By Mahama Haruna
(Aspirant for Elected Representative of the Council of State for the Savannah Region)
First of all Article 89 (2c) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana spells out clearly the modalities for the election of Regional Representatives for the Council of state and so it is expected that the various Municipal and District Assemblies within the Savanmah Region meet to nominate two Assembly Members to form the electoral college for the purpose of the election of the regional representative for the Savannah Region.
Secondly Section 5 of the Local Government Act, Act 936 also defines the composition of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDCE’s).
Now as an Aspirant for the position of Elected Member of the Council of State representing the Savannah Region, I have been keenly following the process for the selection of Representatives or Delegates from the various Municipal and District Assemblies in the region.
Even before filing of nomination papers which is to take place from 1st February to 4th February, 2021, snippets of information I have indicates the Representatives or delegates of the Municipal and District Assemblies in the Savannah Region have been clandestinely chosen and would be made known a day or two to the election date (12th January, 2021).
Further information indicates that the Municipal and District Assemblies in the Savannah Region have allowed some political apparatchiks to handpick some members of the various Municipal and District Assemblies and submitted their names to the District Electoral Commissions for onward submission to the Savannah Regional Electoral Commission Office on the blind side of the Assemblymen or general Assembly. This is unconstitutional.
Per Article 89 (2c) of Ghana’s Constitution as well as the Standing Orders of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDCE’s), the two (2) representatives from each Municipal or District Assembly in the Savannah Region should be selected after a formal meeting of the Municipal or District Assembly concerned.
It is therefore expected that the various Municipal and District Assemblies within the Savanmah Region meet to nominate the two Assembly Members to form the electoral college for the election of the Savannah region elected representative. Anything short this is contrary to Ghana’s Constitution and the standing orders of the Municipal and District Assemblies.
As an Aspirant I do not have an idea as to who the Representatives or Delegates of the various Municipal and District Assemblies in the Savannah Region are so far, hence might be dealing with wrong people.
I have moved round the vast Savannah Region to meet a number of Presiding Members of the various Municipal and District Assemblies but it seems the Presiding Members might not even be delegates and might not know the Representatives or delegates that have been selected.
I’m monitoring some WhatsApp platforms that have members of a particular political party in the Savannah Region and it is surprising Regional Executives and Communicators of the said political party want the election to be handled like it is a New Patriotic Party (NPP) and a National Democratic Congress (NDC) affair and so began suggesting how and which delegates should be selected a week ago without taking into consideration the constitution of Ghana and the standing orders of MMDCE’s of Ghana.
Mahama Haruna do not aspire to be an Elected Member of the Council or state from the Savannah Region to pander to the whims and caprices or interest of any political party but to fulfil the constitutional mandate of the Council of state, which among others is to be an advisor to the President of Ghana and to provide critical inputs into major decisions taken by the President especially with regards to issues of the Savannah Region.
Support for Mahama Haruna is overwhelming but a few people have advised me to withdraw since there won’t be a level playing field. I disagreed with them because I’m in the race to win Insha Allah because of my good works for the Savannah Region and worth of experience and so will soldier on.
Those whipping political considerations should stop because Savannah Region need someone who would be a worthy elected Representative at the Council of State of Ghana and not someone who should be voted because he belongs to a political party. The Savannah Region do not need someone some political activists think should go to the Council of State and be sleeping or someone who is not prepared to work but simply need a landcruishsr and the pecks of the position.
I therefore implore stakeholders to give those interested in the position of elected Member of the Council of State for the Savannah region a level playing field so that those interested can compete on an equal footing for the most suitable person to be voted.
I therefore call on the Ghana Association of Elected Assembly Members (GAAM) on the Savannah Region and relevant stakeholders including the Electoral Commission in the Savannah Region to take interest in the selection of the Electoral college so as not to allow any politician interfere and take charge of the selection process.
Emergency meetings simply need to to be convened at the various Municipal and District Assemblies in the Savannah Region for Representatives or Delegates to be selected.
Would it be out place to seek legal redress if the selection of delegates for the Council of state elections in the Savannah Region do not meet the requirement of Article 89 (2c) of Ghana’s Constitution and the Standing Orders of MMDCE’s?
30th January, 2021.