A member of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Mpohor constituency, Enoch Cudjoe, has lauded the leadership style of the Member of Parliament (MP) and District Chief Executive for the area, Hon. Alexander Agyekum and Ignatius Asaah Mensah, describing them as the best in the history of the area.
In the view of Mr. Cudjoe, ever since the election into office of Hon. Agyekum as MP for the area as well as the appointment of Mensah as DCE by President Akufo-Addo, and his subsequent confirmation by the Assembly, the duo have worked assiduously to ensure that Mpohor gets its fair share of the national cake.
According to him, he wasn’t surprised at all when the people of Mpohor massively voted for Hon. Agyekum in the 2012 and 2016 parliamentary polls.
That of the massive endorsement of Mensah by the Assembly as its DCE equally did not surprise him, noting that under the leadership of the two, all sectors of the local economy are recording positive results.
Of particular mention, he said, was the educational sector, a sector he stressed, has witnessed massive improvement under the watch of the MP and the DCE.
“My utmost concern was the education sector in the district that was sinking some years ago. But now I can confidently say that the sector has witnessed unprecedented turnaround from 24% BECE pass rate to 83% under the watch of Hon. Agyekum and the DCE. This is massive and the MP and the DCE must be applauded for this feat”, he noted in an interview with this web portal.
Despite working hard to ensure improvement in the standard living of the people of Mpohor, the DCE was recently accused by some disgruntled youth in Mpohor for engaging in galamsey (illegal mining) activities.
However, the NPP Elder who is also a Founding Member of the party in the constituency, commenting on the issue, urged the public to disregard and treat the galamsey tag on the DCE with the contempt that it deserves.
“This allegation of the DCE being involved in galamsey activities is not a new issue. In fact, it dates back in 2017 since he became the DCE. An Independent enquiry into the allegation has exonerated him on many occasions by the Anti Galamsey Task Force and the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining. Anyone with evidence is free to institute legal action for punitive action to be taken against him”, he noted.
A calm looking and well composed Mr. Mensah took turns answer questions relating to the award of School Feeding Program contracts to the wife of the MP as well as Hon. Agyekum’s leadership style and relationship with members of the NPP in the constituency.
Hon. Agyekum was accused by the youth of Mpohor for lobbying six School Feeding Program contracts to his wife, Mrs. Ophelia Agyekum, much to the dismay of most of the party faithful in the constituency.
Mrs. Ophelia was also accused of paying her workers a paltry amount of GH₵100.00 a month.
Nonetheless, Mr. Mensah believes that the MP and his wife are being wrongly accused for reasons best known to his detractors.
He explained that as an Elder of the party who is privy to most of the issues in the constituency, it will be in the interest of the party for him to set the records straight as far as contracts of the School Feeding Program in the constituency are concerned.
According to him, Manso, Angu and Adanse are the areas the Polling Station Executives personally appealed to the MP to find someone to help pre-finance the project since none of the executives or party members were ready to commit a maximum of GH₵15,000.00 a term into purchasing of items and receive payment after two subsequent terms.
“Under the School Feeding Program, if you purchase items to feed the pupils in the first term, payment is not effected immediately after the end of the term because data had to be compiled for onward transmission to the School Feeding Secretariat. This takes time for validation to be completed. So, second term school re-opens and the pupils must still be fed. The financier will have to raise another GH₵15,000.00 to purchase items to end of the second term. Payment of the first term sometimes, is made in the third term. How many people in our community can raise and invest GH₵30,000.00 in such circumstances? But the policy also has political implications because it is one of the flagship programs, hence, the call on the MP to help find someone to pre-finance the School Feeding Program in areas with challenges”, he posited.
That notwithstanding, Mr. Mensah said the incumbent MP lobbied for six additional school feeding projects for the constituency and shared them among the towns with Manso, Angu and Adanse being part of the communities that appealed to Mrs. Ophelia Agyekum to help them pre-finance the feeding cost.
“Mrs. Agyekum had enjoyed excellent cooperation with the women organizers who are cooks in Manso, Angu and Adanse. Each of these towns, has one school feeding slot not two as reported. The records are there for anyone interested to check. The cooks were also never paid GH₵100.00 as monthly salary as reported. The agreement was that they want their money in bulk so payment of GH₵500.00 was to be given at the end of every term alongside other fringe benefits”, the constituency party Elder explained.
On the MP’s leadership style and relationship with members of the NPP in the constituency, Mr. Mensah, said the Mpohor lawmaker has so far been able to sustain the unity that enabled the party to win the 2012 and 2016 parliamentary polls, believing that a lot more could be achieved in the 2020 general elections.
“My son, Hon. Agyekum is a workaholic. He, with the assistance of the constituency executives, worked to increase the party’s vote 2000 from the 2012 to 2016 election results. He has also worked to ensure that about 450 party faithful including Polling Station executives are recruited into the Forestry Commission and by so doing, have a means of livelihood. He meets and discusses issues of importance relating to the party with all stakeholders in the party and has consistently attended to the welfare of the party faithful”, he noted.