Assembly members in the Kumasi Metropolitan area have threatened to reject Samuel Pyne as their new Mayor if the government fails to clear over GHS50 million debt the Assembly owes.
In an interview with Accra-based Citi Fm, Presiding Member for the assembly Stephen Ofori said the indebtedness has significantly contributed to the underdevelopment of Kumasi.
He further explained that the debts were incurred under the tenure of President Kufour, but when he left power, the NDC government that took the reigns of government paid for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Tema Metropolitan Assembly and left them out.
“We have some debts that the government has to pay for us and it is not a debt that we are supposed to pay. It was under former President Kufour’s era that he tasked the assembly to take up those projects and promised to bail us on those projects but after he left power and NDC took over, they paid for Accra and Tema and left Kumasi and that debt has been on our neck over the years.”
“So we are saying that if the government does not settle that debt for us, no individual will occupy that seat as Mayor", he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Samuel Pyne has appealed to the assembly members to rescind their decision, because such a decision will not "augur well in the development of the assembly", hence, "they need to take a second look at that decision.”
He said, “once I started the process and knowing my capabilities, I knew I would be nominated for that appointment. Apart from being a professional teacher, I am so much knowledgeable in local governance. I have been an assembly member on three occasions- not as a government appointee but as an elected assembly member. When we started this assembly concept in 1989, I was part of it. I think I was the youngest at the time. I have always been a member of the executive committee at the local level. I always chair a committee. I also hold about two degrees in local governance, administration, and sustainable development and leadership.”
“So that knowledge puts me ahead. So I believe with the help of the populace of Kumasi, the traditional authorities, with all political parties and other stakeholders, we are going to restore the glory. Certain things are premium- sanitation, security, congestion within the central business district, indiscipline around and all that are things that I need to tackle with my team”
If Mr Pyne is approved, he will take over from the outgoing Mayor, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi who has also been appointed as acting Head of the National Service Scheme (NSS).