Regional News of 2014-06-16

We’ll deal with you – Senchi residents warn Asuogyaman DCE

Tension is gradually characterizing the once peaceful and serene atmosphere of Senchi, a community near Atimpoku following a misunderstanding that has ensued between the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Asuogyaman Assembly of the Eastern Region, Hon. Thomas Appem Nyarko and the Queen mother of Nifa Division of Akwamu Traditional Area Nana Effah Poakwaa II.

Residents of the area led by the queen mother are playing war drums and chanting war songs as they resolve to put their lives on the line to refresh the memories of the DCE on how to talk to elders and respect them particularly in public.

This follows what the people described as gross contempt to the principles of chieftaincy institution in the country after the 33-year-old DCE of the area subjected the queen mother of the Akwamu Nifa Division, Nana Effah Poakwaa II to public ridicule.

Speaking on behalf of the youth at a press conference at Senchi last Friday, the Assemblyman of Senchi Electoral Area Hon. Isaac Owusu-Poku without mincing words warned the DCE not to step foot at Senchi-Ferry else they would finish him up for disrespecting their queen mother by way of insulting her on radio.

According to him, the unfolding event indicates that the young DCE is going beyond his boundaries and the earlier he comes to render unqualified apology to the queen mother and the people of Senchi-Ferry the better for him since he cannot manage the affairs of the district without the support of the traditional leaders.

“ if you are a DCE does not mean you are above the laws of the land because the constitution upholds the principles of chieftaincy institution even President John Dramani Mahama cannot insult any traditional authority because he knows the weight they carry”, he retorted.

“How can you go on radio and insult a queen mother who’s second born is even older than you and through her developmental drive and initiative brought some amount of envious development to this area after the death of our chief.” he questioned.

When this reporter enquired from him what they would do to the DCE if he should step foot in the community, he responded “the DCE we don’t want him here if he should step here we will finish him up”.

He continued that “we are going to burn him in his vehicle alive I have already told the district BNI what I can do and what the youth group can also do. He should not think the district is for him alone he is nobody we put him there”

The Assemblyman who doubles as a member of the Assembly’s works sub-committee described the action of the DCE as shameful and a sign of a visionless leadership because individuals who have decided to put their hard earned currencies to create job opportunities must be encouraged and not to be vilified.

He further said, Nana Effah Poakwaa II is not just a queen mother for a small community that could be treated with disrespect but the entire Nifa Division of the Akwamu Traditional area who is highly respected and adored by the people of this.

Hon. Owusu-Poku continued that, the DCE was brought to the district by the President to spearhead the better Ghana agenda through rapid developmental activities with the inclusion of all key stakeholders including the queen mother.

According to him, the fact that, we have the right to share our opinions, form or join any lawful association as some characteristics of democracy did not also give room for gross demonstration of contempt towards our leaders.

Making their intension clear, the residents have pencilled down next week Friday to demonstrate against the desperate attempt by the DCE to stop the developer because of his selfish gains as a rehearsal for the battle.

Nana Odikro Minitah, Odikro of Senchi Amanfrom who called on the DCE to immediately render apology to the queen mother and her subjects also described the DCE as visionless leader who did not have development of his area at heart.

Narrating her side of the story to the media through the history of the place, the Akwamu Nifa Division’s queen mother said the indigenous Senchi-Ferry people migrated from Adenya near Mamfe on the Koforidua –Accra trunk road of the Eastern region.

She stressed that, the migration was led by the then Omanhene Ofei Kwasi and arrived at Adome in the 1703 before the arrival of the Akwamus from Nyanawase in 1733.

Nana Poakwaa II disclosed that, the people of Senchi however, moved to their present site in 1935 after the introduction of pontoon services to ferry goods and passengers across the River Volta from the Southern part of the country to the North by the United African Company (UAC).

According to her, until the appointment of Hon. Appem Nyarko as the DCE for the area, the people of Senchi have collaboratively worked with previous DCEs in a friendly and development atmosphere.

Touching on what appears to have drawn the battle line between the people and the DCE; Nana Pokwaa II said following a careful consultation and deliberations, she decided to lease 10 hectares of the stool land to a private developer.

According to her the site which was virtually covered by the Volta lake was subsequently filled with huge stones and sand by the developer to have a level and perfect ground for the intended project at millions amount of Ghana cedis.

Nana Poakwaa II continued that, she was taken aback after the developer has paid GHS2,500 as jacket and development fees to pave the way for work to commence, the same Assembly through the DCE wrote a letter to the developer to stop work because there is another group challenging its ownership of the land in question.

Ghanaweb has intercepted a copy of the letter which dated March 17, 2014 and signed by the District Coordinating Director Mr. Maxwell K. Gyimah on behalf of the DCE under the headline “halting of development project at the Senchi-Ferry site”.

According to the letter, “following several complaints against the rightful ownership and utilization of the small piece of land for a proposed washing bay and restaurant project at the Senchi-Ferry site, there has been security threat among the factions.

“In view of this, I am (DCD) directed to kindly request you to put stop to the development project till the matter is solved amicably”, the letter explained.

The Akwamu Nifa Division queen mother hinted that, she later followed up to the Assembly to meet the DCE to produce the person who was claiming ownership of the land but without any provocation the DCE sacked her from his office without any reason.

Hon. Appem Nyarko when called on Adom FM and Rite FM, an Accra based and Somanya based private radio stations respectively Thursday, June 13, 2014 during Adom Fm evening News to respond to an earlier comments made by the queen mother decided to call the latter names instead of addressing the issue.

Despite acknowledging that Nana Effa Poakwaa II is the queen mother for Akwamu Nifa Division, the DCE refused to withdraw the branding of the former as behaving childishly when asked by Kofi Adomah, the interviewer to withdraw his rant.

She explained that, if the DCE could go to the extent of describing a constitutional right as a demonstration of childish behaviour she would deal with him.

The Queen mother and her elders as well as the youth of the area has therefore vowed to resist any force from the DCE by any means to stop the developers from developing the area which when completed could employ over 200 of unemployed youth in the community, leading to socio-economic development.

Source: N. Kwaku Solomon
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