previous MMDCEs to stay in office until the new appointments are made.
But the continuous stay of the MMDCES in office according to the former UN Advisor on Good Governance, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Dua is stalling development at the local levels.
Commenting on the delay with the appointments in an interview with Today Newspaper on Saturday, August 28, 2021, he noted that Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution states that a Chief Executive shall be appointed by the President for each district with prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the Assembly.
But upon assumption of office to begin his second term, President Akufo-Addo, in a communique issued by his Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, directed all MMDCEs from his previous tenure to remain at post until new ones are nominated, a situation he described as worrying.
Readers will recall that the General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, early this month in an interview with Citi News which was monitored by the Today Newspaper said the team that was put together to vet MMMDCEs aspirants had completed its work and submitted its report to the President.
According to him the committee of which he was a member did a very thorough job.
In explaining what accounted for the delay in settling on the selected persons, he said the committee needed to have a fair balance of experienced hands together with youthful ones, as well as those who were on the ground.
“The committee has finished and presented its report to the president. There is the need to ensure gender balance, the infusion of youthful people, and also to respond to local dynamics and ethnic backgrounds as well”,he said.
But explaining the reasons for the delay, President Akufo-Addo during working visit to the Northern Region early this month said his team was working hard to reach a consensus on the appointment of the MMDCEs.
He said various reports presented to him by committees set up for the selection process were currently being scrutinised by his team, and that very soon the list would be ready.
“It’s been quite an exhaustive process and we are trying, as much as possible, to arrive at some consensus about them”, he said.
Explaining further the seeming delay in the appointments, he said it was due to the diligence being followed in the appointing process.
President Akufo-Addo said it was because of the rigorous process and the delay in the process that his administration proposed the election of MMDCEs.
He said it was his wish that the way Members of Parliament (MPs) and the President were elected by the people must apply at the local level.
“As you know, my original wish has been that MMDCEs will no longer be the patronage of the President and will not be appointed by the President but elected by the people,” he said.
However, our sources at the seat of government paint a different picture of the whole process.
Whiles our investigations confirmed that due diligence was being applied with the appointments as the President had said, the report of the vetting committee had inclusion of persons with criminal records.
According to our sources, some of the approved nominees have cases in court which are yet to be ruled upon.
Others, Today Newspaper further gathered bribed some members on the committees to have them approved.
Some chiefs and opinion leaders also in some districts, our intelligence said have petitioned President Akufo-Addo against some appointed MMDCEs.
The President, our source also said that was unhappy that some 2024 presidential hopefuls of the party managed to have their loyalists approved for appointment, a situation he said, would undermine his second term.
Many Ghanaians have expressed disquiet over the long delay in the appointment of MMDCEs.
One of such persons is the Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim.
He believes Ghanaians are losing as a result of the delay in the appointment of MMDCEs as it affecting local governance.
“The ordinary Ghanaian is losing out because of the inability of the President to appoint MMDCEs,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
He stressed that “as soon as possible, he [President Akufo-Addo] must appoint MMDCEs all over.”
Mr. Ibrahim, the Ranking Member on the Local Government and Rural Development Committee of Parliament, said certain infrastructural projects require the attention of the local assemblies.
“The people are suffering because of the inefficient or ineffective way of appointing the MMDCEs. If the MMDCEs were to be at post, the President would have sent the first quarter and second quarter funds for people to be benefitting
Notwithstanding, Today can authoritatively report that all is set now for the President to release the list of the MMDCEs.