The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has succumbed to the ‘pressure’ from a section of the followers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to change the venue for the party’s regional executives election from the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to the Baba Yara Stadium.
Similarly, the scheduled date for the programme has been pushed from Friday to Saturday, May 28, 2022.
Mr Osei-Mensah, who doubles as the Chairman of the Election Committee, chose the RCC, despite people questioning the use of the facility, as he claimed “there is tension surrounding the incoming election hence the use of RCC as the venue”, in order to ensure strict security for the election.
The people condemned the act, accused the minister of attempting to manipulate the regional chairmanship slot in favour of the incumbent Bernard Antwi Bosiako, popularly known as chairman Wontumi. While others indicated that “it is against the Local Government Act to hold party elections at such premises”.
But in a chat with the Secretary of the Election Committee, Dr Kwabena Kokofu, the committee had an option to choose from three venues – the RCC, Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Baba Yara Stadium.
“So there is no pressure on us, and there is no truth in the allegation that there is a plan to rig the chairmanship election for anyone”. Far from the truth, and that must be treated with the contempt it deserves”, he stated.
Thirty five individuals aspiring for the 10 different positions, including the chairmanship, have been vetted with 5 persons vying for the chairmanship portfolio including the incumbent Mr Bosiako and a strongest contender Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, otherwise known as ‘COKA’.
Three persons are contesting for the First Vice Chairman, while seven persons are contesting for the Second Vice Chairman position with two persons contesting the Secretary and four others for the Assistant Secretary.
Similarly, the position of Treasurer is being contested by four persons with one each contesting the Organiser and Nasara posts, while three women are vying for the Women’s Organiser post and eight going for the Youth Organiser position.
Campaigns have already gathered momentum with several calls for a change in leadership.
A number of fanatics believed Ashanti Region as the stronghold of the NPP, has suffered delays in execution of many development projects, including roads and hospitals and blamed the leadership for the retrogressing development in the region.
With several calls for change in the Chairmanship position, some aspirants who interacted with the Ghanaian Times here, are optimistic of their chances to clinch the position.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE,KUMASI