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Politics of Thursday, 9 May 2013

Source: Daily Guide Network

Kojo Bonsu billboards raise eyebrows

Gigantic billboards of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly’s (KMA’s) new Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu, which have been mounted across the city, have raised eyebrows as they capture the attention of residents.

The 5×10 feet-size billboards, with the inscription: “Asanteman Welcomes Mayor Kojo Bonsu,” and bearing his large portraits, have not only announced his presence with a big bang in the metropolis, but also set tongues wagging.

The billboards are strategically dotted across the city in areas such as SAT, Santasi road, airport roundabout, Fumesua railway line and Suame, among other areas.

There are already suggestions that the display of the billboards, which showcase Kojo Bonsu in rich Kente cloth, is a sign of opulence and extravagant lifestyle associated with the new mayor.

The new Metro Chief Executive is noted for ostentatious lifestyle, spending lavishly on branding himself, as he did with National Sports Authority and Ghana Oil Company (GOIL), among others.

When he was the Chairman of National Sports Authority, Mr Bonsu changed the logo of the then Sports Council at huge financial cost including erection of advertising billboards similar to what he has started in Kumasi.

When he acted briefly as Managing Director of state-owned Ghana Oil Company, following the retirement of the then boss, Kojo Bonsu is reputed for initiating another advertising campaign involving the branding and erection of billboards across the country at gargantuan cost to GOIL.

Some analysts were, therefore, not surprise with his latest move in Kumasi as that had been his stock-in-trade.

However, the new Mayor’s profligate lifestyle came as a surprise to Kumasi residents, who are seeing their ‘Showman Mayor’ in action for the first time, less than a week after taking office

Gideon Boakye Botchway, a Kumasi resident, in an article published by the Pioneer newspaper, said many people had begun questioning the sources of funding for the giant hoardings of the KMA boss, and the purpose for such opulence.

According to him, these billboards had sprung up in the wake of strong directive by the Assembly announcing to the public its intention to remove banners, posters, flags and other outdoor advertising materials from all buildings and electric poles along the city’s major roads.

Mr. Bonsu has since denied any knowledge of the billboards, except to say that he believed they were done by his friends to honour him.

“I didn’t do those billboards. I’m sure some group of people…probably the advertising association did them,” he told Daily Guide in a telephone interview.

The KMA Chief Executive again said he did not also have any clue as to the motive behind the move and the purpose to be achieved by the sponsors since he had denounced his membership with the advertising association when it was suggested to him.

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