PRESS CONFERENCE BY PRO- NPP ASSEMBLY MEMBERS CAUCUS OF JAMAN SOUTH MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY ON THE CONDUCT OF THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HON ANDREWS BEDIAKO 

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media. Thank you very much for honouring our invitation, though you were given a short notice of this very important press conference.

We have invited you here to let you know and use your media to make it known to the appointing authorities the conduct and posture of Hon. Andrews Bediako in the unfortunate happenings and developments in the Jaman South Municipality.

Before anything else, we want to place it on record that Hon. Andrews Bediako is the cause and the reason behind all the noise, hatred, animosity and all sorts of unpleasant developments happening in the Jaman South NPP and the municipality as a whole.

1. THE INPATIENCE AND INTOLERANCE OF HON. ANDREWS BEDIAKO.

It is known to everybody in the Jaman South Municipality that Hon. Andrews Bediako is highly intolerant and quick tempered such that he DOES NOT accept criticism on his administration. He will quickly go on radio, use social media platforms and all available platforms and rain naked insults on anybody who criticises his administration. Clear example is when he went to Jaman Radio and used WhatsApp platform to insult some journalists and told the whole world about how pitifully their parents met their untimely deaths. The ‘crime’ these journalists committed was that they had discussed certain MEMO purported to have leaked from the Jaman South Municipal Assembly, on the purchase of some assorted alcoholic drinks by the office of the MCE. Meanwhile, the Municipal Assembly has not denied the MOMO.

2. HON. ANDREWS BEDIAKO’S OUTRAGEOUS DISREGARD FOR THE CONVENTIONAL PRACTICES, AUTHORITIES AND THE LAWS OF THE ASSEMBLY.

Honourable Andrews Bediako exhibits strong disregards towards the long-standing practices andconventions of the Assembly, though he touts himself as a local governance expert. Since he assumed office as MCE, he has never shown any respect to the practices and conventions of the Assembly. Permit me to cite a few examples:
a). Formation of Sub-Committees. As it has been the practice since 1992, a form is designed for Assembly members to fill to indicate the committee on which they want to serve based on their expertise. Even in some cases, Assembly members are given 3 options to choose. After that, Assembly members are consulted before they are put into committees. Hon. Andrews Bediako disregarded this practice and surpringly, he unilaterally and arbitrary formed the Sub-Committees without taking into consideration the expertise of any Assembly member. He did this to ensure that his cronies and favourite Assembly members are to be on placed on specific committees.

b). Dangerously, the so called Local Governance Expert , who should know better, has taken some people to court for allegedly inciting the public not to pay tax, when Section 27 of the Local Governance Act, 2016, (Act 936) (e) mandates the Public Relations and Complaints Committee(PRCC)of the Assembly to deal with matters like this and come out with their decision. For your information, the PRCC decisions are equal to High Court rulling. The MCE is wasting the Assembly’s resources on frivolous and vexatious litigations.

c). Unilaterally overturning the collective decision of the Assembly. Hon. Andrews Bediako has boldly and unilaterally overturned the decision taken by the entire Assembly members on the Fee Fixing Resolution passed for the year 2022. The Municipal Assembly at its general in accordance with Sections 124 – 152 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), passed the Imposition of Rates and Fee Fixing Resolution for 2022. This was the decision:

l . Tricycles/Motorcycles Registration fee for the year 2022 (one time payment) is GHC 50.OO and
ii. Tricycles/Motorcycles Operational fee for the year 2022 (daily payment) is GHC 1.00
The Assembly has never resolved at our sittings that these fees should be reduced, increased, or be tampered with by anybody, be it the MCE or whoever. However, to our utmost surprise, the MCE has unilaterally gone against the terms of this Resolution. He is implementing what the Assembly never resolved to do. This is clear violation of Section 141(1) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).This unilateral decision by the MCE has brought some misunderstanding, confusions and conflicts among the Motorcycles/Tricycles operators and the Municipal Assembly. The Motorcycles/Tricycles operators are now being forced to pay upfront what they are supposed to pay for the whole year. Ladies and gentlemen, who in Ghana pays taxes in advance for work he has not done? The MCE has also reduced the daily operational fee which is GHC 360.00 a year, to GHC 100.00 a year by unilateral decision.

