After Goaso, What’s Next?


After Goaso, What’s Next?

The Race for the Ministerial Slots As a New Region that is seeking to experience a smooth and speedy take-off in its development, it will be impera

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The Race for the Ministerial Slots

As a New Region that is seeking to experience a smooth and speedy take-off in its development, it will be imperative for government to appoint someone who has the expertise, experience and capacity to manage the limited resources to promote the development of each of the six newly created regions.

Ahafo Region is not an exemption to the fact above. research team has carried out in depth analysis to assess the situation on the ground.

The selection of the Minister and his deputy is an arduous task that must be carried out with skill and pragmatism bearing in mind the existing political mood within the respective geographic landscape.

In our analysis we have identified seven contenders out of whom two (2) will be selected to administer the affairs of Ahafo region.

Our list of personalities is not in order of merit but purely presentational.

(1) Benhazia Joseph Dahah (MP, Asutifi North)

(2) Hon. Evans OPOKU Bobie (MP, Asunafo North, Regional Minister, B/A and also caretaker for Ahafo and Bono East Region)

(3) Cecilia Djan Dapaah (Former MP and 2016 NPP Parliamentary Candidate, Asutifi South)

(4) Yaw Owusu Brempong aka Yaw Broni (CEO, Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund, Lead Petitioner Ahafo Region

(5) Hon. George Boakye (Former MP, DCE, 2012 and 2016, NPP parliamentary Candidate, Asunafo South)

(6) Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere (MP, Tano South)

(7) Freda Prempeh (MP, Tano North) presents our take on assessing their experience, efforts towards the creation of the Region and their lobbying ability.

We hope the work presented below will provide more verifiable insights in the _whys, why nots and what nots_ that will affect the final decision as to who wins the race. Our unbiased results are based on quantitative and qualitative data generated and analysed by Ahafomanians in Ahafo.

The meteoric rise of Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie is a progress most people would not have been able to predict prior to the 2016 elections. That is for those who did not know the capabilities of this focused and strategic politician. Prior to 2016 he could be tagged as inexperienced and a newbie in the political landscape of Ahafo and Ghana. Post 2016, it is evident that the story is different.

Although some may argue that he has been blessed with luck, one must note that luck favours the well prepared and not the ill prepared.

As the current Regional Minister for the nearly defunct Brong Ahafo Region and caretaker for both Ahafo and Bono East Regions, he stands he has the beat chance to be named the Ahafo Regional Minister.

Hon. George Yaw Boakye also has some significant experience as former Chief executive of Asunafo District and later Asunafo South District and also as a former one term Member of Parliament for Asunafo South.

Yaw Owusu Brempong aka Yaw Broni is the CEO of Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund. He is an accomplished chartered accountant of international repute with enormous corporate experience.

Asutifi North Member of Parliament, Hon. Benhazia Joseph Dahah and his colleague MPs from the Tano North and South (Hon. Freda Prempeh and Hon. Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere) are also on various parliamentary select Committees.

Hon. Benjamin is the Vice Chairman of Local Government and Rural Development Committee and also a member of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee.

Hon. Benhazia, is the Vice chair to the Government Assurance Committee and Member of Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprise Committee.

Hon. Freda Prempeh on the other hand is a member of both Government Assurance Committee and Mines and Energy Committee and holds a deputy ministerial position.

Cecilia Amoa a former MP, a former Ambassador and 2016 NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Asutifi South.

Although contributions were made by many towards the creation of the region, one man who stood out was Hon Brempong aka Yaw Broni, the lead petitioner for the creation of the Ahafo Region. His contribution towards the creation of the region is not a hidden secret as he was at the forefront of the campaign.

Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie played his part by succesfully bringing all stakeholders together to achieve a new Ahafo region, duties he had to perfom on behalf of state. Do you recall that he went down on his knees to beg the electorate to accept and vote massively for YES during the visit of the Justice Brobbey Committee.

Looking at their lobbying ability, per based on previous positions the contenders have lobbied for and or/selected, Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie and Yaw Broni stand out.

