I was quite shocked and disappointed when I heard the news that the Shama District Assembly had rejected the nominee for District Chief Executive, Emelia Arthur.

I have known Miss Arthur for almost a decade. I have never gone out with her for a drink but whenever we meet, we can keep a pleasant conversation going for quite a while. Last time we met was about a year ago at the departure lounge of the Kotoka International Airport. I was going to the US.

I don’t remember where she was going to. As we waited for our respective flights, we had a pretty nice chat about politics in Ghana and all the fantastic things she’s been doing to touch lives – mostly in rural communities.

I think Miss Arthur is one of the finest, young female politicians in this country. Yale-educated, Miss Arthur has a very sharp mind and she really cares about people. It’s a pity that the people of Shama do not see the potential in her. In 2000 and 2004 they refused to vote her to represent them in parliament and now this…

When I heard Miss Arthur had been nominated to be the DCE for the new district, I thought she would sail through without much of a struggle. But she didn’t. Only seven out of the 17 members of the assembly voted for her in the nomination ballot.

The assembly members feel that Miss Arthur (one of the young activists who broke away from the NDC in 2000 to form the Reform Party) has not demonstrated sufficient loyalty to the ruling party. It has also been suggested that she refused to pay bribes to the assembly members most of whom were allegedly selling their votes for one thousand cedis each.

Whatever the case may be, Miss Arthur is taking the assembly’s rejection in her stride. I am writing this because this is a woman I deeply admire for her sharp intellect, her honesty and her unflinching desire to serve her people.

I also respect her because she refuses to play the political game like most other politicians do. She doesn’t buy votes and she’s very sincere with the electorate. If she sticks to her guns, she may never win an election. But that’s the way to go.

Politicians who want to serve do not pay their way through the polls. Only those who seek to plunder and enrich themselves deceive the electorate and buy votes.

Whether this changes or not, I am really looking forward to the day when Miss Arthur would get an opportunity to prove her worth. For now, I just feel that the members of the Shama District Assembly have done their community a great disservice.

After the rejection of his first choice for Shama DCE, President Mills will really struggle to get a replacement as qualified, committed and selfless as Emelia Arthur.

Credit: Ato Kwamena Dadzie (atokd.com)

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