The Bongo District Assembly in the Upper East Region, eventually succeeded in electing a Presiding Member (PM) this Thursday after two unsuccessful attempts on January 23, 2020, a day the current Assembly was officially inaugurated alongside other Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies throughout Ghana
The PM-elect, Hon. Duke A. Anaba who happened to be the immediate past PM of the Assembly, got the nod after he secured 51 “YES” votes against two “NO” votes and one “rejected ballot” in an election conducted by the district’s Electoral Commission.
Hon. Joseph A. Akasake representing the Awaa electoral area who had been the main contender to the PM-elect, had to step down after several consultations and mediation from stakeholders spanning from about 09:00 AM in the morning up to around 14:00 GMT, the time the House was eventually called to order for the proceedings to commence.
The mediations also resulted in some compromises or concessions that had to be agreed upon by the two perceived blocs that invariably make up the Assembly. These are allegedly, the two major political parties in Ghana, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the major opposition party, the National Democratic Congress [NDC] bringing up fresh memories of the suspended 2019 Referendum.
After taking his oaths as mandated by law and administered by the Bongo District Magistrate, His Worship Mr. Kaar, the PM thanked his colleague assembly man for standing down and paving the way for him, stressing that, “I was elected as PM through consensus building and I urge colleagues to let this guide our deliberations as a House going forward”. He also thanked the Bongo Naba, the District Chief Executive (DCE) and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the vital roles they individually played in ensuring that, the Assembly got a PM so as to help hasten the development of the area.
Hon. Anaba made a fervent pledge to establish an ambitious welfare fund for members of the House with a 100,000.00 Ghana Cedi target and immediately promised to put in his contribution of 2,000.00 Ghana Cedis as leader of the Assembly. This fund, he explained was to serve as a ready call point when issues of welfare regarding members come up especially during times that could be difficult to marshal petty contributions from members. He thus appealed to the DCE and MP to donate meaningfully to the fund as it held very bright prospects for the Assembly and its members.
The House then went on to discuss composition of the statutory five subcommittees of the Assembly but though inconclusive, some meaningful progress was made before adjournment of the day’s sitting. The subcommittees include Finance and Administration, Works, Development Planning, Social Services as well as Justice and Security.
Meanwhile Bongo DCE Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in remarks earlier charged the honourable members of the Assembly to shake off all their political affiliations whenever they converge for deliberations in the House and see the improvement of lives and the overall development of Bongo as their pre-occupation. He also cautioned the members not to over-rate themselves over others as no one could claim to know everything or to be totally independent of others.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)