Hon. George Boakye was interested and actively lobbied for the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional minister but failed to attain his goal for unknown reasons. Some attribute this to old age, others to the fact that he has consistently not managed to annex the Asunafo South MP seat toe the elephant family. Hon. Bobie was chosen as the Deputy Minister at a time he was not actively seeking for the position according to our sources. Our research reveals that, his MP status emanating from his resounding victory which led NPP to massivley win the Asunafo North Seat was a deciding factor after Yaw Broni had humbly rejected the offer to be Deputy Regional Minister for Brong Ahafo. This was a factor that lead to his appointment as Deputu Ahafo Regional Minister. A man who gets selected for a position when he is not actively lobbying is bound to be an deemed an efficient lobbyist.

Thomas Yaw Broni was also able to lobby to be appointed as Ghana Venture Capital CEO among 12 contenders. There is clear evidence that for such a competitive position, the winner that emerges surely has the attributes to lobby.

Hon. Freda Prempeh, Ahafonews understand was in contention for Deputy Minister for Brong Ahafo Region but this did not materialise.

Looking at the analysis presented and previous appointments made by the President. *Political Experience is not going to be the main deciding factor.*

Ahafonews is of the view that the contributions of individuals towards the creation of the Region, Support from the Chiefs together with their lobbying ability aregoing to be instrumental deciding factors.

Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie will be key in this appointment, as where he will end up will decide the fate of others. predicts the following with reasons:

If the President decides to move Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie to Ahafo Region, then predicts the following …..

(1) Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister and Mr. Thomas Yaw Broni – Deputy ….. 9/10

It would be illogical and catastrophic if anyone becomes the Minister of Ahafo and Hon Bobie gets no Ministerial appointment. This would mean that Hon Bobie had failed abysmally in his capacity as Deputy Minister of Brong Ahafo, Minister of Brong Ahafo and Care taker Minister of Ahafo Region. This will be an indictment of the sitting government.

Some may argue that, everything is being centralised in Goaso. But this arguement will not pass the first hurdle.

Yaw Broni is clearly in the lead for the Deputy Minister position based on our research ( although we doubt he will accept this position. His unwavering support and selfless service must be rewarded so that other citizens of Ahafo will learn to emulate his examplary contributions. He has been strategic. He played his cards well. You cant say he did all of that because he wanted a ministerial appointment. If you also wanted it and saw through his actions, you could have embarked on a similar journey.

He surely has the support of Nananom of Ahafo.

The only disadvantage to this combination is the arguement that can best come from the citizens of Duayaw Nkwanta and Bechem, that power seems to be centralising or gravitating to the hinterlands of Ahafo. This reasoning will nit be applicable to the people of Asutifi North and South. Lets remember that Hon Freda prempej has a Ministerial position

(2) Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister and Freda Prempeh – Deputy …… 7.5/10

The same reasons given for Hon Bobie appointment are applicable here.

Hon Freda Prempeh has a strong case as a Female sitting MP. Futhermore, it is well known that she failed to secure any substantive ministerial appointments in the past. She is also from the ‘Tano’ enclave on the Sunyani -Kumasi Highway which provides a good point to appoint her as the Deputy Minster.

The only challenge she has will be how to show to Nananom that she actively campaigned for the creation of the Ahafo region. If she did, did it generally happen only in Bechem, and Duayaw Nkwanta and it environs?
Furthermore, would she be ready to be a Deputy To an Minister she may deem to have more political experience. Tough. Hon Freda may reject this option.

3) Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister and Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere as Deputy ….. 6/10

The same reasons given for Hon Bobie appointement are applicable here.

Hon. Benjamin Yeboah may be selected on the basis that he is an MP and/or he may need to be supported to strategically consolidate his seat as well as meeting requirements for MP quotas in ministerial appointements. His appointement may bring in some balance in the distribution of power in Ahafo, a similar argument in favour of Hon. Freda Prempeh

(4) Hon Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister and Cecilia Abena Dapaah as Deputy …. 5.5/10

The same reasons given for Hon Bobie appointement are applicable here.

Hon Cecilia Djan Amoah is a contender with merits, in that, she satisfies the criterion for gender balance. She is also a Former MP, Ambassador and NPP Parliamentary Candidate Her involvement in the YES campaign was very limited. Hon Collins Dauda was more visible than she was in her constituency. That is not encouraging.

(5) Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister and Benhazia Joseph Dahah as Deputy ……. 5/10

The same reasons given for Hon Bobie appointment are applicable here.

