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Columbian Burger In Tears As NDC Dumps Him   
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It was all ‘tears’ from Captain Anthony Cudjoe (rtd), former Mayor of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, when the committee vetting the metropolitan, municipal and district chief executive aspirants failed to vet him for unexplained reasons. The Vetting Committee, chaired by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, which was to vet the three aspirants gunning for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) big job, disappointed the man, popularly known as ‘Columbia Burger’, and left a sour taste in his mouth.

The Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu vetting committee ‘sacked’ him from sitting before it to be vetted for consideration as the Mayor for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.  Information available to The Chronicle indicates that the retired army officer, who was asked to hand over a couple of months ago by President Mahama, together with Victor Abbey Hart and Charlotte Odoom, had lined up to be vetted by the Committee.

The three aspirants had, together with two others last Saturday, successfully surmounted the first hurdle of vetting in Takoradi, having been shortlisted from a long list of 12 applicants to five, to appear before the Mahama Iddrisu Committee in Accra for the final round of selection.

Unfortunately, however, the Columbia Burger, who was earlier bubbling with hope and confidence, was heavily disappointed when the Vetting Committee asked him to go away, because they were not going to vet him. The two other aspirants, namely; Victor Abbey Heart and Charlotte Odoom, were, however, vetted, leaving the Columbia Burger stranded in the reception of the Vetting Committee.

It is nonetheless, unknown why the committee decided to prevent the former STMA boss from participating in the vetting process. But, credible information available to this reporter has it that an executive member of the party from the Western Region, who was at the vetting, raised an objection to the inclusion of Columbia Burger in the list of the aspirants.

The petitioner, according to the information, had argued that he did not understand why the committee should allow Columbia Burger to appear before it, having been asked by the President to hand over as Mayor of STMA.

The objection raised by the petitioner, whose name is not immediately known, compelled the three-member committee, including Kofi Portuphy, National Chairman of NDC, Kwamina Ahwoi and Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu (Chairman), to suspend sitting to confer and take a decision.

The Chronicle gathered that minutes after the committee members had concluded their deliberations on the objection issue, they unanimously agreed that Columbia Burger cannot be part of the vetting process, because he cannot be considered again for a position the President had already relieved him of.

Immediately after the decision was taken, the Vetting Committee ordered the deputy Western Regional Minister, Alfred Ekow Gyan, to ask Captain Cudjoe to leave the vetting premises, to which he obliged. Kobina Pra Annan, who was one of the five shortlisted names, was asked to take the place of Columbia Burger.

Even though the Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, his deputy, Alfred Ekow Gyan, and the Western Regional NDC Chairman, Michael Aidoo, were not part of the committee, but were present at the vetting, which took place at the Ministry of Local Government Hall.

The Regional Minister, The Chronicle can report, had thrown his weight behind Captain Cudjoe, praying that he would be retained as the Mayor of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

His argument was that the party could not take chances to bring a new face, since it was entering an election year, saying that bringing a new face could scupper the chances of the party in the 2016 elections.

The NDC Regional Chairman, on the other hand, is supporting Kobina Pra-Annan for the position, whilst Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, a power broker within the NDC party, is fully behind Victor Abbey Hart.  The Regional Communication Officer of the party, Famous Tumi, when contacted, declined to speak on the matter, saying he could not comment on the issue.

The Regional Organiser, Japhet Baidoe, on his part, told this reporter that he cannot confirm or deny whether Captain Cudjoe was not allowed to appear before the committee.  He said though he was in Accra on the day of the vetting, but was not in the room where it was held.

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