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Bukari Bribery Tape: Talensi Paramount Chief sues 7 as pressure mounts for his resignation

Paramount Chief Of Talensi Paramount Chief of Talensi, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebgtang.

Thu, 27 Jun 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Paramount Chief of Talensi, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang, has sued six persons and a media house in the Upper East Region over a leaked audio tape featuring a former Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari, and Starr FM’s investigative journalist, Edward Adeti.

Bukari resigned as minister after the tape, in which he was heard trying to bribe the journalist to kill a damning story about a high court judge in Bolgatanga, Justice Jacob Boon, and some officials of a Chinese mining company, Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, went viral.

Whilst stressing on the tape that he had been asked by the Paramount Chief of Talensi to tell the journalist not to publish the story, Bukari also told Adeti that he and the paramount chief had been supporting the Chinese mining company “all along”.

Calls have followed Bukari’s resignation from a section of the public also for Justice Boon to step down for investigation and for the Paramount Chief of Talensi to resign his positions as a member of the Council of State and Board Chairman of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

As the calls mounted, the paramount chief reacted with lawsuits for defamation. Those sued include four members of the Concerned Citizens of Talensi (CCT) namely Charles Boazor, Augustine Mmi-Oni Guure, Zumah Bismarck and Albert Naa.

The others are the Upper East Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Azumah Lambon, Rural Waves Network (operators of Word FM at Zuarungu in Bolgatanga) and Simon Agana, a broadcaster at Word FM.

Whilst some Ghanaians believe the suit is an attempt to gag the public from talking about the leaked bribery tape, some are asking why the paramount chief has left Rockson Bukari, the main source of what the chief considers defamatory, out of his legal action and picked on only those who only made reference to the tape in their demands, discussions and reports.

Those sued do not look perturbed, saying they will respect the court but they will not allow themselves to be intimidated or gagged by anybody involved in the bribery tape.

They say their lawyers are more than prepared for the case. Meanwhile, the Concerned Citizens of Talensi, an advocacy group for justice and fairness, has issued a press statement demanding the resignation of the paramount chief over the leaked tape.

Below is the statement:

TONGORANA MUST BE REMOVED FROM COUNCIL OF STATE AND TOR BOARD.

Gentlemen of the media, we greet you once again with much appreciation for all the work you have done. Without your professionalism and devotion to work, suppression and slavery would have continued to be the foundation of our democratic freedom. We are grateful.

The last time we met, we called vehemently for Tongorana to resign from his membership of the TOR Board and council of state or else we will initiate a vote of no-confidence on him by the UE RCC. We expected a gentle response. However, something different happened and so, we are here to address those issues.

We are children of the chiefs and Tindaanas, we are victims of Shaanxi target blast killing, and we are victims of the adverse effects of Shaanxi’s bribe culture and tradition.

Tongoran’s ploy to divert our attention from calling for compensation for the seventeen (17) young people who died as a result of Shaanxi’s wicked and illegal activities will not hold. We will continue to pressure Shaanxi to do the right thing.

The bodyguards of Tongorana in a press conference miss described CCT in their attempt to devalue its activities. That was unsatisfactory, so they convened a meeting of chiefs at the Tongorana's palace unsurprisingly reading a press statement before the innocent chiefs. They painted a picture as though the Talensi Traditional Council was at war with CCT.

The language and demeanor was just a clear depiction of the characters behind the content contained in his bodyguards' press statement. Both statements were full of curses, insults and threats. We are still at sea as to how this could come from the highly respected Talensi Traditional Council.

We have made careful analyses of the two statements hence the following conclusions:

1.Tongorana is afraid of losing his jobs and the pay and thus will do anything to protect his jobs.

2. The Tongorana sought through that press conference to paint the CCT black in order to continue perpetrating evil against the people of Talenteng without hindrances.

