With about two months left for Bice Osei Kuffour, popularly known as Obour, to bow out as the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) president, his Vice is eyeing his job.
Veteran musician Bessa Simons, who has served as Obour’s deputy for the past eight years, wants to be in charge of the largest musicians’ body in Ghana.
As Obour’s second term as the president of MUSIGA comes to an end, plans to elect a successor has started in earnest.
The musicians’ body has set June 26 this year as the date for members to elect a new president.
After serving in various capacities at MUSIGA, including acting National Organiser, second Vice president and now first Vice President, Bessa believes he is the right man for the job.
The musician, who picked up nomination forms last Friday, told Sammy Forson in an interview on Cosmopolitan Mix on Joy FM that he has a lot to offer the musicians’ body.
“If I get the nod, I’ll bring my expertise and experience to… help the (MUSIGA) grow,” he said.
Bessa Simons believes strongly that Obour’s administration has “achieved a lot and I think there is more to be done and knowing where we’ve reached, I think I can continue and add whatever is left to it.”
Asked what his plans are for MUSIGA, the veteran musician will not divulge any details but said his manifesto will highlight what he has for musicians including a “drastic change as to how to progress. Things are going to be a lot quicker…”
He said he will help promote Ghanaian music, heritage and culture and will foster unity among musicians – young and old.
Musicians, Bessa added, will benefit from a series of workshops aimed at upgrading and enhancing their skills.
In October 2015, Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour) was reelected to lead MUSIGA for another four-year term.
Obour beat three other contenders, Gyedu Blay Ambolley and Appiah Dankwah (Appietus) at a MUSIGA congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
MUSIGA last week announced the appointment of a five-member committee whose duty it will be, to supervise the elections.
“The National Executive Committee of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has appointed a five-member committee to supervise the pending national elections of the Union scheduled for June 26 this year,” MUSIGA said in a statement to Myjoyonline.
The committee, according to the statement, will be chaired by highlife musician, Smart Nkansah with former MUSIGA President, Diana Hopeson as secretary.
They will be supported by Rev Dr Mary Ghansah, legal practitioner Jonathan Cudjoe of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) and neo-soul artiste, Trigmatic.
Among other duties, the committee will supervise the filing and nomination process and handle the vetting of the candidates.
They will work closely with the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure a free and fair election.
A road map released by MUSIGA has the following highlights:
1. Call for nominations March 27
2. Close of nominations April 17
3. Vetting of candidates April 26
4. Exhibition of voters register April 29
5. Voting in all regional capitals June 26
6. Announcement of results June 26
7. Inauguration of new executives August 27
The elections will be held in all regional capitals in line with the amended MUSIGA constitution which stipulates that all paid up card-bearing members are eligible to vote.
The musicians’ union also announced the filing fees for the various positions being contested:
President GH¢ 2,500
Vice Presidents GH¢2,000
General Secretary GH¢1,500
Others GH¢ 1,000
The forms are on sale for GH¢200.