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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Columnist: Konadu, Comfort Yaa

Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the biased umpire for Sunyani West?

By Comfort Yaa Konadu

On February 20 every year, the whole world under the auspices of United Nations (U. N) celebrates Social Justice Day. This year’s theme is/was ‘Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace through Decent Work.’ In celebrating the day, U. N focuses among other things on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through social protection, social dialogue and fundamental principles and rights at work.

As a member of parliament for Sunyani West and a Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, one would have expected Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah to have led this aim of the U. N. in ensuring fair outcomes for all his constituents in all matters. Sad to say however, that the Hon member of parliament has woefully failed in this direction. A case in point which has provoked this write up is the District Chief Executive contest currently underway in Ghana and for that matter, Sunyani West Constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region.

As a political father of the constituency, it is the expectation of many right thinking people, that he should have played a neutral role. But no! Neutrality as it has turned out to be is not in the vocabulary of the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations. He has openly shown his bias in favour of his U. S. based green card bearer constituency chairman, one Evans Kusi Boadum against the other seven contestants.

His dislike for other contestants has grown so deep that he would not care embarrassing any of them at a least opportunity he gets. A classical example, according to a reliable source occurred minutes before his vetting by the Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

Sources say one of the contestants who is also physically challenged, came all the way from Brong Ahafo in the company of others to support this M. P. However, in a meeting with these supporters before the vetting, the M. P. introduced his favourite as a constituency chairman who shall be called ‘honourable’ in two or three weeks time.

(Note that this took place more than a week before the D. C. E aspirants nationwide were invited for vetting. How can a fair arbiter pass judgment on an accused before the accused is heard?) But this is what the MP believes in. He then went ahead to introduce each and everyone in the room but one (the physically challenged D. C. E contestant). This act shocked a lot of the people gathered and also embarrassed the contestant greatly.

The M. P’s behavior has emboldened his favourite candidate to the extent, that he has already began exercising powers far in excess of that of any D. C. E. One example will help illustrate the point. In the just ended council of state election, the MP’s darling boy single handedly picked two assembly members to represent Sunyani West in the voting exercise.

The practice infuriated the assembly members to the extent, that there was serious exchanges between the assembly members and the MP’s sponsored candidate. The exchanges got worse between Hon. Atta Konadu, an elected assembly member who also doubles as NPP women’s organizer for Sunyani West Constituency.

To UN,’ the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity.” The question on the lips of many in Sunyani West is that “is Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah’s baised behavior in the selection of D. C. E. for Sunyani West promoting social justice and development in the area?”

I wish to humbly call on His Execellency The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo to call his minister, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah to order before he he causes the doom of the party in Sunyani West.