Mr. Michael Amoah Awuku, the President’s nominee for the position of Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Atwima Nwabiagya South has been rejected by Electoral College of his Assembly and the same group of voters has promised to continue rejecting him until he is replaced with any other person.
The Assembly Members’ whose votes are critically needed to form the two-thirds minimum quota, insist the entrenched position taken against Michael Amoah Awuku is not appealable, it is not negotiable and no amount of insults, intimidation and threats would make them change their stance; the only solution, they are expecting, is to change the nominee to any other eligible person.
Mr. Amoah Awuku could not secure the required minimum of two thirds of all valid votes cast at the polls last Friday and this means he would have to be re-nominated for fresh polls to be organized, within some ten days, in the hope that he would secure the required number of votes before he can serve as MCE for a second term.
His performance at the polls though not abysmal, was insignificant as he secured 19 out of 31 votes cast. His proponents have predicted that at the next polls, he would easily secure above 22 votes but his opponents insist that even the 19 votes he secured was due to intense lobbying, pressure and persuasion from influential godfathers in the Region and other unorthodox ways and means the paper has no evidence to be true or whether it is just one of the allegations thrown against him.
What is certain is that persons who have openly taken a stance against Michael Amoah Awuku have suffered several and varied degrees of insults, verbal attacks and threats.
Some have received provocative audio messages which in summary is calling their bluff and daring them that with or without their votes, Michael Amoah Awuku would be retained as MCE.
What is disturbing and should be a source of worry for the government of the day and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for that matter is the fact that the verbal attacks has been extended to some key party leaders and traditional authorities in the area and could degenerate into post-polls acrimony.
It is shocking that a reconciliatory and peaceful tactic is not being adopted in managing the situation so as to create some harmony and internal coercion ahead of the next polls but rather a divisive and intimidating approach with trappings of Machiavellian tactics.
The insults and intimidations has heightened the entrenched positions and made t eve more difficult for the nominee to woo additional votes to his side.
“We are committed to the pact we have with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo but the anchor of that pact in this our area will lead us nowhere reason we have rejected him to send a signal to the president that Awuku is not a unifier and may not help his course”, the Assembly Members told journalists after voting on Friday September 24, 2021.
They even challenged the transparency of the voting process and alleged that they did not have an agent of their own choice at the table where all valid votes were counted.
Prior to the re-monimation of Michael Amoah Awuku, there had been several petitions, protests and agitations against his continuous stay as MCE.
“We would be better off as a community if the only name President Akufo-Addo intends to nominate as his representative for Atwima Nwabiagya South is the incumbent, Michael Amoah Awuku”, Traditional leaders and development partners within the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality publicly declared at a press briefing held in June this year, some three months ago, to plead with Nana Akufo-Addo to never retain the incumbent.
“We are not in support of any particular person to become MCE for Atwima Nwabiagya South but the President would be doing himself and us all a great disservice if he nominates Michael Amoah Awuku for the second time.
“Nana Akufo-Addo have been told a lot of positive things about Michael Amoah Awuku by persons who have their personal interests if he becomes MCE again but we beg the President to send his own independent investigators to the community and get his own independent report; acrimony, discord among the people, slow pace of an almost insignificant development over the last years, a feeling of victimization and harassment, and a series of politically incorrect decisions that is making the government look very bad. If the only nominee the President has is Michael Amoah Awuku, then in all honesty, we would be better off having no MCE, he has been the worst performed MCE in the whole country and it would be sheer wickedness to retain him on us for even another day”, Abuakwa-Apemhaase Gyaasehene, Nana Okyere Sefa noted at the press briefing on the sorry state of development in the area.
Over the last years, there has been a never-ending plea from traditional authorities and development stakeholders in the area on the Presidency to change Michael Amoah Awuku as MCE.
There have also been a series of agitations and unrests at the grass roots although there seem to be a picture of calm waters painted about the situation when the situational reports reaches the corridors of power.
Abuakwa-Apemhaase Gyaasehene, Nana Okyere Sefa, speaking at the press conference said apart from a few non-communities centered Common Fund projects, the MCE, Michael Amoah Awuku cannot point to a single achievement chalked in the last four years he was in office from their Internal Generated Funds.
“If we had no DCE then it is better than what we have been given as a DCE. We are not seeing any benefits from him as appointee at all. We have not seen any development under his watch wondering if we are not part of the country.
“They should let us develop the community through our chiefs until we are given a DCE who is development-oriented because his conduct smacks of wickedness. We have told him about our plight, but he is indifferent to our plight”, Nana Okyere Sefa noted.
He said though the government under the leadership of Nana Addo had done well for the country, the area had been left out of the national development success story because of the working approach of the MCE.
Nana Okyere Sefa wondered what their crime has been that each time they approach the MCE, he tells them President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has not released money for the project and there was nothing he could do.
He complained that the MCE communicates the said information in what he described as an “extremely disrespectful and arrogant manner sometimes to the surprise of us and his motivation is that we didn’t appoint him as MCE but the President.
He warned that the Abuakwa-Apemhaase Traditional Council in particular will not hesitate to go an extra mile to force authorities to develop the area.
“Robbers always attack us in the evening and at dawn just behind the bridge because cars have to drop us when it gets to the bridge because they can’t cross. And it really poses a danger on us and puts fears in us.” Nana revealed.
The Chief complained of a dilapidated bridge in the area that has led to the death of 11 lives within the last three years: “this bridge links Abuakwa Highway to Abuakwa Housing where the President recently cut sod for the construction of Kuffour Estate. Unfortunately, our current MCE always tells us he is waiting for the President meanwhile he is into projects which are not community centered because he does not involve Chiefs in the development. Based on that, we the people of Atwima-Nwabiagya Municipal are begging the President to help us by appointing any other person except Awuku Michael”, angry opinion leaders asserted.”
Victimization of Assembly Members
Assemblyman for Sepaase Electoral Area Joseph Aboagye believes the MCE is using his position to victimize persons who are sacrificing to develop the area.
He disclosed that several projects he initiated including the building of classroom blocks, markets and others never got the needed support from the Assembly because he is not in the good books of Michael Amoah Awuku following fallouts from the NPP Presidential and parliamentary primaries in 2012 when the Assemblyman and others were supporting then candidate Akufo-Addo and Hon. Anthony Osei Boakye.
Whiles the MCE was supporting Anhwere and other Presidential candidate instead of Nana Akufo-Addo then
“Because the MCE is fighting with me, he has refused to allow projects go to my community thereby denying the people their fair share of the national cake. His argument is that some of the assembly members never supported the person he also supported during the NPP primaries. What worsened the situation is the current MCE race because he knows I am not in support of his second term bid”, he revealed.
According to him, with over 12 years as an Assemblyman, he has worked with other MCEs but the current one is incompetent and not fit for the job indicating that he is not the only person who is against his second coming.
“All he did is the ongoing police station being constructed. I helped to construct a market but because I initiated it, he together and the MP are making us suffer just because we supported another candidate during the NPP primaries which is our right”, he stressed.
Mr. Joseph Aboagye explicitly stated that it would be a disaster to maintain Michael Amoah Awuku who has succeeded in creating factions in the hitherto united communities with the common purpose in pursuit of his personal agenda.