3. The two press conferences sought to mislead Ghanaian media and authorities that, Tongorana had commanding respect and following and should be maintained at post

CCT does not see any good in sole resignation of Rockson Bukari because he was only a messenger in the bribe transaction. He has mentioned his collaborators. Rockson did not resign because the tape was leaked but because he was involved in such unhealthy transaction.

CCT believes, Tongorana was caught in the web of this bribe scandal and that, a mere press release by Tongorana to exonerate himself cannot wash, neither will his use of thugs in threatening the lives of CCT members.

Integrity crises is the problem now and he can only clear his name by taking Hon. Rockson Bukari to court to justify the statements he made that have black-painted him and not to hide behind the Talensi Traditional council to attack the CCT.

His perception about CCT must change. CCT is far bigger than his imaginations. Those of us seen and heard talking are just a minute fraction of the real size of CCT. Take a look at the demonstration, the signatories to the petition made to President Nana Akuffo Addo etc.

In fact he would be shocked to know that, more than 3/4 of the Talensi Traditional council is backing CCT because they know the truth. It is an ad-hoc group necessarily alive to stop Shaanxi from killing our youth in the mines and from stealing the resources with the help of minerals commission and some few individuals.

Factually, the CCT is not responsible for Tongorana’s total loss of respect from Talensis, but his own actions depicting lack of love for Talensis is what has put him in this situation he is so desperate to relieve himself of.

He lost control the very day he took to the media declaring the Shaanxi blast victims as illegal and criminals and advocated for the closure of the pits. He completely disowned his own people.

He has accused CCT for fighting him through the media but he is the one fighting himself and everybody in Talensi.

We are sad that, Tongorana tries to use the Talensi Traditional council as his refuge and to paint a picture of rebellion from CCT. Unfortunately, Talensis and the people of the Upper East Region are much aware of the Tongorana's unflinching support for Shaanxi in their criminal activities. We want to assure the Talensi Traditional Council that, they are our fathers and we will not drag their names into the gutters. We are against the activities of one man. There is complete differences between Tongorana and the TTC. We demand answers to the following questions:

1. Was the Talensi Traditional Council mentioned in the Rockson Bukari leaked tape?

2. Which of the Talensi Chiefs are in the payroll of Shaanxi GH. Ltd?

3. Which of the Talensi chiefs was involved in the bribe scandal leading to the resignation of Hon. Rockson Bukari?

TONGORANA'S REMOVAL from the TOR Board and Council of State is a necessary requirement to save Ghana and Upper East region from avoidable losses and further humiliation. Ghana needs trusted leadership to assist the President achieve his promises made to Ghanaians. We wish to make a biblical allusion here. The President deserves good counsel to govern Ghana however, we are sure that, Tongorana would give him Ahitophel's advice that would mislead His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa. We have therefore written a petition with hundreds of signatures from citizens of Upper East seeking to cause a vote of no-confidence on Tongorana from being our member of Council of State. We are sure that, the electorate at UE RCC will in the will of the citizenry save the Region from embarrassment. The Upper East Region has several men with integrity who can serve us in the Council of State.

We take this opportunity to announce to the people of Upper East Region to willingly participate in signing the petition. Further detail information about the petition shall be announced later.

Our advice to Tongorana is simple. He should resign from his membership at TOR Board and Council of State to reserve some little respect for himself.

He should note that, the people and resources of Talensis are not his loanable assets. His constant attacks and threats on some Talensis will further weaken his reputation and devalue his authority.

We are aware of the meeting held between the Mineral commission officers and the affected small scale miners in Kumasi. We are aware of some decisions undocumented as agreements though. The swift and forcible closure of their pits ahead of documented agreements is a recipe for riot and we will hold such people responsible for any confusion.

We urge the minerals commission to exhibit integrity in these matters by following through with their resolution with the small scale miners at the Kumasi dialogue.

Thank you for coming and God bless you.

SIGN

CONCERNED CITIZENS OF TALENSI

SAMUEL SAPAK 024 445 7491

CHARLES BOAZOR 024 691 1760

BISMARK ZUMAH 020 836 9833

NAA ALBERT 0244538883

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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