3. ELECTION OF THE PRESIDING MEMBER, THE STANCE AND POSTURE OF HON. ANDREWS BEDIAKO.

Hon. Andrews Bediako has on a number of occasions shown that He is the reason why Jaman South Municipal Assembly is finding it difficult to elect someone to lead the Assembly as the Presiding member. This is because
a). The NPP caucus has over the years presented the various Presiding Members for the Assembly without the influence of any outgone District or Municipal Chief Executive. For instance, Hon. Kofi Kyeremeh, may his soul rest in peace, was presented by the NPP caucus to the then DCE, Hon Apraku Tannoh as the Presiding member from 2006 – 2008. The MCE accepted it and pledged to work with him or any other person the party would choose.
Hon Adjei Clement was also presented to Hon. Alhaji Abuu as Presiding Member in the year 2017, and there was no problem.
Hon. Simon Berko was presented to Alhaji Abuu as Presiding member in 2020, and this time too there was no problem. In all these cases, the NPP caucus met at least 14 days before the Presiding Membership election and presented someone to be their Presiding member based on the caucus’ own conventional practices. The previous D/MCEs never got themselves involved in choosing canadidates to be Presiding members.
However, during tenure of Andrews Bediako(HON.), the story has changed. In the 2022 Presiding Member elections, the MCE invited a certain group of NPP Assembly members to a meeting in his residence few days before the Presiding member election and asked them to vote for his preferred candidate, who is Hon. Simon Berko. The next day, he held another meeting with some Government Appointees and also asked them to vote for his preferred candidate. On the day of election, early in the morning, the former Presiding member, acting on the instructions of the MCE, convened a meeting of some NPP Assembly members at the MCE’s residence. At that meeting, the MCE expressly imposed Hon. Simon Berko on the NPP caucus as his preferred candidate.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it is regrettable to note that, after the elections, Hon. Simon Berko, had 16 votes against 24 votes obtained by Hon. Kwang Kwasi Godfred in the 1st round of voting. In the 2nd round, Hon. Simon Berko, the MCE’s choice had 21 votes and Hon. Kwang Kwasi Godfred had 31 votes.
Since none of the candidates obtained the required two- thirds majority, another date was fixed for the Electoral Commission to conduct a run-off in accordance with the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) Section 17, and Order 9 (5) of the Model Standing Orders of the District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies. The MCE, noticing that his preferred candidate was not the choice of the people, recommended the revocation of the appointment of 10 Government Appointees. Thus, on the recommendation of the MCE, the Regional Minister revoked the appointment of 10 Government Appointees. This happened a day before the run-off. In place of these 10 appointees, the MCE appointed his own people and ordered them not to vote for Hon Godfred. After the voting, Hon Godfred who had 24 votes and 31 votes in the 1st and 2nd rounds respectively, had 22 votes, that is , his votes were reduced from 32 to 22.
Why should the MCE behave like this?
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, in all the above happenings, we approached Hon. Andrews Bediako severally to know how best we could resolve issues but he would not listen.

It is sad to note that, the MCE boldly and shamelessly met the NDC leadership to encourage them to bring a candidate from their caucus for him and his group to vote for as the Presiding member for the Jaman South Municipal Assembly.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, please join us to ask the MCE, Hon. Andrews Bediako the following questions:
: i. Who are his group?
ii. Is the MCE promoting “skirt and blouse”?
iii. If the MCE could be bold enough to meet the NDC caucus to bargain, why couldn’t he meet his own party members to iron out their differences and build concensus?
In all these things, the MCE would quickly go to jaman radio and speak as if he is infallible .

4. HON. ANDREWS BEDIAKO’S DIVISIVE NATURE.

As you all know, MMDCEs are supposed to be fathers for all. But in the case of Hon. Andrews Bediako, he has shown on numerous occasions through his actions and inactions that he is not for the unity of the Municipality and even for his own party, NPP. His divisive comments on radio against his predecessors are enough evidence. How on earth would MCE go to radio with his lieutenants and would be sitting down looking on for these his lieutenants openly insult some high profile persons including the immediate past MCE, Hon Alhaji Abuu and the Member of Parliament, Hon.Williams Okofo Dartey, as block headed, and that, he, Hon. Andrews Bediako’s wisdom is so great that when you divide it into two(2) and put half into the heads of Hon. Alhaji Abuu and Hon. Williams Okofo Dartey, they will all go mad because their heads cannot contain just a half of the wisdom of Hon. Andrews Bediako. Instead of calling them to order, he even clapped for them. The Facebook video of this unfortunate live radio transmission is here which we would want to play for you to hear. We will also give you copies of all these.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, are you not wondering why Hon.Andrews Bediako should recommend for the revocation of some Government Appointees of the Assembly and maintain some 8 of them?. What crime did these appointees commit? If this is not an explicit example of divisiveness, what else?
What motivates Hon. Andy Young to take delight in bickering, disunity, ill will, vendetta and wrangle?
Has he soon forgotten that he has been touting himself as a Local Governance Extraordinaire? He should know better.

In conclusion, we will wish to use your media platforms to tell the appointing authorities to, as quickly as possible, talk to or call Hon. Andrews Bediako to order. As he touts himself as the Local Governance Expert Extraordinaire, we will expect him to learn from his predecessors.

Ladies and gentlemen, we wish to end this press conference on the following notes:
1) That, Hon. Andrews Bediako is a highly divisive MCE, who has created factions in the NPP in Jaman South.

2) The conduct of the MCE is inimical to the development and smooth running of the Municipal Assembly.

3) The MCE is rapidly making the NPP unattractive in Jaman South.

4) If the MCE is not called to order, the NPP cannot recover our Parliamentary seat that we painfully lost to the NDC in 2020.

5) If we can break the 8, we must all unite and form a solid front.

Thank you very much for coming. God bless you all.

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