Rejoinder: Ellembelle DCE never insulted Freddie Blay, John Boadu – Constituency Committee
Ellembelle Constituency Committee of the NPP have registered displeasure over reports that DCE for the area, Kwasi Bonzoh verbally abused the party’s National Chairman, Freddie Blay and John Boadu, (National Secretary).
Earlier media reports suggested that, the DCE has been engaging in some acts which in one way or other created serious disunion in the party, acts including the denigration of two national executives.
In a petition which was said to have been signed by the Constituency Chairman, addressed to the Chief of Staff and Local Government Minister, the DCE was said to have been showing acts of gross misconduct which includes calling John Boadu a thief for rigging a polling station election in favour of Freddie Blay who was also said to have received his own share of insults.
Meanwhile the Constituency Executives have established in a press release dated April 2 2019 that by far no such incident took place as the above accusations are attempts by some ‘’self-seeking’’ executives to tarnish the hard won reputation of the Honourable DCE for Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh
“In their haste to smear the DCE, the petitioners ridiculously accused him of engaging in acts which in one way or the other has created division and continues thicken by the day” To buttress their point they made reference to a meeting of polling station Executives from Esiama zone on the 3rd of March, 2019” during which, the DCE is said to have “collected the mobile phones of all the polling station Executives and castigated the National Chairman, Hon. Freddie Blay and the party's General Secretary, John Boadu”. This allegation is not only a blatant lie but also a well calculated attempt by the petitioners to create disaffection for the DCE in the eyes of the NPP party hierarchy in furtherance of their selfish interest”. The statement read
read their full statement
PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY ELLEMBELLE NPP CONSTITUENCY EXECUTIVES ON THE 2ND APRIL 2019
Our attention has been drawn to a petition sighted on Ghanaweb.com and other online news portals headlined "Petition over inimical misconduct of Ellembelle DCE, Hon. Kwasi Bonzoh"
We wish to state unequivocally that the Ellembelle Constituency Committee of our great New Patriotic Party (NPP) has NEVER met since our election in April last year to discuss any alleged misconduct by our DCE much more to pass any resolution to petition the high office of the Chief of Staff. We were therefore utterly disappointed to wake up on April Fool’s Day to see news trending on social media regarding a petition purporting to have been authored by Ellembelle NPP constituency executives of which we the six (6) undersigned being the 1st Vice Chairman, 2nd Vice Chairman, Assistant Secretary, Nasara Coordinator, Deputy Nasara Coordinator and Financial Secretary are key members.
The petition itself apart from being frivolous is obviously a sinister attempt by some self-seeking members of the constituency executive to tarnish the hard won reputation of the Honourable DCE for Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh just because of the upcoming parliamentary primaries. We therefore challenge the petitioners to produce the minutes of whatever constituency executive meeting during which the decision was made to write the said petition.
We wish to add that our only motive for this counter petition is to set the records straight as to the real issues facing our dear party in the constituency. In that regard we would like touch on some of the unfounded allegations by the petitioners.
In their haste to smear the DCE, the petitioners ridiculously accused him of “engaging in acts which in one way or the other has created division and continues thicken by the day” To buttress their point they made reference to a “meeting of polling station Executives from Esiama zone on the 3rd of March, 2019” during which, the DCE is said to have “collected the mobile phones of all the polling station Executives and castigated the National Chairman, Hon. Freddie Blay and the party's General Secretary, John Boadu”. This allegation is not only a blatant lie but also a well calculated attempt by the petitioners to create disaffection for the DCE in the eyes of the NPP party hierarchy in furtherance of their selfish interest.
Sadly, the constituency chairman Mr. Samuel Akainyah and his group have collectively vowed never to cooperate with the DCE because he was not their preferred choice for the position. We therefore find it absurd for the chairman who prefers to tour the constituency in the company of a female prospective parliamentary aspirant to turn round and accuse the DCE of causing divisions in the party. In fact, Chairman Akainyah who never hides his disdain for the DCE both publicly and privately has consistently refused to honour several invitations by the Ellembelle District Assembly to key national events such as Farmers’ Day and Independence Day celebrations, commissioning of projects, sod-cutting ceremonies among others just to spite the Honourable DCE.
