Mr. Benjamin Kessie is walking a tightrope as the new Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly after he was described as illegitimate by some embittered assembly members in the area following his controversial confirmation last Friday, May 22, 2020.
According to the 22 assembly members, the confirmation of Mr. Kessie was illegal because it did not follow due processes as stipulated by law. They have therefore vowed not to work with or recognise him as their MCE.
They have further threatened to employ all legitimate means to seek redress and to reverse his confirmation.
Mr. Kessie was last Friday confirmed as MCE allegedly by a few selected assembly members perceived to be sympathisers of the governing NPP through the tacit endorsement of the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko and the MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, George Mireku Duker.
The Minister and the MP, according to the assembly members circumvented the law and forcefully used armed police personnel to physically prevent them from taking part in the voting process to confirm or reject the President’s nominee.
All attempts to have access to the voting hall to exercise the franchise proved futile as the police would not lose their guard.
The crude strategy they said was adopted after Mr. Kessie failed to pull a two-thirds majority of total votes cast at an earlier election held Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Speaking at a press conference in Tarkwa on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, the Assembly Member for Benso Electoral Area, Justin Afful described the machinations as “not only barbaric, crude and irresponsible but an affront to the democratic tenets of the country and a threat to local governance practice.”
“We also wish to state here and now that the so-called election on which the nominee was confirmed was illegal since it did not follow the legal process as prescribed by the local government Act, 2016 Act 936 as amended. As such the twenty-two (22) elected members who were prevented to perform our legitimate duties and to exercise our constitutional rights do not recognize Mr. Benjamin Kessie as the legally confirmed MCE for the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive. We have therefore served notice and have indeed begun consultations with lawyers to advise us and we shall in the coming days start legal action against Mr. Benjamin Kessie’s illegal confirmation,” he added.
“The regional minister together with the Member of Parliament George Mireku Duker and his cousin Benjamin Kessie, have brought sharp division into the assembly and for that matter, the entire municipality which if not checked will not portend well for the peace and development of the municipality, Mr. Afful stated.
“It must be placed on record that the meeting that was held to confirm the nominee Benjamin Kessie, was illegal because the purported letters which were distributed among a section of the members of the assembly were not signed by the presiding member who by law is the only person who has the mandate to sign letters inviting members into a meeting with the exception of the inaugural meeting,” he advanced.