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General News Thu, 5 Feb 2004

We cherish funeral more than education - DCE to students

“YES” in capital letters was the response given to The Chronicle by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Techiman, Mr. Isaac Osei Antwi, when the paper sought to know whether it was true that he had refused to sponsor an educational programme to be embarked on by the Brong Ahafo Students’ Union (BASU).

“I told them that as at now, we cherish funerals more than education, because the overlord of Techiman is dead and we have to sponsor the funeral. We are going to host the visitors who would be coming to the funeral with our fund and therefore we don’t have enough to sponsor BASU.”

Was the tax payer’s money from the common fund, the source of the money to be used on the funeral? Mr. Isaac Antwi answered that, “we are going to use our internally generated fund”.

The Chronicle’s query came as result of concern raised by the BASU at a press conference held in Sunyani, during which they startled Journalists with the report that the Techiman Municipal Assembly (TMA) cherished funeral celebrations above educational programmes.

Speaking at the press conference, Mr. Emmanuel Sarfo, President of BASU said the union had approached the TMA to sponsor its congress, scheduled for July, this year, but the MCE told them he was sorry, the assembly would not be able to sponsor them, citing the funeral expenses of the late Techiman paramount chief as an excuse.

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Also at the BASU press conference, which was on the chieftaincy disputes in the Brong Ahafo region, the students fingered lawyers as some of the brains behind the numerous chieftaincy disputes.

According to Mr. Sarfo, some lawyers had turned chieftaincy disputes into business.

“Due to personal gains, they do encourage the disputes”, he accused.

He therefore called on lawyers to be bold enough, for the sake of the younger generation and those yet to be born, to tell the truth and ask parties who wanted to manipulate their ways into becoming chiefs, to withdraw.

The students believed that if lawyers were able to do this, it would curb the numerous disputes in the region and the country as a whole.

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They regretted that when the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs was looking for a legal counsel, none of the lawyers from the region was prepared to take up the job.

Other groups of people the BASU accused of fomenting troubles in the chieftaincy institution, were the chiefs themselves, the youth, queen mothers and the government.

Mr.Sarfo noted that all stakeholders in the chieftaincy had a role to play to ensure peace prevailed in the country and the region in particular.

He urged the youth not to allow themselves to be used by self - seeking individuals to fight over stools and skins, warning that, if they did so, they would suffer in future.

Source: Chronicle