Ayawaso West By-election: Chairman Wontumi garners support for Lydia Alhassan
Outspoken NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi-Bosiako widely known as Chairman Wontumi has hailed one of the widows of the late Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Alhassan for her courage and resoluteness to represent the party in order to retain the seat.
Chairman Wontumi commiserated with Madam Lydia and urged the constituents of Ayawaso West Wuogon to come out in their numbers to vote for the wife of the late Emmanuel Kyeramaten Agyarko to enable her pick up from where her husband left off within the constituency as well as maintain the party’s dominance in the area.
Speaking at a vigil held in memory of the late Emmanuel Kyerematen Agyarko, Chairman Wontumi said “I see nothing wrong with Lydia Alhassan’s intention to contest, this will reduce the pain we have over the loss of the late legislator. I urge all constituents to come out in their numbers to vote for the Lydia Alhassan.”
The late Emmanuel Kyeramaten Agyarko was voted into power as Member of Parliament of Ayawaso West Wuogon, taking over from Frema Opare in 2012 and sustained his seat in the 2016 elections. The late MP died on November 21, 2018 at the Yale University Hospital after an ailment from a complication with his ball gladder.
He will be buried on Saturday, January 26 at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern Region after which his final funeral rites will follow immediately on the same day at the Zimmerman Presbyterian School Park at Odumase-Krobo.
Several party bigwigs including Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye, and the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Wusu, 2nd Lady Samira Bawumia, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah, Trades Minister Alan Kyeremanteng were present at the commemoration ceremony.
There were gospel acts from Elizabeth Tagoe, Cindy Thompson, Cwesi Oteng and the Winneba Youth Choir at the vigil. Early Life Emmanuel Kwabena Acheampong Kyeremateng Agyarko was born on 10th December 1957 in Kumasi to Kwasi Agyarko of Jamase, Ashanti and Jane Ladza Padi of Odumase-Krobo, both of blessed memory.
He was the last born of five children. Emmanuel began his formal education at Queen Anne’s Day Nursery, Ashanti New Town and from there went on to K.O Methodist Primary School, also in Kumasi for his basic primary education.
He was enrolled in the Kwame Nkrumah University Primary School to prepare him for his Common Entrance Examination and upon passing the exams, he went to Prempeh College for his secondary school education. After obtaining his Ordinary level (O level) Certificate, he proceeded to the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC) for his sixth form education where he obtained his Advanced Level Certificate (A levels). Kwabena gained admission to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to study pharmacy.
Upon graduating at KNUST, he did his national service at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and taught pharmacology at the nursing school. Kwabena then went on to start and operate his own pharmacy business, VITAPHARMA.
Early Political Life In 1992, like his father, who was a founding member of the UP and CMB Chief Executive under Prime Minister Busia, Kwabena threw himself into politics with passion and vigorous energy.
Notwithstanding the negative outcome of the 1992 elections, he stayed in it with devotion, courage and a total commitment to his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). In December of 2000, when the New Patriotic Party won, he first served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Narcotic Board, and then as the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Board (now Authority) until 2009. Kwabena was active also in the politics of lower Manya Krobo.
He served on the Municipal Assembly as a Government Appointee from 2005-2006, then as an elected Assembly member for Odumase North from 2006-2010. He was elected the Presiding member for the period 2006-2008. In 2008, he stood as the Parliamentary Candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party for the lower Manya Constituency and lost. Success at FDA Kwabena transformed the Food and Drugs Authority and expanded its reach and scope beyond the borders of Ghana.
He spearheaded policy reforms and under sometimes in rather difficult circumstances, introduced novel programmes which led to the accelerated growth of the Agency. Kwabena’s policy initiatives helped build the Agency. The implementation of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspection of overseas pharmaceutical facilities, which permits only facilities inspected and approved by FDA as being GMP-compliant to export pharmaceutical products to Ghana, was one of his notable policy achievements.
This policy ensures that pharmaceutical products entering the Ghanaian market meet the prescribed standard of quality, safety and efficacy. Emmanuel also laid the cornerstone for the sustainability, growth and development of the FDA when he initiated and saw through the amendment of the fees charged for registration of products and other regulatory services to be commensurate with the scope and cost of activities undertaken by the Agency. Emmanuel moved fast in whatever he did.
Within 2 years as Chief Executive Officer, he had expanded the national reach of the Agency from one regional office in the Ashanti Region to regional offices in the Western, Volta, Northern and Upper East Regions, and increased the staff strength of the Agency from 80 to 180 officers. Pushing the frontiers of food and medicine regulation in Ghana, Emmanuel instituted numerous programs to highlight the important role of the Agency. Key among these was the National Food Safety Week—an annual programme nationwide to increase consumer awareness about food safety.
As CEO, he also transformed the hitherto small physico-chemical laboratory that used to conduct few pharmacopoeial analysis into a modern drugs testing laboratory with facilities such as a Microbiology Testing Laboratory, a basic Food Testing Laboratory and a Condom Testing Laboratory (among the first in the ECOWAS region), all under the Laboratory Services Department of the FDA. As Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon Emmanuel contested and won the 2012 parliamentary elections for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency. He entered Parliament in 2013.
In the 6th Parliament, Emmanuel Agyarko served as a member of the Environment, Science and Technology Committee of Parliament (Select committee), and the office of the Profit Holding Committee (Standing Committee).
He was drafted as a permanent friend of the health committee because he was one of the two pharmacists in the house, and especially considering his previous work experience as a regulator of the Food and Drugs Board Kwabena was re-elected to represent the good people of Ayawaso West Wuogon in the 2016 general election on the assumption of the 7th Parliament.
He was named chairman of the environment, science and technology committee, where he had oversight responsibility for the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and its agencies. He was also a member of the Health Committee and the Government Assurances Committee.