Politics Fri, 29 Jul 2005

Adantahene dissociates himself from Fanteakwa chiefs' stand on DCE

Begoro, July 29, GNA- The Adantahene of Fanteakwa, Nana Kyei Bortey has dissociated himself from the petition made by some Chiefs in Fanteakwa to oppose the re-nomination of Mr Ebenezer Ofoe-Caesar as the District Chief Executive(DCE). The Chief's opposition came into focus following rumours in the District that all the contestants for the DCE position had been disqualified except the incumbent, Mr Ofoe-Caesar.

Nana Bortey was speaking in an interview, with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Begoro on Tuesday after escaping from an alleged attempt on his life by some people, who accused him of supporting the Acting DCE. He said the petition by the Chiefs to the Presidents to provide a "better DCE" for the District was untenable and would retard peace and good governance in the area.

Nana Bortey, who is also the patron of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Fanteakwa Constituency, noted that democracy had no place for ethnicity as was being promoted by some chiefs in the area. He said following an information that the people of the District were opposed to the re-nomination of Mr Ofoe-Caesar, President John Agyekum Kufuor sent a delegation led by Mr Kwame Mpianim to confer with the Chiefs but all fell on death ears. He described Mr Caesar as "an illustrious man under whose first four year term the District saw numerous development projects to uplift the image of the district and raise the living condition of the people".

Nana Bortey said any decision to reverse the re-nomination of Mr Ofoe-Caesar as the DCE for the District could endanger the peace of development in the District and could create chaos. He, therefore, appealed to President Kufuor not to hesitate in nominating Mr Ofoe-Caesar as the DCE, adding that any reversal would jeopardise the fortunes of the NPP in 2008.

In a related development the Assemblyman for Begoro/Odumase, Mr Seth Afram has called on the chiefs in Fanteakwa to allow the Constitution to work and allow the members of the Fanteakwa District Assembly to decide the fate of the DCE for the area.

In a reaction, the Fanteakwa District Chief Executive, Mr. Ofoe-Caesar, has described the recent allegations made against him by some Chiefs of Fanteakwa, as a vile propaganda aimed at discrediting him. He said all the grievances raised against him by the Chiefs were unfounded and there was a suspicion that the Chiefs were being influence by somebody who wanted to be nominated as the DCE.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, at Begoro on Friday, Mr Ofoe-Ceasar said some of the grievances including a library and the kerosene tanks project raised by the Chiefs at their press conference were issues he had discussed with the traditional authorities as partners in the development of the District on many occasions. He said, for example, the kerosene tanks were not the District Assembly's project, but private projects adding that the owners were yet to locate places where the tanks were to be sent for easy refilling and that the Assembly could only supervise the use of the tanks for the intended purpose.

On the issue of not respecting the Chiefs and Elders in the area, the Acting DCE said he was surprised because there had not been a single occasion that he had been rebuked by any Chief for showing disrespect and "that I had cordial meetings with them on a number of issues", he noted. He expressed surprise that he was being alleged to have crashed the Assembly's vehicle on three occasions himself and used assembly funds for repairs, noting that he only had an accident once when he had to attend to an official assignment outside the District at a time when his driver was indisposed.

Mr Ofoe-Caesar said an amount of 48 million cedis he was alleged to have spent for refreshment during the visit of the Parliamentary Leader to Mumuadu, was untrue and challenged those who held the conference to come out to prove the source of that figure and wondered "if any level headed person could spend such amount on foods and drinks." He said, there were records to show from 1996 how the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had fared in parliamentary and presidential elections and how the votes were improved in 2004 when he had assumed office as DCE to the extent that the NPP was able to capture the seat from the NDC and asked the public to judge for themselves if his position really worsened the fortunes of the Party in the area, as was being alleged by the Chiefs.

According to him the Chief of Hemann, Barima Atta Apori, who the organizers of the conference indicated was a signatory to the statements, personally came to him to explain that he knew nothing about the statement let alone to append his signature adding, "that he even questions the sincerity of the statements". Mr Ofoe-Caesar, therefore, called on the people to exercise patience and wait for the President to nominate whoever he found fit for the position in his own wisdom. He cautioned any person, who might be behind the allegations to be very careful because none of the Chiefs was in the position to appoint anyone to be the DCE since it was a prerogative of the President.

Source: GNA