Another false claim by the petitioners is to the effect that “the DCE, since his appointment in 2017, has been lodging in a rented apartment in Takoradi (about 75 KM to the district capital) at the expense of the assembly neglecting official bungalow which had been occupied by previous district chief executives of the area”. We find this allegation to be most absurd because we know for a fact that the petitioners themselves do not believe same to be true.
Now let us present the bare facts. During the last quarter of the year 2014, Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh who had lived all his adult life in the national capital Accra as an entrepreneur decided to relocate to the western regional capital Sekondi/Takoradi for two main reasons; to explore new business opportunities in the oil city and most importantly to get closer to the good people of Ellembelle as a means of enhancing his chances of contesting to win the 2016 general elections as an NPP parliamentary candidate for the Ellembelle constituency.
He then rented out a 7-bedroom house he owned in Agbogba, Accra to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on a 5-year long lease agreement from 1st February 2015 to 31st January 2020. He then packed bag and baggage and moved to settle in Takoradi where he rented 2 properties, an office accommodation in Windy Ridge adjacent to ROK FM and a residential accommodation at West Anaji behind St. Peters International School with both rental agreements commencing from 1st February, 2015 as per attached Tenancy Agreements. In fact, he shared both the office and residential accommodation with his then business partner Mr. Dominic Kwesi Eduah, currently the Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation. During their stay in West Anaji both Mr. Bonzoh and Eduah were next door neighbors to Mr. Samuel Afrifa, the then Takoradi Constituency NPP Organiser and currently the Western Regional NPP Deputy Youth Organiser. During his stay in Takoradi Mr. Bonzoh also became a key member of the regional NPP communication team representing the then opposition party on all the major radio stations in the Metropolis.
In January 2016, Hon. Bonzoh took another strategic decision to rent another residential accommodation in Esiama in the Ellembelle District to further enhance his visibility in the constituency as a means of boosting his chances of winning the seat in 2016.
Then, in October 2016, a couple of months to the general elections Hon. Bonzoh was compelled to move from his West Anaji residence to a much smaller 3-bedroom residential accommodation in Windy Ridge, because his roommate Mr. Dominic Kwesi Eduah had relocated to Accra to play a key role in the NPP 2016 national campaign.
Now fast forward June/July 2017 is appointed, confirmed and sworn in as the 3rd DCE for Ellembelle in spite of vehement protests and opposition from the chairman and his group who call themselves “Freddie Blay boys” in the district. Upon assumption of office in July 2017, the DCE was informed of plans by the Ellembelle District Assembly to spend in excess of GHC 130,000 to renovate and furnish his official bungalow to enable him move in. This was at a time when the Assembly itself was faced with an acute shortage of accommodation for over ten (10) top management and key officers compelling most of them to live outside the district and commute long distances to and from work every day. Meanwhile, the Assembly did not have the over GHC 130,000 required for the renovation and furnishing of the DCE official residence.
Faced with this challenge Hon. Kwasi Bonzoh volunteered to continue living in his rented Esiama apartment where he has been residing since January 2016 at absolutely no cost the Assembly. A management decision was then made in September 2017, to spend a much lesser amount of GHC 35,436.66 to do basic renovation of the facility and allocate it to 7 top management members of the assembly. This management meeting was discussed at the 2nd ordinary meeting of the 2nd session of the 8th General Assembly of Ellembelle District held on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th October, 2017 at the Kwame Nkrumah motel in Nkroful and approved by the General Assembly. Currently the bungalow which they are falsely but deliberately accusing the DCE of haven abandoned is being occupied by the under-listed seven (7) senior officers of the Assembly who would have been struggling for basic accommodation but for the benevolence of the DCE:
OFFICERS AT DCE’s RESIDENCE
1 Emmanuel Offei - Addo Central Administration Asst. Budget Analyst
2 Wisdom Bakuyeya Social Welfare & C/D Social Development Officer
3 Ebenezer Hadzide Central Administration Asst. Planning Officer
4 Evans Ennin Central Administration Asst. Director
5 George A. Yeboah Works Snr. Technician Engineer
6 Nicholas Bart - Otoo Finance Accounts Officer
7 Gabriel K. Arhinful Central Administration Asst. Internal Auditor
It must be noted that this singular decision by the DCE to continue living at his Esiama residence and commute daily to the office in Nkroful which is just 4km apart is a rather prudent one for which he deserves to be commended instead of being condemned by the petitioners for their own selfish and parochial interest. Contrary to the false claim by the petitioners that “a whopping amount of money was spent to renovate this official residence immediately he resumed office” the DCE’s action rather saved the Assembly from spending about GHC 100,000 in renovating and furnishing his official residence. Additionally, the decision has solved a major problem faced by top management of the Assembly who hitherto struggled to perform their official duties as a result of accommodation challenges.
