Kumasi, May 23, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region have kicked against attempts at forcing Nana Ehumah Kpanyili, the National Chief Farmer, out of office by the 10 Regional Chairmen of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA).
They described the move as not only illegal and unpopular but also a betrayal and vowed to resist.
The chairmen are reported to have coerced Nana Kpanyili to sign a letter of resignation and ordered him to hand over to an Interim Management Committee on April 24. The committee would run the GCCSFA for the next three months.
The Ashanti farmers stated their position at an emergency regional executive meeting in Kumasi on Monday.
The farmers said the regional chairmen did not have the mandate to remove Nana Kpanyili and they did not consult those they represent. They said the GCCSFA congress held at Bunso in the Eastern region on April 4, 2004, took a decision that all office holders are to remain at post until 2008.
"This decision, we insist, must be respected and should not be allowed to be thrown overboard just to satisfy self-seeking ambitions of an individual or group".
The farmers said Nana Kpanyili's removal should be on basis of proven incompetence, impropriety or misconduct.
"We do not and cannot accept the situation where the National Chief Farmer is being asked to go without making it public the offence he has committed.''
''We will only agree to his removal on condition that all the regional chairmen also resign their positions and pave way for the conduct of elections to elect a new national executive," the farmers said.