RE: BANTAMA PARLIAMENTARY SEAT; THE QUESTION OF GREED AND GRIEVANCE
I have perused your letter seeking to ‘advise’ Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Deputy Chief of Staff to rescind his perceived intention of contesting in the upcoming NPP Bantama Constituency primary as the party’s candidate for the 2020 parliamentary elections. As strange and funny as it sounds, you indicated in your letter that all the issues raised in your letter were discoursed at one funeral you attended in Bantama. I would take your issues one after the other and respond to same.
You said that a gentleman asked why Francis Asenso-Boakye was demoting himself from an enviable position of a deputy chief of staff to a mere Member of Parliament (MP) and asked if it is greed that has blindfolded him to embark on such a journey. It is important to state here that a deputy chief of staff position is NOT higher than a Member of Parliament. It is erroneous to create the impression that the office of a legislator falls below that of a deputy chief of staff at the Presidency. In the past, people who held that position were described as deputy ministers of presidential affairs, and this, by every stretch of the imagination, cannot be higher than a Member of Parliament. The greed aspect of what the person supposedly said is rendered moot by this revelation that an MP is higher than a Deputy Chief of Staff.
You say Mr. Asenso-Boakye's decision is suicidal since, in your estimation, he may embarrass himself since he is unlikely to win the primaries. You also indicated that such a decision will likely bring adverse consequences to his person, political future, the fortunes of the party in the constituency and the New Patriotic Party in its entirety. More importantly, you believe that such a decision will be injurious to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as far as his fortunes are concerned and you hold the view that these should inform Mr. Asenso-Boakye to reconsider his decision to contest.
One would expect that the gloom and doom you sing in your letter could be backed by empirical evidence and not mere conjectures and suppositions. What research buttresses these assertions of yours? You provided none to convince me and the thousands of readers out there who you desperately want to sing from the same hymn book you have depended upon in this instance. I tried, frantically, to be enlightened on how Asenso-Boakye's decision to contest as an MP would impact negatively on the fortunes of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as elections 2020 loom large. I fail to grasp the import of this point because you instanced no evidence to convince me and your other readers.
There were other concerns raised in your letter which need to be responded to. You asked if Asenso-Boakye's decision to seek political office in Bantama is borne out of his pessimistic view that President Akufo-Addo will not win the next elections, and that the NDC may latch on to this and grill his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as elections approach. Francis Asenso-Boakye, and for that matter, the millions of Ghanaians who have witnessed the sterling performance of President Akufo-Addo do believe that victory shall crown the efforts of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Ado and the NPP in the next elections. There is no pessimistic view on the part of Asenso-Boakye over this matter. For the avoidance of doubt, Francis Asenso-Boakye has been nurturing this ambition to lead the people of Bantama as MP for many years; way before even the last two MPs came into the scene. These facts may help you snap out of your confusion:
Asenso-Boakye prior to elections 2008, filed to contest in the primary of the NPP in Bantama. He was going against Madam Cecilia Dapaah. It’s widely known that Dr. Kwame Addo Kufour, the late Appiah Menkah and some party stalwarts in the region impressed upon him to stand down to allow Cecilia Dapaah to go, and he paid heed to their advice. In the 2011 primaries, Asenso-Boakye contested and lost to Hon. Henry Kokofu by 117 to 197 votes. In effect, his ambition dates back into time, a time period when even the current was neither a member of the NPP nor a voter in the constituency. This dwarfs this point to the sidelines. It has been ambition from day one to represent his people in Parliament, and it goes beyond his relationship with President Akufo-Addo. This decision of the Deputy Chief of Staff is not borne out of any reason or reasons apart from his long-held ambition to serve his constituents in Parliament. It has nothing to do with job security or this non-existent ‘Akyem Mafia’ hounding him out of office.
It is evident, therefore, that you may have been misled by your influencer for the propaganda article you wrote without having the facts. For your information, Okyem Aboagye for whom you seem to be a spokesperson via your propaganda article had until the 2015 parliamentary primaries never been involved in Bantama NPP politics. When Asenso-Boakye was in the trenches and fighting for the welfare of the people of Bantama, OkyemAboagye was cooling off in abroad. If you had done basic checks before your misleading article, you would have known that Okyem Aboagye stabbed Asenso-Boakye in the back by contesting Hon. Kokofu in the 2015 Primaries.
Okyem Aboagye, during some of his visits to Ghana from his Chicago base held a number of meetings with Asenso Boakye about his ambition to become MP for Bantama. As two friends who lived in Bantama, such meetings and phone conversations were a regular activity. It was during one of such meetings that Asenso-Boakye told Okyem Aboagye that he wanted Kokofu to go for a second term after which he Asenso-Boakye would contest in the 2020 Primary. His reason was to prevent Kokofu from becoming a one-term member of Parliament and to also allow him to continue to serve H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the man he had come to love and to ensure Nana Akufo-Addo indeed becomes the President of Ghana. He felt that working with Nana Addo to get him elected as President was more crucial than his personal ambition of contesting the Bantama seat.
Okyem Aboagye rather exhibited bad faith, ignored this plan of Asenso-Boakye and exploited the privilege information revealed to him as a friend, took advantage of this noble decision and stabbed Asenso-Boakye in the back. When Okyem announced his decision to contest, a number of meetings were held, some of which were mediated by mutual friends, to ensure that Okyem does not ditch the ambition of Asenso-Boakye but despite all those efforts, Okyem went ahead, took undue advantage of Asenso-Boakye's decision and made vile and unfulfilled promises to the delegates of Bantama and snatched the seat.