Indeed, their claim that “the DCE, since his appointment in 2017, has been lodging in a rented apartment in Takoradi (about 75 KM to the district capital) at the expense of the assembly” is not only a palpable lie but also a well-orchestrated attempt by some members of the executive to deliberately make Hon. Kwasi Bonzoh look bad in the eyes of the President as well as the general public. These same people who vehemently opposed the DCE’s appointment have been raining all manner of insults and levelling very ridiculous allegations against his person from the very first day he assumed office as Ellembelle DCE to date. In fact they have vowed to end the DCE’s political career with the tacit support of some invincible but powerful hands in the party hierarchy.
Another blatant lie told by the petitioners was that ” the DCE has awarded all contracts to NDC contractors at the detriment of party faithful’s and Constituency Executives and that the DCE will not give a single contract to the executives to enable us finance party activities despite all efforts”. We find this allegation by these colleagues constituency executives most absurd if not weird. We wish to put on record that sometime last year our DCE once invited all constituency executives to his office in Nkroful and informed us the Assembly was about to initiate a procurement process to award contracts for the construction of a total of 5 number 3-Unit classroom blocks with ancillary facilities in 5 communities across the District. He then requested the constituency executive to recommend a qualified contractor to go through the process for the award of one (1) out of the five (5) contracts on behalf of the executives. Unfortunately, the constituency Chairman insisted at the meeting that he will not accept the offer by the DCE until the number of contracts was increased. On 11th June 2018 this same issue was tabled before constituency executive committee meeting and chairman applauded our DCE for such a move but added that one contract is not enough and if anything he as a person should be given two. The offer was therefore rejected by Chairman and the meeting ended in a deadlock.
On the issue of polling agent allowance, a collective decision was taken by party executives prior to the 2016 general elections that due to limited resources at the time the party should use the amount earmarked for paying our party agents’ allowance for the Election Day’s operations. This was not even enough to meet the budget so our Hon DCE, the then parliamentary candidate had to top up to meet the budget for operations. He also admitted to take further responsibility to settle all polling agents allowance after the elections of which 85% had been paid by Honorable Kwasi Bonzoh.
We wish to state categorically per the petitioner’s propaganda that they don't have any basis to attack our Honorable DCE. We are therefore edging them as colleagues constituency executive to stop the mischief and work in collaboration with our hard working DCE to bring peace, progress and prosperity to our district. We know where they stand in the internal politics of Ellembelle and we are advising them not to follow their personal agenda to vilify and attack our hard working DCE without any provocation.
We are saying so because the prospective female parliamentary candidate with whom they are going round the constituency to introduce to the delegates was nowhere to be found when the party needed men and women to fight for it cause in this constituency during the eight years in opposition. Let whoever want to reap without sowing be reminded that the way to go is not for him or her to destroy the very people who sowed the seed whose fruits they want to reap.
Thank you for your attention.
(1st Vice Chairman) Contact: 0241633266 James Cobbinah
(2nd Vice Chairman) Contact: 0500384513 Francis Apeni
(Assistant Secretary) Contact: 0204446184 Jacob Kwofie
(Financial Secretary) Contact: 0207299267 Osman Abdullah Abekah (Nasara Coordinator) Contact:
0546040708 Dauda Mohammed ( Deputy Nasara coordinator)