The quest by ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to obtain one million votes in the Ashanti region vis-à-vis its opponents the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) vision to sweep about 90% of the votes in 2016 is beginning to polarize the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) .
The choice of a Presiding Member (PM) for the KMA which seems to have sparked the latest acrimony has resulted in some youth of the opposition party seeking the wrath of the deadly deity Atoa Nyamaa to struck dead members of the assembly who throw their support behind an NDC candidate as PM.
Though the choice of a PM is supposed to be non-partisan under the local government act, the race for the slot in the Ashanti Regional capital has taken a different dimension with the country’s two leading political parties; the NPP and NDC trying to outsmart each other.
It was therefore not surprising that aggrieved NPP youth members who claim 87 members of the Assembly are sympathetic to their course and also campaigned on the ticket of the party to win their respective slots, yesterday at the party’s regional office invoked curses on the Assembly members, who they alleged have taken bribes to vote for Nana Baffour when the assembly reconvenes to elect a PM.
On the 6th of October, the assembly failed to elect a Presiding Member (PM) after two rounds of voting ended in a stalemate. None of the five contestants – Nana Kofi Senya and Baffour Agyei Kesse, both former PMs, Nana Yaw Wiredu, Mr. Hamidu Gariba and Mr. Michael Adusei Bonsu, was able to secure the two-thirds majority votes required by the law.
Baffour Kesse polled 56 votes with Nana Senya receiving 46, while Mr. Bonsu Nana Wiredu and Gariba had 27, four and two votes respectively during the first round of voting.
The three candidates with the least votes later withdrew their nomination to make the second round a straight battle between the two former PMs.
Nana Senya however received the backing of 68 members as against the 65 who gave their votes to Baffour Kesse at the last sitting which by technicalities produced no winner leading to the Electoral Commission (EC) postponing the election in order to meet the 21-day grace period.
This has now narrowed the contest between Nana senya believed to be with the NPP and Baffour Kesse with the NDC. Kumasi Mayor Kojo Bonsu is alleged to have explicitly stated that he cannot help his party to achieve the one million votes agenda if Baffour Kesse is not voted for. The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP Bernard Antwi Bosiako is also alleged to have appealed to the Assembly members to vote for Nana Senya for the NPP to obtain more votes.
But the regional secretary of the NPP failed condemn the action of the party’s youth when he was asked why he allowed the premises of the regional secretariat to be used in invoking curses
The NDC has also denied bribing the assembly members by the deputy regional secretary of the party, Kwame Zu who described the accusation as pedestrian politics.
Tension is said to be enveloping and traditional authorities are being called in to revoke the curses, but factions in this issue are unabatedly pushing their agenda. The NPP members believe they can put the mayor on his toes if their member is not the presiding member. No one is ready to allow cool heads to prevail. Those in the realm of power are using it to their interest. Assembly regulations are ignored, there are no clear signs that common agreement is in sigh
The KMA has 147 members, 91 of them elected, 44 appointed and 10 ex-officio members, who are Members of Parliament (MPs).