Drama unfolded at the Conference Hall of Miklin Hotel in Kumasi on Tuesday, after an elder brother of the former Mayor of Kumasi, Mr Kojo Bonsu, caused a stir during the official launch of the Kumasi version of the ruling party’s Green Book.
The elder sibling of the former MCE prevented him (Bonsu) from formally announcing his resignation, amidst pressure from the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC), calling for his dismissal.
The Mayor’s brother invaded the venue of the programme, much to the surprise of the attendants and immediately took the resignation letter away from his younger brother (Kojo Bonsu).
According to information available to the paper, he (the brother) claimed to be privy to an information that Mr KojoBonsu, after delivering his welcome address at the program, would also go ahead to declare his intention to resign from his position, in order to bring to an end weeks of controversies concerning his fate at the KMA.
His action was preceded by a protest from some women group of the ruling party declaring their unflinching support for Mr Bonsu and swearing to block any attempt to remove him from power, but Mr Bonsu later tendered in his resignation.
The former Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer came under intense pressure after the Kumasi Traditional Council, made up of all prominent Chiefs in the Asante Kingdom, passed a vote of no confidence in him, calling on the President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, to sack him.
The decision followed what the traditional rulers described as insolence on the part of the Kumasi Mayor after he was reported to have questioned the legitimacy of a representative of the Asantehene on the committee overseeing the Kejetia Central Market Redevelopment Project, Nana Agyenim Boateng, who also doubles as the Amoamanhene.
Earlier on Monday, the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) demonstrated that it was not only barking when it called for the removal of Mr Kojo Bonsu as mayor of Kumasi on July 4, 2016.
The Council had actually bitten deep into the flesh of the embattled mayor and given the President seven days to replace him.
At a press conference Monday evening, Baffour Kwame Achamfuor Akowua, Akwamuhene of Kumasi and acting President of the KTC emphasized that the position of the KTC regarding Kojo Bonsu’s removal was irreversible and still stand by it.
The Asafohene and member of the Gyase division of the Council denied that the KTC had accepted an apology of the KMA boss.
Baffour Achamfuor Akowuah announced that the Presidency has seven days to move Kojo Bonsu out of office or Nananom would advise themselves and that all 69 paramount chiefs constituting Asanteman Council would be duly informed about Kojo Bonsu’s unacceptable conduct to take the next line of action.
He emphasized that the position of Nananom would go a long way to demonstrate who owns Kumasi and Asanteman. “He (Kojo Bonsu) is not bigger than Kumasi and Asanteman. All we are saying is that we are done with him”, the Akwamuhene indicated.
Otumfuo’s Nsumankwahene, Baffour Asare Kogyawoasu Ababio said the slaughtering of a sheep last June 30, 2016, was a seal of Kojo Bonsu’s rejection by Nananom, who also raised concerns about Kumasi being engulfed in filth under his tenure of office.
According to the high priest, the President now has the option to choose between Kojo Bonsu and Nananom. Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh, a royal of the Golden Stool, stressed that enough is enough. “Kojo Bonsu is not needed in Kumasi. Period!” he said.
Meanwhile, the Assemblyman for Ridge/Nhyiaeso electoral area, Abraham Boadi, alias Opooman has called for a probe of KojoBonsu’s administration. He said it is time Kojo Bonsu accounts for his stewardship.
He told listeners of OTEC FM in Kumasi that whether in office or not, Kojo Bonsu the Assembly would have to probe the activities of Kojo Bonus who is said to have acted arbitrarily over the last three years without an effective Assembly.
The Assemblyman said the Assembly had not approved most of the decisions of Kojo Bonsu thus abusing the constitutional rights and provisions having acted without the recommendation of any sub-committee as required by law.
Hon. Boadi pointed to the expenditure of $4.4 million, about GHc17,200,000 (¢172 billion old cedis) by the Mayor as against the GHc4,100,000 (¢41 billion old cedis) approved by the Assembly for the Rattray park, as one project which should be probed by the Assembly.
PRESSURE TO RESIGN
According to information available to The Chronicle, the Flagstaff House, the Seat of Government put pressure on Mr Kojo Bonsu to voluntarily relinquish his position instead of being sacked.
Reports indicate that the Presidency would rather want the beleaguered Mayor to tender in his resignation and possibly be reassigned rather being forced out.
NAMES OF POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT POP UP
Meanwhile, The Chronicle has picked signals of possible replacement for the Kumasi Mayor.
A reliable source told the paper that familiar names like the former Ashanti Regional Minister and failed parliamentary hopeful, Mr. Peter Anarfi Mensah and the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. Raymond Tandoh, have already popped up as possible considerations.
The speculations have been buoyed by the fact that the two personalities had previously lobbied for the position when it became vacant, following the dismissal of the then MCE, Mr. Samuel Sarpong.
It is, however, not clear how the President can nominate the Regional Secretary at such crucial period when the party is organizing itself for an election which is just three months away.
Though Mr. Anarfi Mensah is currently serving as a Minister at the Presidency in charge of educational matters, he would gladly accept the responsibility to be the MCE for Kumasi, considering the fact that his current position does not demand much.
The source, however, pointed out that any name that comes up for consideration is subject to the approval of the Manhyia Palace, adding “when it comes to positions like the MCE for Kumasi, Nananom would have to be consulted first”.
He did not also rule out the possibility of the President asking the Ashanti Regional Minister to have an oversight responsibility at the KMA, until after the elections.