You should know that in some of the meetings, when it dawned on Okyem that he had stabbed Asenso-Boakye in the back, he promised not to go for a second term in case Asenso-Boakye would come back and contest the seat.You should therefore be asking Okyem that what changed and why is he breaking that promise? So you see, Okyem Aboagye has not been truthful to you.
It is not surprising that many close friends of Okyem see him as a dishonest man who uses people to get what he wants, even at the peril of great friendship and I am told he has done this severally to close partners even in business. Okyem Aboagye did everything to cheat and takeaway businesses he started with close friends both in Ghana and USA. He has always exhibited greed and selfishness in order to get what he wants at all cost. At the appropriate time more details will be published.
It is surprising that you hold the view that Asenso-Boakye can only serve President Akufo-Addo as a Deputy Chief of Staff. The President decides which position to give to which lieutenant. The Deputy Chief of Staff position can never be ‘major’ than the other positions at the disposal of the President. President Akufo-Addo is happy with him and he is well aware of the versatility of Francis Asenso-Boakye to appoint him to man any outfit he deems fit.
The argument that the NDC had its appointees contesting as MPs being the causative agent of their defeat is lame, to say the least. In fact, there is no correlation between the two. What led to the humiliating defeat of Mahama and his appointees are factors time and space constrain me to itemize, and they did not include appointees leaving their offices to contest as MPs.
Let me correct this erroneous impression. Asenso-Boakye is not supposed to resign as Deputy Chief of Staff in order to be able to contest in the primaries. In fact, there are precedents; Alhaji Moktar Bamba, before the 2004 elections, filed to contest as MP for Wenchi East. Johnny Osei Kofi, also a Deputy Chief of Staff under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, filed to contest on the ticket of the NDC in Oforikrom. Both did not resign from their positions because no laws dictated that they should.
You wondered if his decision to represent his people in Bantama is to give him a protective shield or parliamentary immunity due to alleged bribery and corruption incidents reported in the media. That matter was reported to the Police C.I.D which dutifully and thoroughly investigated the matter and found no scintilla of evidence against Asenso or his colleague, Samuel Jinapor. Such a hollow and empty matter cannot give him the jitters to desire to seek refuge in the arms of Parliament. Who even tells you Parliamentarians cannot be prosecuted for crimes committed? Some have gone to prison while serving as MPs. This point, once again, is bogus.
You concentered on his relationship with Daniel OkyemAboagye at the tail end of your letter. Let me emphasize that what you captured in relation to the relationship between the current Member of Parliament for Bantama and Asenso-Boakye is nothing but a pure invention just to whip up sentiments and to garner sympathy for the struggling legislator. Besides, whatever relationship they might have shared should not militate against his nurtured ambition to serve his Bantama people in Parliament.
You shout unfairness on the part of the Deputy Chief of Staff to the effect that he has blockaded Okyem from being appointed as a minister or board member. Per this pathetic assertion, all the MPs, both old and first timers, did not get appointments because Asenso acted as an impediment. To you, it is cast in stone that any MP from Bantama should be given an appointment irrespective of the person’s competence or skills in that field. This logic is a weird one, putting it mildly.
It must also be demystified the point you make that Francis Asenso-Boakye was in charge of appointments. That is a false presentation of the fact. Who gets appointed or not is the sole preserve of the president, not Asenso. If Daniel Okyem Aboagye failed to catch the eye of the President, it might have been as a result of the fact that he lacked capacity to man an outfit which falls under his field of study. It could also be as a result of the fact that there were others more skillful and competent than him in his chosen field of study. The claim that Asenso-Boakye hates Kokofu, hence his inability to land on any job is a figment of your own imagination. Is it not strange to you that for someone you claim to hate Kokofu, he supported him in the primaries that saw Okyem Aboagye emerging as the winner? A man who helps an enemy to be successful is a strange enemy. This is a weird form of enmity, if you ask me.
Your understanding of conflict of interest is, for want of a better word, shallow. How does constructing a road network that serves thousands in Bantama including him be deemed to be a conflict of interest? The road passes through the back of his family house, and so he should not construct it simple because he may also use the road after construction? You have no point to raise here.
I wonder why you expected the Deputy Chief of Staff not to go and cut the sod for the construction of a road network he himself lobbied for. The road, note that, will serve everybody in the vicinity, including Hon. Okyem Aboagye.
Francis Asenso-Boakye’s love for Bantama is unflinching. You cannot question his love for his people in Bantama. This can be seen in the long years he has worked for the party in Bantama. He has been a polling station executive, polling agent, parliamentary aspirant and many others. It is unethical for me to itemize the number of people he has helped throughout his political journey.
Nana Kusi-Poku Listowell, it is truistic that you are in a haste to do the hatchet job for the current MP of Bantama, you have that inalienable right, but in your efforts to do that, speak with facts and not conjectures. BantamaAsenso-Boakye, as he is popularly called, has served his people and party and is willing to do more in his capacity as the Member of Parliament for the constituency. Let us allow the delegates to determine who should lead them in Parliament, and I am without a flicker of doubt that the people in Bantama awaits Bantama Asenso-Boakye as their MP.
I wait patiently to read and respond to the next letter to Francis Asenso-Boakye from your end.
P.K.Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.
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