Hon. Dahah may be selected on the basis that he is an MP and/or he may need to be supported to strategically consolidate his seat as well as meeting requirements for MP quotas in ministerial appointments. The location of his seat may be an advantage if distribution of power becomes an essential parameter for decision making.

(6) Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie and George Boakye as his Deputy…… 5/10

The same reasons given for Hon Bobie appointement are applicable here.

The odds seem to be against Hon Yaw Boakye. The fact that he is not an MP does not help his cause. Unlike Yaw Broni, he was not seen to be heavily involved in the campaign across board. His participation in the campaign even in his constituency was cosmetic. His dwindling popularity and the troubles of Sankore may drag him down.

This combination could work but the challebge will be if Hin Yaw Boakye is ready to work as a Deputy Minister to Hon Bobie.

The proximity of Asunafo South to Goaso, with a Regional Minister from Asunafo North would technically not make it prudent to have a Deputy Minister from Asunafo South. This is an unfortunate big blow to a father figure who has helped the people of Ahafo in diverse ways. The odds seem to be against him. Very unlucky….

In a second scenario of Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie being maintained as the Brong Ahafo (Bono) Regional Minister or being given another ministerial position , then predicts the following…..

(1) Freda Prempeh as Minister and Thomas Yaw Broni Deputy or vice versa 9/10

If Hon Bobie is not the Ahafo Minister, then all the light will be on Hon. Freda Prempeh due to the reasons to satisfy Gender balance, her position as a sitting MP and the location of her constituency to compensate the people of Duayaw Nkwanta/Bechem in losing the bid for capital city of Ahafo Region.

(2) Benjamin Sekyere as Minister and Yaw Broni to be his Deputy….. 7/10

If Hon Bobie is not the Ahafo Minister and gender issues are left out, the light will be on Benjamin Sekyere due to his position as a sitting MP and the location of his constituency. Balancing power if Regional Minister is given Duayaw Nkwanta /Bechem area.

(3) Yaw Broni and Benhazia Joseph Dahah as deputy ….. 7/10

This combination seems unlikely because of the concentration of the ministerial positions within Hwidiem and Kenyase. It would have the benefit of being fairly centrally located, cost effective and e
a very strategic way to annex an NDC seat in Ahafo or increase the votes for NPP. That is if the decision makers are thinking ahead of the game.

(4) Yaw Broni and George Boakye as his Deputy or vice versa …… 6/10

This combination will be purely a political decision with one clear objective of annexing the two NDC seats in Ahafo Region. It may not be popular amongst the citizens of Ahafo in General on the onset but could be a game changer. It could be dsruptive choice but could be very successful.

The only challenge seen with this option is that both are not MPs and perhaps Hon Yaw Boakye may refuse the offer.

The reason why Thomas Yaw Broni has an upper hand over his fellow colleagues is the support he is getting from all the Chiefs in Ahafo Region who rightfully are appreciative of the selflessness he exhibited on the path leading to the creation of Ahafo.

In the consideration of gender, Hon. Freda Prempeh and Hon Cecilia Djan Amoah have an advantage. Their appointment based on this criteria will effect the promise of increasing female participation in governance. It is however clear that based on further analysis, Hon Freda Prempeh has an urge over her female contender. The two main simple reasons. The first reason is that, Hon. Freda Prempeh is a sitting MP and Hon. Cecilia Djan Dapaa is not. Secondly, it comes across that age is not on the side of Hon Cecilia Dapaah. Although age must not be used as a basis as understandably to be argued by some readers, frailty, charisma and popularity should be juxtaposed as companions along side age as a criterion. It is this encompassing and critical evaluation that yields to the Benefit of Hon. Freda Prempeh.

If the President intends to increase the number of women in his appointment as he promised prior to the 2016 electioneering campaign, then surely Hon Freda Prempeh is a force to reckon with if Hon Bobie is not the Minister Ahafo Region.

In conclusion we predict Hon Bobie as Minister and Yaw Broni as Deputy Minister of Ahafo Region although we anticipate Yaw Broni will reject the offer and remain in his capacity as CEO of Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund.

If Hon Bobie is not given the Ahafo Minister but posted to a different assignment then Hon Freda Prempeh is in an uncomfortable pole position with to be Minsiter of Ahafo with Yaw Broni closely in sight.

The challenge now is who will be the Deputy Minister. It is a tough one.

The choices for old/young politicians and MP and non MP will all play a significant role.

Source: Research Team