Members of the Adaklu District Assembly on Wednesday, have for the fifth time rejected a third nominee for the position of a District Chief Executive for President Akufo-Addo's second term administration. 

The nominee, Mrs. Juliana Kpedekpo polled only 9-Yes votes out of 19 representing just 47.4 per cent.

The result means the nominee could not meet the two-thirds majority threshold to be confirmed as DCE for Adaklu. 

Both Phanuel Kadey Donkor, the immediate past DCE and Bright Kwame Nyatsikor on two separate counts each, were rejected by the Assembly.

So therefore, the rejection of Mrs Julian Kpedekpo on Wednesday marks the fifth count of rejection for DCE nominees for Adaklu under the second term of President Akufo-Addo.

But, of course, Adaklu has for many times rejected nominees deemed unfit, incompetent and disrespectful -at least, these are some of the reasons residents ascribe to many of the nominees rejected. So, the recent happenings are of no surprise.

So how best do we understand the Adaklu story?

To unravel this mystery, it is only appropriate to rely on the political history and antecedents as far as the Adaklu politics is concerned, since these are key index in political analysis and research. 

The Adaklu District was carved out in 2012 by President John Evans Attah Mills, from the then Adaklu Anyigbe District which was created in August 2004 under President John Agyekum Kuffour. Thus, the remaining Eastern part was then renamed the Agotime-Ziope District.

With a total population of 38,649 the Adaklu District Assembly operates from Adaklu Waya as the administrative capital.

In 2012, following the creation of the District, the area was rocked with confusion over the nomination of Maxwell Hini-Yao Gbakah as District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area.

On the very day scheduled for his confirmation, the youth and women in the area staged a demonstration to further register their displeasure. 

But for the presence of heavy security, the agitated youth would have disrupted the election process.

They wielded placards with some inscriptions which read: ''we reject Maxwell Gbakah as our DCE", ''Intervene President John Mahama'', ''Maxwell Gbakah is greedy and disrespectful'', ''We the youth don't want Gbakah as our DCE'' and ''Gbakah is a betrayer'' among others.

The nominee was consequently rejected by the Assembly members present and voted to the expectation of many residents.

The traditional authority in Adaklu at the time, also described Mr. Gbakah as not fit, not credible and unifying enough for the position. 

Mind you, Adaklu is dominated significantly by the NDC and that further meant that majority of the Assembly members were and remain members of the NDC but they rejected their own.

Subsequently, Mr. Emmanuel Sky Ganaku was nominated and confirmed the DCE for Adaklu, position he held until 2017 when the National Democratic Congress exited office.

Worryingly, all three nominees nominated by President Akufo-Addo as DCE for Adaklu to kick start his first term in office in 2017 were all rejected, only for the third nominee, Phanuel Kadey Donkor to be confirmed on a second attempt.

Madam Ella Boateng and Kate Elikplim Ametepe were both rejected.

Phanuel Kadey Donkor, a teacher by profession, who was finally confirmed had to fight opposition from within the NPP and outside the party throughout his time as DCE.

At one point, the traditional authority revolted against him and had made moves to get him out of office. He was accused of being disrespectful to the Chiefs in the area while the party hierarchy in Adaklu fought him so hard over claims of a disconnect and neglect. 

A leaked report from the Committee that vetted applicants for the position of MMDCEs for the NPP's second term administration, further lend credence to some of these claims when Mr. Phanuel Kadey Donkor was described by the Committee as someone who appeared not to know the number of polling stations in Adaklu. 

The leaked report said Mr. Phanuel Kadey Donkor appeared not to have participated in the elections and went on to recommend Bright Kwame Nyatsikor, an astute communicator and the Constituency Secretary of the NPP for Adaklu. 

But that was not to be, out of the blue, Mr. Phanuel Kadey Donkor was announced as the nominee when the list of MMDCEs finally came out. Surprised? Don't just be.

But on the very first day of his confirmation exercise, some party stalwarts within the constituency, were at the District Assembly premises castigating the nominee.

Some were so glaring in their rejection of the President's nominee. Certainly, these were people who did not enjoy having Kadey Donkor as their DCE between 2017-21 and wanted to see the back of him.

For those who wanted him, these allegations were unfounded and were being pushed through by persons with high ego with unnegotiated interest. 

Some others accused the NDC Assembly members for doing the bidding of Kwame Governs Agbodza, MP for the area who is believed to have fallen out with the DCE.

Phanuel Kadey Donkor was rejected to set the tone for many rejections that rocked the exercise there after in the region. Nominees for Adaklu, Akatsi North and Ketu North would all rejected in the first round of voting in each of these Assemblies. 

But all these Assemblies have since resolved the issues with just Adaklu left without a DCE out of the 18 Districts in the region.

After Phanuel Kadey Donkor was rejected twice, Bright Kwame Nyatsikor was brought in but he failed too.

He was outrightly rejected on two attempts. Disrespect and disregard for the elderly were reasons attributed to his rejection; a position people closer to him have vehemently contended.

With the nomination of Mrs Juliana Kpedekpo, many political commentators had hoped and predicted an easy ride for her, given the fact that she is a female, but that did not happen, yet again, when she was presented to the Assembly members for voting on Wednesday. 

To unlock this conundrum, the Presiding Member of the Assembly, Rev Fred Agbogbo in an open message, urged government to further engage the traditional authorities and other relevant stakeholders.

The MP, Kwame Agbodza corroborated this saying, "The NPP is not doing any broad consultations before the nominations. They are just nominating based on their party interests, not the broader Adaklu interest."

Some political watchers have further stressed the need for the appointing authority to engage in broader consultation with the traditional authorities, the NDC as a party and even with the NPP.

Torgbui Agbobada IV, a Senior Divisional Chief of Adaklu, when contacted said, "We are not happy about what is happening in Adaklu. But let me say, that no Chief in Adaklu would do anything to undermine the development of the area. As Chiefs, we remain development partners and for politicians who do not recognise the relevance of Chiefs, they would have themselves to blame."

"We are the custodians of the land and every good Assembly member would at all times seek for the input of the people of his electoral area including Chiefs before any Assembly meeting or a decision and so, it is important for government to do broader consultation which must transcend boundaries into intelligence gathering as to what the people want. You cannot sideline the traditional authority and assume you would be able to bulldoze your way through," he added.

Yes, consultation. Evident to this whole process of nominating MMDCEs, the NPP government led by President Akufo-Addo failed to properly engage the relevant body of persons in the various District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies as dictated by Article 242 (c) and (d) of the 1992 constitution.

One unique thing about the Adaklu District is the fact that the area is under one paramountcy headed by only one Supreme Traditional Ruler.

It is therefore, easy to get through with the right nominee once a proper consultation is done and concensus built.

Beyond that, the NPP in the Volta region must endeavour to unite the party at all levels. There is so much issue of mistrust that has led to the creation of camps within the party; it goes without saying that the rampant revocation of the appointment of Government Appointees across the region was influenced largely by the issue of mistrust. 

But until then, the Adaklu District Assembly remains without a DCE.

Written by: Faisel Abdul-Iddrisu 

A journalist with EIB Network.

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